Feld Motor Sports® has announced that CBS will broadcast an all-new, one-hour feature on the 2013 Monster Energy Supercross season and the future of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, fittingly named Changing of the Guard on Sunday, May 5, at 1pm ET / 10am PT.
Bob Hannah became the sport’s first three-time 450 SX Class Champion in 1979 before the Honda era reigned supreme from 1982-1996, winning 13 championships with seven different riders.
Jeremy McGrath gave Honda four consecutive championships en route to becoming the all-time winningest supercross racer with seven titles.
As the McGrath era turned the page, Ricky Carmichael soon became the new dominant force in supercross as he captured five titles. Shifting gears, James Stewart and Chad Reed simultaneously consumed this space as well as a fierce rivalry that fed the headlines.
The new era of Monster Energy Supercross has begun with the four riders – Ryan Villopoto, Davi Millsaps, Ryan Dungey and Justin Barcia – responsible for the Changing of the Guard. CBS will showcase how these athletes ascended to the top of the sport in 2013 and set the tone for a bright future in one of the world’s most captivating forms competition.
Click to view the Changing of the Guard trailer
Villopoto joined the elite company of Hannah, McGrath and Carmichael last Saturday night when he secured his third consecutive 450 SX Class Championship with a class-leading ninth victory of the season.
“A championship is a championship, but it makes it harder when there’s five, six guys that can win it versus one,” said Villopoto. “It’s harder to win now than I think it’s ever been.”
Before giving way to Villopoto in the championship hunt, seven-year 450SX Class veteran Davi Millsaps controlled the points race for the first time in his career. After capturing a surprise victory at the opening race in Anaheim, Millsaps captured seven podium finishes through the first eight races, including a pair of wins.
Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey, the 2010 450SX Class Champion, also scored a pair of wins this season and landed on the podium 11 times en route to an average finish of 3.3, further enhancing the argument that Dungey is the new “Mr. Consistency.”
Between Dungey and his 250SX Class teammate Ken Roczen, they gave Red Bull KTM its first-ever Main Event sweep at the third stop in Anaheim, which was followed by the same achievement with Marvin Musquin in Minneapolis.
Highly touted rookie Justin Barcia, who rides for Team Honda Muscle Milk, etched his name in the record books by winning in the second Main Event of his 450SX Class career and becoming the division’s 56th different winner. Only two other riders before Barcia were able to win so early in their 450 SX Class career; Sebastien Tortelli won the first 450SX Class start of his career, while Bob Hannah won the second start of his 450 SX Class career.
“It’s crazy to be racing against those guys that have won all these 450SX Class championships,” explained Barcia. “For me, I’ve looked up to some of those riders and now being competitive with them and racing against them, it’s pretty awesome. You don’t really think about that when you get out there on the line, but sometimes you sit back and relax thinking about racing the best guys in the world and how you could be one of them.”
While veteran riders Chad Reed and James Stewart, each of whom are two-time Monster Energy Supercross Champions, also made their presence felt throughout the 2013 season, it was this foursome of riders that stole the spotlight week in and week out. Over the last three races, these riders are the only competitors to stand on the podium, establishing a comfortable margin over the field in the championship standings.
“As the years keep going by, there definitely seems to be a lot more guys coming up, whether it’s from the 250SX Class or guys who have been in the 450SX Class challenging for that top spot even more,” commented Dungey. “We’re putting more and more pressure on the guys to be there every weekend, which is raising the bar. That level of intensity is getting better as well, so with that many good guys out there, the racing is only going to get better and tougher. To win, it’s going to mean all that much more.”