The beginning of an era starts this week with Round 1 of the inaugural SuperMotocross season. The merging of the Monster Energy Supercross and Pro Motocross series has been a topic of conversation for 11 months since the playoff series was announced and excitement has increased exponentially.
Speculation has abounded about how the next three rounds will evolve. A lot of effort went into to creating stadium tracks with outdoor elements, but no one quite knows what to expect. Soon we will.
Supercross specialists like Ken Roczen have returned. Back from injury and with a new team, Cooper Webb adds to the star power of at zMax Dragway in Concord, North Carolina and the paddock has the atmosphere of a reunion of old friends. Without a lot of data to parse, fans have to look back at 2023.
With Eli Tomac and Chase Sexton dominating Victory Lane in Supercross, (combining for 13 of the 17 overall wins), and Jett Lawrence's perfect Motocross season, there have been only six winners this season. Joining these three riders are Webb with two wins plus Roczen and Justin Barcia with one each.
But for the 15 remaining seeded riders this week, there is a sense that the season resets and the everyone field believes they will be the one to beat Lawrence and Sexton.
Those two riders disagree. Honda is prepared to sweep the 2023 season after taking all five regular season championships with Sexton and Lawrence winning the 450 titles in stadium and outdoor racing. Hunter Lawrence added a pair of 250 titles in both series.
Kawasaki swept the season in 2007 but there were only four titles up for grabs and the 250 class had not yet been broken into an East and West division.
Before moving to the 450 class, Jett Lawrence ended his small bike career as only the fourth rider to win four titles in that class joining Ricky Carmichael, James Stewart and Ryan Villopoto. He did something they couldn't by completing a perfect season in his rookie 450 campaign last week at the Ironman National.
One of this week's best nuggets from SuperMotocross statistician Clinton Fowler is a comparison between rider results on speedway tracks like Daytona International Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway. Webb has the greatest advantage with an average finish of +2.3 to the standard Supercross track. Sexton, Barcia and Dylan Ferrandis are notable as well with a +1.6. Jason Anderson with a -1.0 seems to have a distinct disadvantage.