The 2018 Monster Energy/AMA Supercross Series schedule is very similar to years past but there are some key changes for the coming year. The first among them is the addition of a second East/West 250cc event which will combine both 250cc coasts in Indianapolis, following that with the East/West Shootout at the Las Vegas series finale.
The first six rounds are, once again, 250cc Western Regional events (pay no attention to the fact that Houston is East of Arlington, the latter of which will host the opening round of the 250cc East). New to the series in 2018 is the brand-new, $1.6 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, and a return to Tampa, Florida, and Foxborough, Massachusetts. Gone is the maligned Canadian round in Toronto, and the first (and only) break in the series comes a couple weeks earlier than it has in years past as well.
Now for the biggest change of 2018 – The Triple Crown. At three 2018 rounds – comprising round three in Anaheim, round nine in Atlanta and round 14 in Minneapolis – the main events in both classes will be divided into three, shorter main events. After the qualifying races (without Semis at any events this year) funnel the field down to 22 riders in each class, the 250cc class will compete in a six-minute, 10-minute and 12-minute main event while the 450cc class will compete in an eight-minute, 12-minute and 15-minute main event. The finishes will be combined using an Olympic-style scoring system to determine the overall winner, who will be awarded points based on a revised single-even points system. The 250cc East and West will each have a Triple Crown event prior to the final Triple Crown event in Indianapolis which will combine the two coasts.
As just mentioned, the points system has been revised for 2018. In years past, points were awarded to reward people who finish in the top four, with a three-point gap from first to second place (25-22), and then two points between each position through fifth place (22-20-18-16), followed by single-digit drops in points from sixth place through 22nd place. The problem with this is that 20th through 22nd place all got the same number of points – one.
In 2018, first place will get 26 points, second 23, third 21 and then from fourth through 22nd it will descend from 19 to 1 point. This rewards podium finishes and wins while also differentiating points allocation at the back of the field. Using this points system in 2017, Eli Tomac would’ve won the championship.
And the final format change comes in the form of the steel-grate starting pads to be added behind the gates at every round of the series.