News 16 Nov 2010

AMA SX: Both Lites championships to be decided in Vegas

West Coast Champion Jake Weimer won the Dave Coombs Sr. East/West Shootout in Vegas this year.

West Coast Champion Jake Weimer won the Dave Coombs Sr. East/West Shootout in Vegas this year.

Next season’s Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, Lites class championships will both go down to the wire at the Las Vegas season finale in Nevada on 7 May.

Feld Motor Sports announced today a major format change to the Lites class race from Sam Boyd Stadium, which will now serve as the season finale for both the Eastern and Western Regional AMA Supercross Lites class championships before the regions square off in the Dave Coombs Sr. East/West Shootout later that evening.

“Traditionally, the final stop of the Monster Energy Supercross championship crowns the World Supercross class champion, and the Lites class competes for the Dave Coombs Sr. East/West Shootout,” said Todd Jendro, senior director of operations, Feld Motor Sports.

“This year the two Lites classes will each compete in their own 15 lap main event with championship points being awarded to their respective region. Once both champions have been awarded their hardware, the top nine finishers from each region’s main event will transfer to the shootout.

“A last chance qualifier will send two final riders to the much anticipated Dave Coombs Sr. East/West Shootout.”

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki Team Owner/Manager Mitch Payton has guided his team to 15 AMA Supercross Lites titles and welcomes the challenges that the new format presents.

“The old format was a no-pressure situation that was enjoyable because it gave an opportunity for both champions to race against each other,” said Payton. “Now that it is for points, the pressure will be higher to try and win a championship for both coasts on the same day.

“Whatever happens in the championship races, whether good or bad, the emotions will be present in the shootout race and it will definitely make things interesting.”

“I think it will be awesome to see that many champions crowned in one night and for the fans,” said GEICO Powersports Honda’s Wil Hahn, who will contend for a Lites class championship. “Seeing all the racers unite for one huge night of racing will be awesome!”

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s sophomore hot shoe Dean Wilson hopes to give Mitch Payton another AMA Supercross Lites class championship in Las Vegas.

“I think it’s going to put a lot more pressure on the riders for that event,” said Wilson. “Normally, the Las Vegas race is a little more relaxed, but the new format will make the night more serious for the teams competing for championships.

“It could end up being a big night if you win a championship and then the shootout.”

AMA Supercross legend Mike LaRocco, who manages the GEICO Powersports Honda team, is another who approves.

“I like that the Lites title chase will come right down to the last race of the year,” he said. “It will keep all the teams and riders in supercross mode until the very end of the season. If things play out right, it could equal one heck of a night of great racing action for the fans.”

Last year’s Vegas Shootout saw West Coast Champion Jake Weimer win ahead of Josh Hansen and East Coast Champion Christophe Pourcel, a Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki sweep of the podium.