Monster Energy AMA Supercross Celebrates 50th Anniversary

2024 Season of Monster Energy Supercross jumps into action with Round 1: from Angel Stadium, Anaheim, California

Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, CA — January 5, 2024

The world’s most competitive off-road motorcycle racing series returns home to Angel Stadium of Anaheim for Round 1 of the 17-race Supercross series, part of the 31-event SuperMotocross World Championship series stretching from January to September. 2024 marks the 50th anniversary season of Supercross racing in America and this year’s opener, Saturday night, will be the 81st race held at Angel Stadium as Supercross visits multiple times a year.

Featured Premier Class Athletes include: Defending champion, Chase Sexton; Two-time champion, Eli Tomac; Two-time champion, Cooper Webb; 2018 champion, Jason Anderson; Two-time Pro Motocross champion, Ken Roczen (GER); 2023 SuperMotocross World Champion, Jett Lawrence (AUS); Reigning 2023 Eastern Regional 250 Class champion, Hunter Lawrence (AUS); Reigning MXGP World Champion, Jorge Prado (ESP); plus fan favorites, Malcolm Stewart; Adam Cianciarulo; Aaron Plessinger; Dylan Ferrandis (France); and Justin Barcia.

450SX Class Storylines: Anaheim 1

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Chase Sexton: Chase is looking to go back-to-back for just the 17th time in 450SX Class history and become only the seventh rider to do so (Bob Hannah x2, Jeff Stanton, Jeremy McGrath x5, Ricky Carmichael x3, Ryan Villopoto x3, & Ryan Dungey x2). He has a tough road ahead of him as he looks to compete with up to 19 other Championship-winning riders (including SX/MX/GPs/WSX). Sexton (7 450SX Class wins) can move into the top 25 all-time in 450SX Class wins with just one more. Five would put him in the top 20. His 20 SMX victories pull him into the top 40 all-time in that category.

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Jett Lawrence: When adding up MX, SX, and SMX titles across all classes of racing Jett is already in the top-10 of ALL-TIME with six. Jett has won everything he could have won (he will never have a shot at the 250SMX or 500MX Championship) other than a 450SX title. Only Ricky Carmichael, Ryan Villopoto, Jeremy McGrath, Ryan Dungey, Eli Tomac, Rick Johnson, Jeff Ward, and James Stewart have more titles than this 450SX Class rookie. He is also the greatest non-American Champion other than the Scotland-born Jeff Ward who has seven titles. Even excluding his SMX title, Jett sits 12th all-time in titles. Jett is also already 17th in all-time SMX victories with 39.

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Eli Tomac: Coming off a terrible injury in the 450SX Class finale that tanked his title hopes and left an entire world of Supercross fans speechless, Tomac made an equally impressive recovery and is set to compete in 2024. With a fresh Achilles, Tomac is looking to prove he can hang with the likes of the Lawrence brothers, Sexton, and other title competitors. Tomac’s list of accomplishments is incredible, starting with his eight titles that place him fifth all-time only behind Carmichael, Villopoto, McGrath, and Dungey. His 107 total victories are good for third all-time only behind Carmichael and Stewart. He is looking to become just the second rider in history with 100 AMA wins (AMA W’s do not include 250SX Class). With a full 2024 season, Tomac would move into seventh all-time in 450SX Class starts and would move into third in podiums with six on the year. Tomac could become the first rider to ever win three titles but none of them being in back-to-back seasons.

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Cooper Webb: Joining back with his original 450SX Class team, Webb is also coming back from a scary injury that he sustained in Nashville. He was a title contender up to that point and would have won the 450SX title last season if he hadn’t gone down, assuming Tomac’s injury in the final round still occurs. Webb’s two wins moved him into the top 10 all-time in the 450SX Class list with 21. He is 16th in all-time wins with 40 and could move into the top 15 with only two victories. Webb and Tomac have finished inside the top three together four times since Webb jumped into the 450SX Class in 2017, so having them on the same team will be extremely interesting.

450SX Class: Anaheim Historical Facts

On December 4, 1976, Marty Smith won the first ever 450SX Class round in Angel Stadium
on a Honda. The race did not count for the point standings but was considered the “American MX Finals” for that season and counted in the 450SX Class record books. It was the first time the Heat Race system was implemented, and it was used to qualify 80 riders for a 24-rider Main Event.

Supercross has returned to Angel Stadium every year since excluding 1980, ’88, ’97, ’98,
& 2021. This will be the 82nd 450SX Class race held in Angel Stadium and the 25th season Angel Stadium will host multiple rounds on the Supercross schedule.

Angel Stadium is set to host their 33rd season opener in 51 seasons of Supercross.
Camping World Stadium (formerly known as the Citrus Bowl) is second on the list with only six openers hosted. Eli Tomac won the Anaheim Opener last season and joins Ken Roczen, Justin Barcia, and Jason Anderson as active riders with an Anaheim Opener victory going into 2024.

Jeremy McGrath’s five season-opening victories lead the way in 450SX Class history with Roczen’s four a lone second-place, with a shot at tying McGrath. The eventual series champion has not fared well in 450SX Class season openers only winning 17/50 (34%).

The number drops in Anaheim Openers to 6/32 (19%) and plummets to 0% in the previous 11 seasons (2013-2023). Eventual Champions have averaged fifth place in the season opener in that time span. Ryan Villopoto is the last rider to win the opener and the title
(2012 Anaheim, Kawasaki). Last season Tomac became the first defending Champion to win an opener since Villopoto in the aforementioned 2012 opener.

The 2016 Anaheim Opener broke a 450SX Class record with 15 former 250SX Class Champions in the Main Event. The 2024 Anaheim Opener is on track to tie this record with
the likes of Tomac, Roczen, Barcia, Anderson, Cooper Webb, Chase Sexton, Jett Lawrence, Hunter Lawrence, Justin Cooper, Aaron Plessinger, Christian Craig, Malcolm Stewart, Justin Hill, Dylan Ferrandis, and Colt Nichols. Riders like Dean Wilson, Shane McElrath, and Adam Cianciarulo were close to winning 250SX Class titles but fell just short. However, Wilson and Cianciarulo do have 250 Class Motocross titles.

Manufacturer Wins in Anaheim (Last Win) (Last Opener Win if Different)
Yamaha: 24 (‘23)
Honda: 22 (’23) (’22)
Kawasaki: 17 (’22) (’12)
Suzuki: 10 (’15)
KTM: 7 (’19) (’18)
Husqvarna: 1 (’16)

Top 450SX Winners in Anaheim

1) James Stewart: 8 (’06, ’07 x3, ’09 x2, ’10, ’11)
1) Chad Reed: 8 (’03, ’04 x2, ’08 x3, ’14 x2)
1) Jeremy McGrath: 8 (’93-’96, ’00 x2, ’01 x2)
1) Ricky Carmichael: 8 (’01, ’02, ’03 x2, ’05 x2, ’06 x2)
5) Ryan Villopoto: 5 (’10, ’11, ’12 x2, ’13)
5) Ryan Dungey: 5 (’10, ’13, ’15, ’16, ’17)
5) Ken Roczen: 5 (’14, ’15 x2, ’17, ‘22)

250SX Class: Anaheim Historical Facts

The first 250SX Class round held in Anaheim was on February 2, 1985, and Mike Healey won the Main Event on a Suzuki. He won by a bike length over Honda’s Brian Manley in just the second 250SX Class round ever. 2024 will be the 74th time the gate will drop for a 250SX Class Main Event in Anaheim.

Anaheim has hosted 28/39 250SX Class season openers, and ten times the winner
won the Western Regional 250SX Class Championship (36%). This includes last season when Jett Lawrence won the opener and the Championship.

Christian Craig joined Ernesto Fonseca, Ivan Tedesco, Josh Hansen, Cooper Webb, and
Villopoto as the only riders to sweep Anaheim in the 250SX Class when he went 3/3 in 2022. Villopoto is the only rider to sweep Anaheim in both classes. Webb is the last rider
to pull off a two-race sweep of Anaheim (2016).

Every 450SX Class Champion in the previous 15 seasons won at least one 250SX Class race in Anaheim during their 250SX Class career except for Chase Sexton who primarily raced in the Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship. However, none of the previous nine 250SX Class winners in Anaheim have gone on to win a single 450SX Class race.
Could Jett Lawrence change that?

Manufacturer Wins in Anaheim (Last Win) (Last Opener Win if Different)

Kawasaki: 27 (’18) (’11)
Yamaha: 17 (’23) (’22)
Honda: 12 (’23)
KTM: 9 (’19)
Suzuki: 8 (’09) (’08)

Top 250 SX Winners in Anaheim

1) Ivan Tedesco: 5 (’04 x3, ’05 x2)
2) Jake Weimer: 4 (’09 x2, ’10 x2)
2) Cooper Webb: 4 (’15 x2, ’16 x2)
4) Damon Huffman: 3 (’93-’95)
4) Ernesto Fonseca: 3 (’01 x3)
4) Ryan Dungey: 3 (’08 x2, ’09)
4) Eli Tomac: 3 (’12, ’13 x2)
4) Ryan Villopoto: 3 (’07 x3)
4) Shane McElrath: 3 (’17-’19)
4) Christian Craig: 3 (’22 x3)