Chad Reed launches new SuperX series
Chad Reed returned home to Australia to launch the new Australasian Supercross Series, Super-X.
Australia’s newest motorcycling world champion Chad Reed returned home yesterday to officially launch Super X, the revamped Australasian Supercross Championship.
The L&M San Manuel Yamaha rider, who recently secured his second world/AMA Supercross title, was on hand at Sydney’s Circular Quay, which was transformed into a temporary miniature arena with a series of spectacular dirt jumps created. Reed spoke to a large contingent of media about his love for the sport and a long-standing desire to contribute to its development in Australia.
"It’s something I’m very passionate about, I love this sport and I want to create opportunities for young Aussies just like I got," said Reed. "The response from the industry and sporting world has been fantastic. It’s an exciting sport, one that crowds can really get involved in. The 2008 series will debut a number of new race formats which have never been seen before. I am especially excited about riding, and being involved in the promotion of the series as it heads around Australia."
The face of the launch, Reed received strong encouragement from media who convinced him to climb aboard his L&M San Manuel Yamaha YZ450F and show off some of the skills that earnt him title of world’s best. Although not scheduled to ride as part of the launch, Reed obliged and was rewarded with a fantastic response from onlookers.
"It was a bit last minute but they had made the effort to come out and cover the launch so I was happy to put on a quick display," Reed added. "I can’t wait for the series to get underway, it’s an exciting time for motorcycle racing in Australia and this will show the world the level of talent that exists here."
When the whirlwind media tour wraps up, Reed will head back to his Florida base to begin preparation and testing on his San Manuel L&M Yamaha YZ450F for the upcoming ESPN X Games in late July.
Reed spoke of his desire to make Super X which is a radical revamp of the traditional Supercross event a mainstream sport in his home country and help pave the way for younger riders. He said the seven round national series with a one-off round in New Zealand would not only set a benchmark locally, but also around the world.
“This is a dream of mine, to return home and establish, as well as compete in, an all-new Supercross series which is why I have signed on as a major shareholder. ” said Reed. “Global Action Sports have a lot of experience in creating successful, sports and entertainment events and I’m excited to be working with Mike (Porra) who is the promoter of the Crusty Demons live shows and the team.”
The high intensity and adrenaline fuelled series will combine world-class riders, expertly-designed international tracks, innovative new race formats, live television coverage and a spectacular entertainment package. “The new race formats break tradition and really shake up the sport. They will make for faster, cut-throat, exciting and competitive racing, not seen before anywhere on the planet.”
“Super X will raise the bar worldwide. I know there is growing interest from the US-based competitors in the series and to have some high-profile riders travel down under to take part will be awesome for the sport and the fans.”
The overhaul of Supercross begins with four all-new revolutionary race formats that pit riders in a bar-to-bar battle to the chequered flag – Super Sprint, Man-on-Man, Survival and The Triple Challenge. The formats stray from the sport’s traditional model and will ensure spectacular race action for both the crowd and television viewers. Man-on-Man pits two riders only in a one lap sprint. First past the chequered flag after just one lap will move on with the loser eliminated. Heats, quarters, semis and a final – fast and furious racing.
Survival, as the name suggests, is an all-out battle for survival through four five lap races where the bottom five are eliminated each time until only five are left to fight it out. A one minute rest from when the first rider crosses the line, will make this event even more punishing.
The Triple Challenge will see 20 riders fight it out in three separate races of six laps with points gained in each race to go toward their final tally for the round.
Super Sprint will see four heats of 10 riders with the winner of each proceeding straight to the grand final. From there competitors positioned second to fifth will fight it out in the semi finals with those fierce and fast enough to finish in the top four joining the original riders in the final.
Tracks will be custom designed and built for each venue, with internationally renowned American designer, Mark Barnett, set to create full US style tracks for the first ever time in Australia at huge expense to Super X promoters. Mike Porra, promoter of the internationally-acclaimed Crusty Demons live shows, is striving to revolutionise the niche sport and bring the bar-to-bar action to a mainstream audience. Porra said that the series would introduce a number of groundbreaking new elements that would see it rival the hugely-popular sport in the United States.
“It’s our ambition to revolutionise the sport globally with Super X. The new race formats and our plans for entertainment and television coverage have never been seen before even in the USA and Europe,” said Porra. “We will be drawing on our experience from the Crusty Demons live shows to ensure that each round is not only an action packed race but an entertainment package that will blow fans away, both at the track and on TV. Chad’s commitment to race in the series will give it a massive boost and already there is strong interest from international riders, who are hoping to head down under to ride in the series.”
The Sydney event marks the mid-point of the fast-paced Australasian Supercross Championship which will visit regional and capital cities in Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and New South Wales, before moving to the first international race in Auckland, NZ.
”Parramatta Stadium is a perfect venue for Supercross. Fans will be so close to the action. The other reason we chose Parramatta is that it is right in the heart of Sydney. In Sydney, the Survival format will break cover for the first time ever,” added Porra. “This is a world-first, no holds-barred contest and only the strong will survive.” “The biggest question on everyone’s lips will be ‘Can anyone challenge the world champion Chad (Reed)?’ Sportsfans, both in the crowd and watching from their lounge rooms, don’t have much longer to find out,” he added.
The reality of the first-run Survival format is harsh and hard-hitting – finish amongst the frontrunners or be left languishing in the settling dust; no alliances, no second chances. The 20 rider field will be slashed to 15, then 10 and finally five for the final, and a 60-second time limit between each race will leave riders little time to recover, bringing core fitness and endurance to the fore.
”The Survival format where riders have only 60 seconds rest between four races will be amazing to watch. The transitions with riders running their bikes to the start line will be great sport.”
Riders from Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha and KTM will be vying for event honours in both the Pro Open (450cc) and Pro Lite (250cc) classes, with the current Australian ranks featuring an incredibly high calibre of talent. In an encouraging world-first for the sport, the entire Super X series will be telecast live on Fox Sports. Even in the USA where the sport is so well established, not all races are televised live. In addition, a one-hour highlights package per round will be compiled and broadcast on free-to-air’s ‘Home of Motorsport’, Network Ten.
The schedule for the seven round Australasian Supercross Championship (Super X) is as follows:
4 October Perth Perth Motoplex
18 October Adelaide Adelaide Showground
25 October Geelong Skilled Stadium
8 November Sydney Parramatta Stadium
15 November Wollongong WIN Stadium
22 November Townsville Dairy Farmers Stadium
29 November Brisbane Brisbane QSAC
As well as the standard 20 rider, 20 lap format, Super X will break the boundaries of regular competition by introducing four innovative race formats for the Open class finals to test riders and enthral fans – trackside or on live television.
Super X Super Sprint
Pace is at a premium in this hard-charging battle for a berth in the finals, the heats will separate contenders and pretenders.
4 heats of 10 riders, 1st place to the finals, 2nd-5th to the semi’s
2 semi finals of 8 riders, 1st-4th to the finals
12 riders will contest the final 5-lap event for event honours
All races over 5 laps
Super X Survival
It’s every rider for himself as five fall at a time, with only a limited time between each stoush. The night’s fastest five will square off in a 5-lap dash to the flag for event honours.
2 heats of 20 riders, 1st-10th in each heat to the finals
20 riders will become 15, then 10 and finally 5, with the slowest eliminated each time. Four separate races each over 5 laps
The final 5 riders will do battle in a 5-lap sprint to event honours
Riders will have a limited time to refocus between stages in this fast-paced format which will require strong endurance skills
Super X Man-on-Man
Finishing up front is the only way to move through the man-on-man format, with the full field reduced to a final of just 3 riders through an exciting elimination process.
2 heats of 20 riders, 1st-8th in each heat to format finals
8 heats of 2 riders on just one flying lap, winners progress to quarter finals, losers eliminated
4 quarter finals of 2 riders on just one flying lap, winners progress to semi finals, losers eliminated
2 semi finals of 2 riders on just one lap, winners progress to final, losers face-off in a last-chance battle for a place in the final
2 finalists and the last-chance winner do battle in a 3-way, 2 lap dash for event honours
The final 20 riders will face off in 3 separate 6 lap races where riders will gain round points depending on their finishing position in each of the 3 races. At the end of the 3 races the total points granted over all three races will be totalled to find the overall winner of the round.
Renowned American track designer Mark Barnett will design and build AMA style tracks at each venue. Rated by the worlds leading riders as the best track designer and builder there is, Barnett currently designs training tracks both in the USA and Australia for World Supercross Champion Chad Reed.