Monster Energy AMA Supercross, arguably the most well-known motorcycle racing series in North America, is no longer FIM-certified. Supercross is now considered, at least in the eyes of the FIM, to be a national-level series, with AMA sanctioning.
Here’s what the FIM press release said:
As a direct result on the impact of the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Feld Motors Sports – the promoters of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship have today confirmed that they unfortunately will not renew their international sanctioning agreement with the FIM, as the series reverts back to a domestic series from next season onward, under the control of the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA).
So what’s really going on here?
The backstory: Several years ago, Supercross wanted to go global, with races outside the US. We saw the start of that, with events in Vancouver (which was quickly dropped from the schedule) and Toronto (which lasted until 2017). Organizers also wanted to run races in Europe, which makes sense. Europeans love MX just as much as Americans do, right? And, it kinda worked out at first, with races in Switzerland, Holland, Spain in 2002 through 2006.
But the scheduling for those Euro races didn’t agree with North American riders, who have always provided the backbone of the series. The Euro races disappeared, and for about a decade, Toronto was the only Supercross stop outside the US.
Having FIM certification made that easier for riders and teams, smoothing out international race licensing and insurance. But since 2017, there’s been no Toronto race, so no need for the FIM’s help. When you get into the issues of series promotion and certification, there’s always back-and-forth over income streams and other rights, so it’s easier for Supercross to stay close to home with the AMA.
The FIM’s press release also has this interesting nugget (emphasis ours).
With the ongoing support of our national federation in North America – the AMA – I am confident that the series will soon recover the levels it enjoyed before the pandemic …
Wait, what? What about the CMA, Canada’s version of the AMA? Did the FIM just forget about it, or is the organization indeed ready to part ways with the CMA? In some circles, the gossip is that the whole reason Supercross left Toronto was frustration with the CMA, so maybe that drama is part of the storyline? Remember, like we told you earlier this year, the FIM held a vote to expel the CMA in early 2020; the vote received a majority approval, but did not receive large enough a majority to take effect.
It seems very unlikely this FIM/Supercross split is influenced by that CMA showdown. However, it’s on the edges of the storyline, and Canadian racers may also end up seeing changes as a result of all this flap.