With the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas as a backdrop, MX Sports presented a progressive and innovative plan for the 2009 outdoor AMA Motocross championships at a press conference held at the MGM Grand Hotel leading up to tonight’s US Open Supercross. The plan calls for 11 of next year’s 12 rounds to be contested on Saturday with all of the rounds fitting into a one-day format. According to Davey Coombs, president of MX Sports, the intent is to accommodate a new television package which includes same-day coverage that will air broadcasts all of the races at 10:00 PM eastern time on the same day, with the Red Bud round, which will be the lone Sunday race, airing on Sunday night. “We are also going to have at least three races live on Speed Channel, and another three races on another network, to be named later,” added Coombs. “MX Sports will also stream the first two motos live on the internet for free.” The class structure for ’09 will remain the same, with a two-moto format, although the two classes will now be called the 250 class and the 450 class, instead of Lites and Motocross. “Another change involves running the 450 class first,” said Coombs, pointing out that the track won’t be quite as choppy for the 450 guys, which has been a complaint in the past, and that the 250 guys are always saying the tracks are too smooth. Coombs also adds that the second moto will be the “live” moto for the television broadcast and it’s important to have the fences packed with spectators for T.V., since in the past, some spectators have been known to leave early if James Stewart was running away with the final moto. Another key to the whole concept is the one-day format. “We understand that the grind of the series, which follows an 18-race Supercross series, is considerable,” said Coombs. “And taking one day away off the program translates into two extra weeks at home, over the course of the year. We believe that is the thing that will keep our riders and teams engaged. It’s clear that the economy is an issue, too, and we have to take into consideration that the shorter schedule means one less day of hotels and rental cars and one day less of wear and tear. Plus, instead of having to ride six times over the weekend, including practice, a rider is just riding four times. “We are still working on the qualifying system, and we hope to come up with a plan that will see everyone have to qualify – maybe the first 30 would qualify via timing and the remaining 10 spots would be filled by a 15 minute LCQ-type race. I believe if you can’t get in two time qualifiers and a 15 minute race, where you only have to make the top 10, then it’s just not your day.” MX Sports has been around since 1982 and its main focus has been on the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships at Loretta Lynn’s, but they are now turning their attention to the AMA National Motocross series. “AMA Pro Racing is allowing us to do the things we have always wanted to do and I think the results are already beginning to show,” said Coombs. “We are working with the National Promoters Group (NPG) on facility improvements and I believe that you will see a different AMA Motocross series next year and you will like what you see,” said Coombs. Additional changes require all champions to wear the number-one plate in their respective classes and a rule was set in place stating that rear number plates do not have to display a rider’s number, nor do they have to have a specific background color. That space can now be used for team logos, sponsors, rider names, etc. 2009 schedule : May 23 – Glen Helen Raceway May 30 – Hangtown June 6 – Freestone Raceway June 20 – High Point Raceway June 27 – Thunder Valley MX July 4 – Red Bud July 18 – Spring Creek MX Park July 25 – Washougal MX Park August 15 – Unadilla August 22 – Budds Creek August 29 – Southwick MX-338 September 5 – Steel City RacewayThe following is the official release from MX Sports: MX Sports is pleased to announce the first round of significant improvements that are in store for the 2009 AMA Toyota Motocross Championship presented by FMF. MX Sports has been promoting and managing Motocross and off-road racing events since 1972 and is taking the necessary steps to ensure that American Motocross continues to generate fans and sponsors, while maintaining the position of the leading Motocross series in the world with the best riders and tracks. In conjunction with the announcement of the 2009 schedule and the move to Saturday races and a single-day program, MX Sports is please to confirm the following additional changes:2009 Television The first major announcement is that a minimum of three rounds of the series will be broadcast live on Speed TV. The rounds that are not aired live will be same-day coverage, with the races being shown at 10 p.m. on Saturday nights (7 p.m. on the west coast), while the 250cc class will be shown on the following Tuesdays. In addition, the first set of motos will be broadcast live and free on the internet. The Women’s Motocross Association, which will expand to eight rounds, will also receive Speed TV and live internet coverage.Class names Each of the two professional classes will receive a new name, with the goal to better identify the classes to the fans. The classes will be renamed from Lites to simply 250, while the Motocross class will be renamed the 450 class. This name format, a return to the traditions of the sport, allows for easier recognition for the fans while clearly identifying the size of the motorcycle.Race day format The format on race day will also see a change as the premier class of 450cc bikes will be the first on track for both motos at each event, followed by the 250cc class. The 2009 AMA Toyota Motocross Championships will incorporate the traditional two-moto format; 30 minutes plus two laps. #1 Plate required Previous year champions for each class will be required to run the #1 plate if they are defending their championship.Open rear number plates The rear number plates on each side of the motorcycle will be no longer be required to display a colored background with the riders number. Riders and teams may use this space to showcase sponsor logos and their names, while maintaining the traditional numbering system on the front. With the advance of transponders and digital scoring, MX Sports is giving this space over to the riders and teams. In the crucial areas of event operations, MX Sports is pleased to announce that former AMA Motocross Series Manager Jeff Canfield and AMA Motocross Timing and Scoring Director Conrad Young have joined the MX Sports staff in order to assure that the series runs seamlessly from an operational standpoint. Their professional knowledge and experience will assure that the races operate smoothly. “Everyone at MX Sports has been working extremely hard in order to assure that the 2009 AMA Toyota Motocross Championship is positioned properly and has the deepest media reach it has ever had,” said Davey Coombs, Vice President of MX Sports. “We will continue our work on the tracks and the show, which remain what they are-the world’s premier motocross series.” Leading up to the opening round of the 2009 AMA Toyota Motocross Championship, MX Sports will be working closely with the National Promoters Group (NPG) and our industry partners, sponsors, riders and enthusiasts on many other significant operational and event improvements, which will be announced in the near future.