The final seven rounds of the 2020 Monster Energy Supercross Series will be all held at Rice-Eccles Stadium starting Sunday, March 31, then continuing on next Wednesday, then the following Sunday, and then the following Wednesday again and again until all seven rounds get played out, 17 in all counting the 10 rounds already held.
As usual, however, the pre-race press conference was conducted today, but it too was anything but normal in that it was held via video conferencing, with many of the top riders and members of the media logging on to Zoom to chat and ask questions. The riders, including the top two in the championship, Eli Tomac and Ken Roczen, participated from their BnB residences, or motorhomes, where they will reside until a champion is crowned in a few weeks. No real breaking news was revealed during the conference, but all of the riders agreed that they are ready to get back to racing again, crowd or no crowd. Some of the riders, such as Adam Cianciarulo, Cooper Webb and Broc Tickle, used the down time to heal up from injuries, so if anything good came from this stoppage because of COVID-19, at least we’ll have a full field of healthy riders. Most of them agreed that they’re kind of looking at Sunday’s race as the start of a new season but have no plans on taking it easy. They have to drop the hammer right from the start and hope they show no signs of a fever from now till the end of the season or they might not be allowed to race, which is a new element they’ve never experienced before either. Plus, you never know, the championship could be called off at anytime, as you well know can happen in these times of uncertainty. So, they have to look at each race as it could be the last of 2020.
The riders have also never had to camp out in one city for more than three weeks, where they will continue to train and practice in between races.
The last time they raced was March 7 at Daytona, where Tomac took the win ahead of championship rival Roczen and Webb. Tomac enters the final seven rounds with a slim three-point lead over Roczen. Webb is third in the championship but 26 points behind Roczen. Justin Barcia is fourth just two points behind Webb.
Sunday’s race also marks the relaunch of the 250SX East Championship. The East riders have the stage for the next three rounds before the West riders finally get their chance to race again. In the 250SX East Championship, Chase Sexton holds a 10-point lead over Shane McElrath, with RJ Hampshire another eight points back in third. Garrett Marchbanks is fourth, one point behind Hampshire.
As mentioned, Sunday’s race will be televised, and we have the day’s schedule below. You’ll notice that you have to bounce around the channels a bit, but the good news is that the main program will be shown on network TV, NBC, in front of what should be a much larger than usual sports-starved audience.
TV/NBC Sports Gold Broadcast
Sunday, May 31, 2020
Live qualifying from Rice-Eccles Stadium can still be seen on NBC Sports Gold beginning at 12:30 p.m. EST/9:30 a.m. PST a.m.
NBC Sports Network will carry live coverage of Salt Lake City 1 beginning at 3 p.m. EST/Noon PST on Sunday. It will also stream on NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app, and NBC Sports Gold. At 4 p.m. EST/1 p.m. PST, the programming will switch over to NBC. Both qualifying and the night show program will be available to watch on NBC Sports Gold.