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supercross, motoamerica, gncc take lead

Three AMA National Championships Returned To Racing In May

This past March, the coronavirus pandemic brought the nation’s motorcycle racing scene to a screeching halt. Within three months, however, three AMA National Championships—MotoAmerica, Supercross and the Grand National Cross Country Series—were back in action.

Though physical distancing rules were in place and spectators were not permitted to attend two of three events, the respective promoters found ways to host national championship competition while implementing methods to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.

Innovation is part of racing. Engineers and mechanics find ways to make motorcycles faster and handle better. Riders improve training methods to increase strength and endurance. And sanctioning bodies, manufacturers and key series partners come up with ways to keep competitors safer on the track.

The coronavirus pandemic forced event organizers to find innovative ways to get racing rolling again. And, across the board, they succeeded.

GNCC was the first of the three series to restart competition. The initial event, which marked the fourth round for the hare scramble series, took place on May 16-17 at Aonia Pass MX in Washington, Ga. Reigning XC1 ATV Class champion Walker Fowler claimed the ATV race overall win on Saturday, and six-time GNCC XC1 Bike Class champion Kailub Russell took the overall victory in Sunday’s motorcycle race.

Next up? MotoAmerica, the home of the AMA Superbike Championship. After either postponing or outright canceling the first three scheduled rounds of the season, the nation’s premier road racing series kicked off its 10-round season on May 29–31 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Four-time and defending Superbike champion Cameron Beaubier, riding a Yamaha YZF-R1, handily won both 12-lap Superbike races.

AMA Supercross restarted its season on May 31 with the first of seven spectator-less races scheduled to take place at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. The race marked Round 11 of the season, and entries were capped at 40 riders for each class. Championship leader Eli Tomac (Kawasaki) won the 450cc main event to extend his lead to 8 points over Honda factory rider Ken Roczen.

Photo by Derek Garcia