Feld Motor Sports announced today that the Jeremy McGrath/Ricky Carmichael-inspired hybrid track design for the Monster Energy Cup has been finalized for the October 15 race at Las Vegas' Sam Boyd Stadium.
The collaboration between McGrath, the king of supercross, and Carmichael, the greatest rider of all time, has produced the world's longest stadium racetrack, consisting of motocross and supercross elements. Todd Jendro, Feld Motor Sports' senior director of two-wheel operations anticipates lap times to reach 1:06-1:13. The riders, who worked on their designs independently of each other, said that, despite it being a stadium track, they focused primarily on the layout and not the obstacles in an effort to create a course that evens a playing field that is open to all displacements of motorcycles.
"What I tried to do was make it as 'raceable' as possible," McGrath said. "If you get too many twists and turns and too many 90 degree corners and little chicanes and all that stuff you can't really race. It would just be one line."
Carmichael echoed McGrath's goal of opening up the lanes, making the corners 180 degrees and making the track fast. The motocross portion of the track, which exits and reenters the north end zone of the stadium, makes up one third of the total length and will include a big sweeper, sand rollers, a motocross-sized step-on step-off and Carmichael's nod to an iconic obstacle found on the AMA Pro Motocross tour. "I thought the outside stadium part should be high speed with a big jump like LaRocco's Leap,"[a big triple jump found at Red Bud] Carmichael said of the 100-ft. gap on the MX portion. "I thought it would be cool to have a focal point, a big jump that was good for television and something exciting for the fans."
The track will also revisit an iconic hairpin design that was once unique to the Pontiac Silverdome. Two hundred forty feet of the track will head up into the south end zone bleachers where riders will make a 180 and race back to the floor of the stadium. One obstacle missing from this track has often been the great equalizer of supercross: The whoops. This absent staple obstacle echoes the experiment element that the promoters are playing with in this race. "The track has enough challenges," Carmichael said. "It's one element they won't have to worry about and another thing that will produce great racing."