September 30, 2013
Comments off

If there is anything as convoluted as the current AMA National numbering system, we don’t know what it is. The foundation of the AMA system is ..well there is no foundation. Need examples? Former AMA National Champions get to choose a number between 2 and 9. Why not 2 and 10? Why not 2 until you run out of former National Champions.

Oh yeah, former National Champions don’t have to take a number between 2 and 9 if they don’t want to?even though those numbers are set aside to honor the Champions. Thus, you end up with AMA National Champions running high numbers (15, 22, 41).

Here’s an idea?Just tell them in the future to choose between 2 and whatever it takes until the honorary numbers are used up.

Then the AMA sets aside “career numbers” for a select group of riders who finished in the top ten in overall points at some point in their career. Why a rider who made the top ten in total points gets a permanent number is a mystery. And, they don’t get to keep their career number if they don’t earn 25 points in the following season?unless of course somebody at the AMA likes them. Which probably accounts for why there are more riders with career numbers than there are National Champions with permanent numbers. Amazingly, 25 percent of the top 100 numbers are assigned to someone before anyone at the AMA starts counting points?25% is big number. Even weirder, Mike Alessi gets to choose number 800 because he is “grandfathered in”?what is this the U.S. Senate? Have Mike take a top 100 number like everybody else who has been fined, penalized points and had his team manager banned from the series.

Common sense says that career numbers should be dropped. The only permanent numbers should be for former National Champs. Every rider after the Champions should get the number he earned by scoring points in that season. That’s simple. That’s the American way?which isn’t always the AMA way.

After handing out all of the career and permanent numbers the AMA hands out National numbers to riders based on how many AMA points they earned (what we like to think of as the “actual AMA National numbers”), but none of these numbers actually jive with the rider’s actual place in the pecking order of the sport. They are all off by one or two places (and they don’t give numbers to guys who earned them if they were visiting FIM Grand Prix riders?like Clement Desalle and Kevin Strijbos?even though they actually earned AMA National points). Plus, once you add in the former National Champions and the career numbers, the true-to-life earned points are out-of-sync with the real number of points.

And some rocket scientist at the AMA decided to count 250 East/West Supercross points for the AMA National numbers even though the East/West series is not a National Championship event, is not open to every rider, is divided into two separate regional series and has never been counted until some AMA powerbroker’s buddy raced the 250 East…and he thought it would be nice to count those points as “National” points.

What next? Loretta Lynn points?

The AMA can take cold comfort in the fact that Youthstream has a much worse numbering system?their Champions are number 222 and 84. In no way is this great marketing of the series, the brand, the teams or image of the sport. At least in America the number 1 guys have number 1 on their bikes. This makes the AMA 250/450 Champions instantly recognizable to the most casual TV viewer or number challenged fan.

Finally, in conclusion, the AMA should let the former National Champions choose numbers starting a 2 until they run out of former National Champions (right now 6, 8 and 9 are not being used). Then, everyone else should get the number they actually deserve based on where they finished…not on where they finished in 2008.

(* Career number, ** New career number, *** former National Champion)
1 – 450SX/MX: Ryan Villopoto
1 – 250MX: Eli Tomac
1 – 250SX West: Ken Roczen
1 – 250SX East: Wil Hahn
2: Ryan Villopoto
3: Eli Tomac
4: Blake Baggett
5: Ryan Dungey
7: James Stewart
10*: Justin Brayton
11*: Kyle Chisholm
12*: Jake Weimer
15***: Dean Wilson
16**: Zach Osborne
17: Jason Anderson
18*: David Millsaps
19: Jeremy Martin
20*: Broc Tickle
21: Cole Seely
22***: Chad Reed
23: Wil Hahn
24*: Brett Metcalfe
25*: Marvin Musquin
26*: Michael Byrne
27*: Nick Wey
28*: Tyla Rattray
29*: Andrew Short
30: Kyle Cunningham
31: Martin Davalos
32: Justin Bogle
33*: Josh Grant
34: Malcolm Stewart
35: Justin Hill
36: Blake Wharton
37: Cooper Webb
38: Phil Nicoletti
39: Ryan Sipes
40: Weston Peick
41***: Trey Canard
42: Vince Friese
43: Joey Savatgy
44: Matt Goerke
45: Darryn Durham
46: Adam Cianciarulo
47: Kyle Peters
48: Ben Lamay
49: Gavin Faith
50: Jessy Nelson
51*: Justin Barcia
52: Cole Thompson
53: Lance Vincent
54: Christian Craig
55: Alex Martin
56: James Decotis
57: AJ Catanzaro
58: Travis Baker
59: P.J. Larsen
60: Jackson Richardson
61: Austin Politelli
62: Mitchell Oldenburg
63: Bobby Kiniry
64: Les Smith
65: Zach Freeberg
66: Jake Canada
67: Tyler Bowers
68: Chris Blose
69: Levi Kilbarger
70: Brady Kiesel
71: Zachary Bell
72: Daniel Herrlein
73: Dillan Epstein
74: Steven Clarke
75*: Josh Hill
76: Max Anstie
77: Jimmy Albertson
78: Matt Lemoine
79: Ryan Zimmer
80: Fredrik Noren
81: Josh Cachia
82: Kyle Partridge
83: Dakota Tedder
84: Scott Champion
85: Nico Izzi
86: Derek Anderson
87: Shane McElrath
88: Jesse Wentland
89: Michael Leib
90: Jean Ramos
91: Jacob Baumert
92: Killian Rusk
93: Adam Gulley
94*: Ken Roczen
95: Evgeny Mikhaylov
96: Matt Bisceglia
97: Topher Ingalls
98: Broc Schmelyun
99: Justin Starling
800*: Mike Alessi


Comments are closed.