HOW MUCH DOES 2015 SUPERCROSS REALLY PAY?
One of the biggest misconceptions about the AMA Supercross series is that it doesn’t pay very well. Naysayers, often European GP defenders, always point to the fact that AMA riders outside of the top ten don’t make very much money. This is true and untrue — it depends what your definition of “very much money” is. However, a quick perusal of how much money the top AMA riders make in purse and bonuses — money that GP riders don’t get — shows that racing in America is lucrative. It could be, and should be, much better, but that would require an AMA and FIM that stood up more for the riders and less for the promoters. However, we are just reporting how much money is paid out —not the right or wrong of it. Not counting his rumored $3,000,000 Suzuki salary and personal sponsors, Ken Roczen pocketed at least $112,000 in purse and bonuses at Anaheim 1 on January 3, 2015.
Just to wet your whistle — on average a successful AMA Supercross Champion will make approximately $150,000 in purse money, $1,000,000 in race win bonuses (if they win 10 races), $100,000 from the Supercross points fund and a $1,000,000 Championship bonus from their team. Money alone, for the Champion (and we are not counting his salary, sponsorship deals or sponsor bonuses) it is over $2 million dollars (and some riders have pocketed even more in the past).
HOW MUCH PURSE MONEY CAN A SUPERCROSS RIDER MAKE IN 2015
What if we told you that the typical purse for an AMA Supercross is $119,865 per week (it breaks down as $66,950 for the 450 Main, $18,847 for the 450 Last Chance, $23,700 for the 250 Main and $10,368 for the 250 Last Chance). Multiply that times 17 weeks and the available purse money for 2015 is $2,032,705. A 450 Supercross rider could make as much a $205,000 in purse money in 2015 by sweeping the series (not an impossibility). Even a rider who finishes 20th in every 450 main event would pocket $36,295 in purse money. Would you be surprise to discover that a rider who finished dead last, not dead last in the main event, but dead last in the night program (technically 40th place), would still make $16,405 in purse money over the Supercross season?
There is also a $363,120 Supercross points fund that pays the top 20 in 2015 season points. The Champion gets $100,000, second gets $40,000, third $25,000, fourth $21,500 and so on to the 20th place 450 rider—who gets $9000
It should be noted that the AMA 250 East/West does not pay nearly as well. There are two reasons for this; (1) The 250 East/West are not AMA National Championship series. They are regional support classes. (2) While the 450 Supercross series is 17 races long, the East/West are typically 9 races. A 250 East/West rider who won nine rounds in a single series would make $30,150 in purse money (at $3350 per win) during the season.
WHAT DOES FIRST PLACE PAY IN THE 450 CLASS?
If a rider won every AMA Supercross in 2015, he would earn $205,000 in purse money alone. It goes without saying, but we will say it, that he would also earn $1,700,000 in factory bonuses (at $100,000 per win), a $1,000,000 Championship bonus and a $100,000 Feld Entertainment bonus. The total could be $3,005,000.
WHAT DOES SECOND PLACE PAY?
If a rider finished second at every AMA Supercross in 2015, he would earn $102,000 in purse money. Although factory contracts vary in bonus money after the win bonus, second place bonuses could be anywhere from $300,000 to $500,000 for the year. Plus, Feld Entertainment’s Championship bonus would be $40,000. The series total could range from $437,000 to $637,000.
WHAT DOES FIFTH PLACE PAY?
If a rider finished fifth at every AMA Supercross in 2015, he would earn $51,170 in purse money. There would also be a $16,500 pay out from the Feld Entertainment Championship points fund. Total–$67,670.
WHAT DOES TENTH PLACE PAY?
If a rider finished tenth in every AMA Supercross in 2015, he would earn $41,310. The Feld Entertainment bonus for tenth place is $11,390. Total–$52,700
WHAT DOES 20TH PLACE PAY?
If a rider finished 20th in every AMA Supercross in 2015, he would earn $36,295 in purse money. Feld pays a Championship bonus of $9000 to 20th place in the standings. Total–$45,295.
On a final note, if a rider failed to make the main event (finishing fifth in the every Last Chance), he would make $22, 355. And, a rider who finished dead last in the Last Chance every week would earn $16,405.
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