AMA Motocross Championship

The AMA Motocross Championship begins in early May and continues until mid-September. The championship consists of twelve rounds at twelve major tracks all over the continental United States. There are three classes: the 250 Motocross Class for 0–125 cc 2-stroke or 150–250 cc 4-stroke machines, the 450 Motocross Class for 150–250 cc 2-stroke or 251–450 cc 4-stroke machines and a Women's Class. The AMA Motocross Championship is the major motocross series of the United States, held since 1972. It is sanctioned by the American Motorcyclist Association and managed by MX Sports Pro Racing. The series began in 1972 with the introduction of two classes based on 500 cc and 250 cc engine formulas. A 125 cc class was added in 1974. As motocross technology developed, 500 cc two-stroke motocross bikes became too powerful for the average rider and, faced with diminishing numbers of competitors, the A.M.A. discontinued the 500 cc class after the 1993 season. A women's national championship series was introduced in 1996. Facing tightening emissions regulations, in 1997, the A.M.A. increased the allowable displacement capacity for four-stroke engines, in an effort to encourage manufacturers to develop environmentally friendlier four-stroke machines. In 2006, the 250 cc division was renamed the MX Class, with an engine formula allowing for 150–250 cc two-stroke or 251–450 cc four-stroke machines. The 125 cc class was renamed the MX Lites Class, allowing 0–125 cc two-stroke or 150–250 cc four-stroke engines. In 2009, the MX class was renamed the 450 Class and the MX Lites class was renamed the 250 Class, to reflect the fact that all the competing manufacturers had adopted four-stroke machinery. The American Motorcyclist Association is an American nonprofit organization of more than 300,000 motorcyclists that organizes numerous motorcycling activities and campaigns for motorcyclists' legal rights. Its mission statement is "to protect and promote the interests of motorcyclists while serving the eeds of its members." The organization was founded in 1924 and now has more than 1,200 chartered clubs. For clubs and promoters it provides guidance and advice on running events and rallies, and allows affiliated members to vote on AMA matters. It also has a corporate membership category with representatives from the US motorcycle industry. The AMA is the largest motorsports organization in the world, overseeing 80 professional and more than 4,000 amateur events each year. The AMA also maintains the Motorcycle Hall of Fame located near Columbus, Ohio. It is the designated governing body of motorcycle sport in the US by the world governing body, the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM). AMA Pro Racing was formed in 1994 to respond to the growth of motorcycle racing in United States and holds many events. The AMA Road Racing Series includes the AMA American Superbike Championship, the AMA Daytona Sportbike Championship (which incorporates the former AMA Supersport Championship and the now inactive AMA Formula Xtreme), and the new AMA Supersport Championship, which is limited to riders of age 16-21 on near stock 600cc motorcycles. Other series include AMA Supercross, AMA Motocross Championship, A.M.A. Grand National Championship dirt-track series and AMA Hillclimb. On March 7, 2008, the AMA Pro Racing series was sold to the Daytona Motorsports Group (DMG), headed by Roger Edmondson and Jim France. The DMG will be responsible for the AMA Superbike Series, the AMA Motocross Series, the AMA Flat Track Series, the AMA Supermoto Series, the AMA Hillclimb Series and ATV Pro Racing. The sale did not include the AMA Supercross and AMA Arenacross Series, whose rights are currently owned by Live Nation. DMG will license the AMA name and trademarks to promote the motorcycle racing series'. The new management has sparked criticism among some of the press and fans for allegedly alienating the factory teams and for introducing NASCAR style rules such as rolling start and pace car.