AMA Releases Pro Race Numbers for 2024 – new digits for Vialle, Anstie, Kullas, and Walsh!
The American Motorcyclist Association announced the professional competition numbers for pro-licensed riders participating in 2024 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, AMA Pro Motocross Championship and SuperMotocross Championships.
Words: AMA Press Release/Ben Rumbold
Featured Image: HRC Honda
Professional numbers are assigned and used in competition. The reigning champion races with the No. 1 plate when competing in the region or class in which the plate was earned, while the assigned professional number is used when competing outside of the champion’s region or title class.
The biggest change at the top order for 2024, besides the obvious distribution of the #1 plates, is that Chase Sexton will run the famous #4 previously worn by Ricky Carmichael, and more recently by Blake Baggett. His old career number #23 gets picked up by Grant Harlan for 2024, but not as a permanent “career” number. Chase is only allowed to do this as he won a National title – the Supercross one – which gives a rider an option of a single-digit career number. Only National Champions can do this. See the rules below the table for how career numbers can be earned.
Those who have earned new career numbers for this season are, of course, the force that is Haiden Deegan, who gets to pick the #38 when he doesn’t have to run #1 in the SMX Playoffs, and his teammate-that-was, Levi Kitchen, picking #47.
One who hasn’t earned that right yet is Max Anstie, although he lifts his number from #63 to #37, he is not yet able to pick his own career number and return to the #99 he used in MXGP or WSX. Tom Vialle, previously running with the three-digit number #128 due to his lack of AMA points prior to 2023, is the highest-placed rider without a career number (so far) and bumps up to the highest possible, #16 – although he could have had #13, which the AMA will allow riders to skip for superstitious reasons – yes, fear of bad luck can be legislated for! The #16 was finally made available as Zach Osborne has withdrawn from AMA competition.
Other notable additions for UK fans are that British Championship riders Harri Kullas and Dylan Walsh both got enough points for a 2-digit number, #79 in Kullas’ case, and #88 for Walsh. GP fans will be interested to see that Jose Butron earned himself the #49 slot after his efforts in the 450 AMA Nationals.
Here is the official graphic from the AMA, and below it is a quick guide to how the numbers are decided.
A racer’s number can fluctuate from season to season. The American Motorcyclist Association releases Top Motocross/Supercross numbers at the end of each season and it’s based on a few conditions:
- Classes– At the end of the year the points are tallied up from the 250/450 Motocross and the 250/450 Supercross classes and combine to create a top rider list. A single rider is allowed/encouraged to race across multiple classes throughout the year. An example of this would be if a 250 West Coast supercross racer were to race in the 450 class on the East Coast.
- Points – Another factor is overall points as this determines ranking position. After a permanent number is assigned, a pro rider has to earn at least 25 Championship points per season in order to maintain their current position. Exceptions are considered if the rider has sustained injuries or has unforeseen circumstances.
- 1st Place– If a rider wins the championship in their respective class, they have earned the rights to the coveted #1 plate for that class in next year’s season. If they change classes, they are not permitted to run the #1 plate. Unless they back up their championship in the next season, the season after they won the championship will be the only time they are allowed to run a #1 plate. Champions of National-level series (not Supercross regional Champions) can reserve a single-digit career number if any are available.
- Placing Top 10– Making it into the top 10 in the overall point standings for both classes for the year allows a rider to choose a permanent number. They are allowed to choose any number between 11-99 that is currently open. If there are multiple options it’s up to the rider’s personal preference.
- Placing Top 100– After breaking into the top 100, pro riders get assigned a 2 digit number based on their points standings and the lowest available number.
- Tie-breakers– Ties are broken by looking at factors like who’s racing in more classes, how many championships each won, and who finished the best overall.