It’s Monster Energy Cup here at Sam Boyd Stadium, the annual off-season reunion for riders, teams and fans. This is half serious supercross, half simply a good time. You never know how well prepared the riders are, and with the track and format being just different enough from a standard round of Monster Energy Supercross, it makes it hard to predict what will happen. Who is ready? Who is willing to hang it out? Who is here for fun and about to board the struggle bus at the races? We’ll find out soon enough.
Some news and notes from the day. The biggest story is Ryan Villopoto choosing to race the event—you read that right—on his Pro Circuit built Yamaha YZ450F (but with some good factory suspension bolted on). Last year’s overall (and Monster Million) winner Marvin Musquin is here, the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross Champion Jason Anderson is here, Eli Tomac, Justin Barcia, Chad Reed and Blake Baggett are here, and then you have some riders running team changes like Joey Savatgy, new to the 450 class with Monster Energy Kawasaki, and Cooper Webb, debuting with Red Bull KTM. Malcolm Stewart is in his second race with Smart Top/Bullfrog Spas Honda (he won the Montreal Supercross).
As always, the Monster Energy Cup runs a three-race ten-lap format. Sweep all three races and you win the Monster Million. Merely get the overall win and you net $100,000. The track is different than the regular Monster Energy Supercross here in May, it’s faster with a more extensive section outside the stadium, there are no whoops, and this year the track turns up into the stands twice. The Joker Lane is back, and returns to its old formula of being a longer section of track (last year it was faster).
The Monster Energy Cup also features the Supermini and Amateur All-Star classes, which will run two motos.
Let’s go racing!