The sixth running of the Monster Energy Cup is set to be the most spectacular in the event’s history. Here are 10 reasons why fans are in store for an unforgettable weekend:
1. ONE MILLION DOLLARS
As the only Supercross race with one million dollars up for grabs, that precedent alone gives the event some serious luster. Of course, a racer has to win all three main events against the toughest competition in the world to capture the million. However, the feat has been accomplished before when Ryan Villopoto did it in 2011; and it was nearly duplicated by Trey Canard in 2014. Will we see a racer win the million in 2016?
While it isn’t likely, Ken Roczen has been on fire since the latter portion of the 2016 Monster Energy Supercross Championship and has spent the summer absolutely dominating the Pro Motocross tour. He is also the defending champion of the Monster Energy Cup, having won the $100,000 overall prize last year with a 1-4-1 score. Can the German nail down all three on October 15th?
He’ll have to go through three-time and defending Monster Energy Supercross Champion Ryan Dungey to do so. Dungey has won almost everything there is to win in the sport, although a MEC victory has thus far eluded him. Ryan is coming off a serious neck injury but he should be 100% for the big race. Sometimes a little time away from the grind rewards a racer with fresh motivation.
2. HIGHEST START IN HISTORY
Adding to the spectacle for 2016 is the tallest start in Supercross history. Last year the racers and fans were treated to an elevated start located on top of the Sam Boyd Stadium locker rooms. Uncommon for motocross races, the elevated launch pad was a challenge. However, Jason Anderson had it dialed in and was the recipient of a brand new Toyota Tundra for pulling all three holeshots.
But the stakes have been raised this year. Supercross history will be made when the racers charge out of the starting gate which has been designed at the top of the grandstands. While the start is an eyebrow-raising 45-feet high, it is also 470-feet long. Each drop of the gate will see the racers rocket towards the stadium floor at speeds that will make the hair stand up on your arms. An unprecedented track feature, grabbing the holeshot will require a new skill set from the racers and it will be interesting to see who figures out the formula.
Winning the Monster Energy Cup requires more than good starts and speed. With the inclusion of the famed and feared Joker Lane, strategy reigns supreme. Participants have to ask themselves, “do I take it on the first lap, the last lap, or in between?” There are countless variables that play into making that decision, although the one constant is that you must take the Joker Lane at least once.
This seems simple, but when you take into consideration that this is the only race of the year where the competitors face this challenge, it can be forgotten. In fact, Ryan Villopoto, Ryan Dungey and Jason Anderson are all victims of forgetting to take it.
It adds a special element to the races and can be the single deciding factor of a rider winning a main event, or bowing his head in disbelief.
4. LAS VEGAS BABY
The atmosphere and vibe of the event is such that only Las Vegas can provide. With the bright lights of the strip in the background, you can almost hear the slot machines clinking as opening ceremonies fire off. It is the land of high stakes, high drama and non-stop stimulation.
The Monster Energy Cup in Las Vegas provides a fan experience like no other. When Sam Boyd Stadium is filled to capacity with the music pounding and the fireworks dancing, the adrenaline flow is extremely fresh and present. Without a doubt, it’s an event that should be on every motorhead’s bucket list.
5. THE PROS
While the atmosphere is one aspect the fans get to savor, the real reason they are in attendance is the competition. In five years of the Monster Energy Cup, there have been five different winners! The biggest names in Supercross history converge on Las Vegas to battle it out for the million, and this year’s roster is the most loaded we have ever seen.
Making the trip from overseas will be MXGP champion Tim Gajser, who will square off against the Monster Energy Supercross regular suspects. The aforementioned duo of Roczen and Dungey headline a wrecking crew of names like Eli Tomac, Chad Reed, Cole Seely, Marvin Musquin and many more!
6. MONSTER ENERGY FAN FEST
Hours before the racing kicks off, the action in the pits is constant. The Monster Energy Fan Fest provides high-energy action that is so intense, it’s hard to believe that it is simply the show before the show.
Monster Energy always pulls out all stops to provide something that fans will never forget, and it’s no different this year. In fact, it’s bigger than ever before. Let’s just say that fans had better prepare to have their minds blown. This year, the Monster Energy “High Rollers” Freestyle Motocross Competition will take place with $100,000 up for grabs!
The world’s top freestyle motocross riders will compete in three different disciplines – Freestyle Motocross (FMX), the Dirt Shark Biggest Whip and the FMX Quarter Pipe Big Air competition. Nate Adams, Taka Higashino, Jeremy Stenberg, Jarryd McNeil, Tom Parsons, Edgar Torronteras and many more will be on hand to throw down, making this a true world-class FMX battle.
For those that can’t make it out to Las Vegas, there will be a live stream of the event. Stay tuned for details!
7. THE AMATEURS
Year after year, many spectators find themselves questioning whom they cheered the loudest for. The Supermini and Amateur All-Star divisions are just as evenly matched and stacked as the pros.
It’s particularly exciting as the MEC is the only race of their season where they compete in front of 30,000 fans and LIVE on TV. These are the stars of tomorrow and all are amateur national champions looking to follow the same path as previous Supermini and Amateur All-Star winners like Adam Cianciarulo, Aaron Plessinger and Austin Forkner. In addition, the two-stroke fanatics will certainly stand up in their seats when the screaming Supermini machines fire to life.
8. KEYS TO A NEW TRUCK
As mentioned, a brand new Toyota Tacoma will be rewarded to whoever snags the holeshots. However, it’s the Amateur All-Star racers battling it out for the truck this time – a change from in years past.
Most of the participants in this division have just received their driver’s licenses; imagine the joy of driving the truck of their dreams home from Las Vegas! If a racer is able to charge to a pair of holeshots in this class, they will be living large with a brand new truck.
9. MISS MEC
California’s Victoria Olona has been named Miss Monster Energy Cup 2016!
In addition to her live event duties, Victoria will be circulating the pits to interact with fans and will be available for pictures.
10. THE FANS
The days are flying by until the sixth running of the Monster Energy Cup. While the previous five years have been incredible, there is something in the air about the event this time around. One million dollars is up for grabs, $100,000 will be won both on the track and at the FMX High Rollers Competition, and we will make history with the biggest start ever.
The vibe at the MEC is electric for many reasons, but none more so than the thousands of wild fans that pack the stadium every year. We have the loudest and most passionate fans in motorsports and on October 15th, we know those in attendance are going to bring their “A-Game!”
And for those at home, we know you will be rockin’ the house with your squad. Don’t forget to show us how you’re watching the Monster Energy Cup by tagging @supercrosslive and #MEConFOX. We will track down the best and feature them on LIVE TV!