Ryan Villopoto to Vegas Monster Energy Cup

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2011 Monster Energy Cup

Defending Monster Energy AMA Supercross and Motocross title holder Ryan Villopoto, of Poulsbo, Wash., will race in the inaugural Monster Energy Cup at Las Vegas’ Sam Boyd Stadium on October 15, Feld Motor Sports announced Thursday.

With three AMA Motocross Lites class championships and a Western Regional Supercross Lites class championship to his name, Villopoto added the sport’s most prestigious honor to his resume earlier this year when he captured the Supercross class title.

En route to the championship, Villopoto earned five wins and six additional podium finishes. He backed that up last weekend by winning the 450cc class championship in AMA Motocross.

Ryan Villopoto (Monster Energy Kawasaki KX450F) says: “I am looking forward to competing in the first-ever Monster Energy Cup. With three main events and a million bucks on the line, we are going to have some great racing. I really appreciate all of the people at Monster and their commitment to me and the sport.”

A win at the Monster Energy Cup would be the quintessential grand slam for Villopoto, which would give him the honor of winning every major AMA Supercross/Motocross championship he’s competed in.

Ryan Villopoto
says: “It’s been a great year for the Monster Energy Kawasaki team and winning this race would round out a perfect season. Not only would it be an honor to become the first winner of the Monster Energy Cup, it would round out every major AMA Championship available to supercross/motocross racers.

“With the track combining supercross and motocross, I look forward to racing on this one-of-a-kind layout that was designed by two legends of our sport, Jeremy McGrath and Ricky Carmichael.”

Villopoto’s success this year makes for one of the sport’s greatest comebacks of all time. In 2010 while leading the AMA Supercross class points race, he suffered a horrific crash that resulted in a broken tibia/fibula. Not only did he lose the championship, he was unable to walk for nearly five months.

The unique hybrid track will consist of supercross/motocross terrain and will have a tremendous motocross-style influence, making it unlike any other stadium race in the world. This track will be the perfect blend of supercross and motocross combined and created into the ultimate battleground. The Monster Energy Cup posts a $250,000 purse, awarding the winner a $100,000 check, and for the “first time ever,” $1 Million will be paid to a rider that wins all three main events.

Tickets for the 2011 Monster Energy Cup can be purchased at the Thomas & Mack Center Box Office, UNLVtickets outlets, online at UNLVtickets.com, MonsterEnergyCup.com, or by phone at (702) 739-FANS. Tickets will be available at the Sam Boyd Stadium Box Office on the day of the event only.

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One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007 and is currently Editor at Large at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of 365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).