Monster Energy Cup: Press Conference

2011 Monster Energy Cup

After an introduction of the supercross/motocross hybrid track at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas by co-designer and multi-time Supercross and Motocross champion Ricky Carmichael, many of the top riders competing in the inaugural Monster Energy Cup took to the podium to discuss the upcoming race.

The riders included Ryan Villopoto, Kevin Windham, Josh Hansen, Justin Brayton, Marvin Musquin, and Mike Alessi. SpeedTV commentator and former supercross champion Jeff Emig interviewed them.

The 2011 Supercross and MX champion Ryan Villopoto, who races for Monster Energy Kawasaki, scoffed at the impressive perpetual trophy and instead focused on the $1 million prize money that will be awarded if a rider wins all three Monster Energy Cup motos. To emphasize the purse, Monster Energy brought out $1 million in cash, which was flanked by Monster Energy girls.

Veteran Kevin Windam of Geico Powersports Honda joked about his age and experience, while noting that the 10-lap/3-moto format gives more riders a chance at winning the million-dollar top award. He seemed to be a bit more interested in the perpetual trophy, though he reiterated his desire to capture the purse.

Admitting that he will ride extremely hard and make rough passes if that’s what it takes to win, dark horse entry Josh Hansen of Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit fame will be aboard the KX250 that took him to wins in the 250 class at west coast Supercross races in 2011.

Sporting his new Team Honda Muscle Milk colors, Justin Brayton downplayed the potential million-dollar payoff, which only happens with three wins, and focused on the $100,000 top prize for the best overall finisher. Brayton will be aboard a factory Honda CRF450R for the first time in competition at the Monster Energy Cup at Sam Boyd Stadium.

Affable Marvin Musquin of Team Red Bull KTM Factory Racing has returned to America to see if he can get a share of the purse on a KTM 350 SX-F. Musquin, a multi-time MX2 World Motocross Grand Prix Champion, appeared to be happy with the hybrid track and anxious to race the Monster Energy Cup.

Looking much more serious was former factory KTM and Suzuki racer Mike Alessi. Alessi made no secret of the fact that he was paying for the team out of his own pocket, much as Chad Read did successfully earlier this year. He thanked his family for support and reiterated that he is absolutely racing the Monster Energy Cup to help fund his 2012 effort.

Absent from the press conference, but his participation announced, was Ryan Dungey, 2010 Supercross and Motocross champion. Dungey will be debuting on KTM at the inaugural Monster Energy Cup on October 15 at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas.