Monster Energy Cup: Thursday Practice

2011 Monster Energy Cup

Following a press conference at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas for the inaugural Monster Energy Cup, the riders took to the under-construction hybrid motocross/supercross racetrack for a few laps.

Geico Powersports Honda team rider Kevin Windam looked particularly comfortable on the track, airing it out immediately on the spectacular step-up tabletop over the tunnel. Eventually, other riders made the jump, though none whipped like Windam on his CRF450R.

The 2011 Motocross and Supercross champion Ryan Villopoto rode his Monster Energy Kawasaki KX450F a bit more conservatively, though he looked particularly fast over the sand rollers on the west side of the stadium. Fellow Kawasaki riders Josh Hansen and Ben Townley sported distinctive gold lettering on their jerseys while putting in some hot laps.

Mike Alessi was somewhat tentative on his new ride-a self-backed Suzuki RM-Z450. The same went for Justin Brayton on his new factory Muscle Milk Honda CRF450R. Both eventually warmed up, taking the downhill ski jump on the south side of Sam Boyd Stadium aggressively.

Red Bull KTM World Champion Marvin Musquin appeared immediately comfortable on his 350 SX-F. Normally riding a KTM 250 SX-F in America and the MX2 class in Europe, Musquin didn’t seem challenged by the additional power and tossed the machine around the track designed by Ricky Carmichael and Jeremy McGrath easily.

Photos by Don Williams