2011 Monster Energy Cup
The press got a first look at the highly touted Monster Energy Cup track on Thursday. Designed by multi-time Supercross and Motocross Champions Jeremy McGrath and Ricky Carmichael, the track combines both indoor and outdoor disciplines, with approximately half of the course running outside of Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. Racing on the track will be Kawasaki Monster Energy’s Ryan Villopoto, Team Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Ryan Dungey, Geico Powersports Honda’s Kevin Windham, Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit’s Josh Hansen, Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Brayton, Team Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Marvin Musquin, and privateer Mike Alessi on a Suzuki RM-Z450.The out-of-the-stadium motocross portion was still under construction, but the supercross section inside Sam Boyd Stadium had only details remaining to be finished. Three obstacles caught our immediate attention, and will certainly impress the fans and be event-changers for the riders.The jump on the over-under is huge. It looks like a step-up to a tabletop, but the riders actually land on the steep downhill side of the jump, which has an immediate tight right-hand turn. There’s little room for error and if the riders are battling, it could get ugly here.Recalling the iconic ski ramp at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the birthplace of Supercross, McGrath and Carmichael have used the south side of the stadium for a smaller, steeper version. At the bottom on the way back down, there a tricky downhill double that takes the riders into a hard right. Preceding the ski ramp is a long set of rhythm jumps. Just west of the ramp is the podium and highly visible VIP seating.The race may be won or lost on the sand rollers section on the west side of the stadium. High speed and tricky, on a track lacking whoops, this offers a chance for the riders to differentiate themselves quickly. The 2011 Supercross and Motocross Champion Ryan Villopoto looked particularly fast through these on a quick Thursday run-through.