2012 Monster Energy Cup | Results

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2012 Monster Energy Cup

If anyone wondered how Muscle Milk Honda’s Justin Barcia would fare when moving up from the CRF250R to the CRF450R, he answered the question with a resounding win at the 2012 Monster Energy Cup at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. He didn’t sweep to a three-moto win to take the $1 million bonus, but his 2-1-2 finishes were enough to easily capture the Cup and $100,000.

After a false start when one of the twin 11-rider starting gates didn’t drop, the 2nd Annual Monster Energy Cup got underway Saturday night at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. It wasn’t hard to think that last years $1 million winner, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto, might be able to run off with another million dollars, as Villopoto came out charging in the first of the three-race event.

On his Kawasaki KX450F, Villopoto moved from a third place start to the lead on the first lap, and never looked back. He easily distanced himself from the field, around the Ricky Carmichael-designed track, with blistering speed that no other rider looked able to match.

Ryan Dungey, fresh off a 2012 championship winning AMA Motocross season, managed a third place finish, despite having shifting problems on his Red Bull KTM 450 SX, and Barcia claimed the second step on the podium.

The second main event began with a fast aggressive opening lap with the top riders diving into the first turn after the merged Monster Alley lanes, as if it were the last lap. Villopoto was leading over Dungey on the second lap, but went down in the motocross section outside the stadium when his left hand slipped off the handlebar.

Dungey led briefly, but continued problems with his shifter left him shifting by hand throughout the race. Dungey he still managed to salvage a second place finish ahead of Moto Concepts Mike Alessi, who battled hard aboard his Suzuki RM-Z450, with eventual race winner, Barcia.

Alessi looked poised to take the second step of the podium, but lost his position to Dungey when he waited until the ninth lap of the 10-lap race to run through the time-consuming Joker Lane (each rider had to take the sandy detour once per moto). Villopoto worked his way up to a 13th place finish, but did not make the final moto gate.

The third and final Main Event race of the night saw Alessi capturing the Toyota Holeshot, only to crash two turns into the second lap, handing the lead to Dungey. Alessi’s chance for an overall podium was lost, he went 7-3 in the first two motos, and he was eventually lapped as he entered the Joker Lane.

Dungey dropped behind Barcia when he ran through the Joker Lane, with Barcia waiting until the Lap 8 to run through the mandatory Joker Lane. At that point, Geico Honda’s Eli Tomac, Barcia’s teammate earlier this year, took over the lead and held it to the checkered flag. Dungey took the last spot on the podium.

When the evening was over, Justin Barcia’s 2-1-2 combination was a winning one, earning him the Monster Energy Cup and check for $100,000. Dungey (3-2-3) finished second, edging Tomac (4-4-1) by one point.

Two Two Motorsports Chad Reed’s 5-6-4 finishes in his first race since he was injured early in the AMA Supercross series gave him fourth place. The fifth overall slot went to Josh Grant (6-5-5), just one point back of Reed.

Monster Energy Cup Overall Results

1.     Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., Honda
2.     Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM
3.     Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda
4.     Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Honda
5.     Josh Grant, Corona, Calif., Yamaha
6.     Kyle Cunningham, Aledo, Texas, Yamaha
7.     Jake Canada, Corona, Calif., Suzuki
8.     Kyle Chisholm, Valrico, Fla., Kawasaki
9.  Mike Alessi, Hillard, Fla., Suzuki

Monster Energy Cup Main Event 1 Results

1.     Ryan Villopoto, Seattle, Wash., Kawasaki
2.     Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., Honda
3.     Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM
4.     Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda
5.     Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Honda
6.     Josh Grant, Corona, Calif., Yamaha
7.     Mike Alessi, Hillard, Fla., Suzuki
8.     Kyle Cunningham, Aledo, Texas, Yamaha
9.     Jake Canada, Corona, Calif., Suzuki
10.  Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha

Monster Energy Cup Main Event 2 Results

1.     Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., Honda
2.     Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM
3.     Mike Alessi, Hillard, Fla., Suzuki
4.     Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda
5.     Josh Grant, Corona, Calif., Yamaha
6.     Chad Reed, Dade City, Calif., Honda
7.     Kyle Cunningham, Aledo, Texas, Yamaha
8.     Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha
9.     Kyle Chisholm, Valrico, Fla., Kawasaki
10.  Jake Canada, Corona, Calif., Suzuki

Monster Energy Cup Main Event 3 Results

1.     Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda
2.     Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., Honda
3.     Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM
4.     Chad Reed, Dade City, Calif., Honda
5.     Josh Grant, Corona, Calif., Yamaha
6.     Kyle Cunningham, Aledo, Texas, Yamaha
7.     Jake Canada, Corona, Calif., Suzuki
8.     Kyle Chisholm, Valrico, Fla., Kawasaki
9.     Vince Friese, Valrico, Fla., Suzuki
10.  Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki

Photos by Don Williams