Villopoto & Barcia Highlight Monster Energy Cup Press Conference

Muscle Milk Honda's Justin Barcia at 2012 Monster Energy Cup

Muscle Milk Honda’s Justin Barcia at 2012 Monster Energy Cup

2013 Monster Energy Cup

The third annual Monster Energy Cup takes place this weekend at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas.

Many of the AMA Supercross/Motocross top riders spoke at a press conference Thursday evening ahead of Saturday’s million-dollar race, including the 2011 winner Ryan Villopoto, the 2012 winner Justin Barcia, Ryan Dungey, James Stewart and Eli Tomac.

Muscle Milk Honda’s Justin Barcia, who came off of a championship-winning 250SX Class season, made his Monster Energy Cup debut last year, finishing 2-1-2 en route to winning the overall. He’s looking forward to the challenges of the Ricky Carmichael designed circuit for the 2013 Monster Energy Cup.

Justin Barcia says: The track looks challenging, so I need to put in solid laps if I want to successfully defend my title. For me it’s about working hard and putting up a good fight at all times. Last year I came into the Monster Energy Cup with a new bike, so this year is a bit different for me now that I’ve put in a lot of time on the bike.”

Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Villopoto took home the $1 million paycheck following his dominant performance at the inaugural Monster Energy Cup in 2011. Villopoto, who took his third AMA Supercross title this year, crashed last year, eliminating his opportunity for another Monster Energy Cup title.

Ryan Villopoto says: “I’m 100% heading into the race this weekend. Showing up to a race like the Monster Energy Cup after not racing for a while takes a lot of mental and physical preparation. I feel I’m where I need to be at and am looking forward to race this weekend.”

Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey will look to take first at this year’s race following two runner-up finishes aboard the KTM SX-F 450.

Ryan Dungey (Red Bull KTM SX-F 450) says: “To win the million would be great,” said Dungey. “I feel fresh and healthy heading into the race this weekend. There’s a lot on the line. I need to focus on good starts to position the team in front. Each year the field gets more stacked, so there are going to be some great battles out there.”

Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart – a two-time AMA Supercross Champion – will be making his Monster Energy Cup debut this year. He missed the last two due to injury.

James Stewart says: “I’m excited to finally be racing at the Monster Energy Cup. I’ve had some time off and am feeling good heading into the race this weekend. There’s a lot of money on the line, so I need to be smart and work hard out there.”

GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac finished fourth overall in 2011, and third overall in 2012. Tomac won the third main event last season following a well-executed pass on Barcia on lap nine.

Eli Tomac says: “The Monster Energy Cup is a fun but challenging race to be part of. I’ve had some good races this year, so I need to continue to focus on getting good starts and working hard. The track is always challenging, so the fans can expect to see some great battles out there on Saturday.”

About the 2013 Monster Energy Cup

The Monster Energy Cup airs LIVE on recently launched FOX Sports 2 at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 19. FOX Sports 1 will re-air the entire race at 1 p.m. ET. Sunday, Oct. 20. The popular announce team of Ralph Sheheen, Jeff Emig and Erin Bates calls the action as the world’s top supercross racers, including Justin Barcia, Ryan Villopoto, James Stewart and Ryan Dungey, lay it on the line for a shot at a $1 million bonus on a fresh, new track designed by five-time Monster Energy Supercross Champion Ricky Carmichael.

The 2013 Monster Energy Cup features an all-new track design inspired by 15-time AMA National Champion Ricky Carmichael. The Carmichael-inspired track design will consist of supercross and motocross obstacles unlike any other racetrack design in the world. The Monster Energy Cup posts a $250,000 purse with the winner walking away with a $100,000 check, and any rider that wins all three Main Events will take home $1 million.

For additional information, log onto monsterenergycup.com.

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