2018 Monster Energy Cup Results: Savatgy Hands Tomac $1 Million
Eli Tomac took home the $1 million check after going 1-1-1 in the three Main Events at the 2018 Monster Energy Cup at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. Tomac’s win, however, was tainted when Tomac’s new Monster Energy Kawasaki teammate Joey Savatgy pulled over on the final lap to let Tomac by for the win. Savatgy’s gift to Tomac dropped Savatgy to third overall at the Monster Energy Cup, a point behind 2018 Monster Energy Supercross Champion Jason Anderson.
1. Eli Tomac dominated the first two Main Events. After a holeshot by Savatgy in Main Event 1, Tomac took the lead by the second lap and was never challenged. Tomac grabbed the ME 2 holeshot and cruised to an easy win. Having lead 19 of 20 laps in the first two Main Events, and winning by wide margins—three seconds in ME 1 and four seconds in ME 2—Tomac looked poised to win the $1 million prize for sweeping the three Main Events.
2. Tomac’s middling start added drama to Main Event 3 of the 2018 Monster Energy Cup. Tomac’s seventh place start put fans on their edge of their seats for the final Main Event, given the short 10-lap duration of the races and the $1 million on the line. It took Tomac a lap to get past Anderson, and another two laps to pass Jordon Smith. Malcolm Stewart also made it tough for Tomac to move forward, holding Tomac off for two laps. However, on Lap 6, Tomac made quick work of Vince Friese and Chad Reed, leaving Tomac with only Savatgy to pass. However, Savatgy lead by four seconds with four laps remaining.
3. Tomac put on a signature charge at the end of Main Event 3, but the fans were cheated on the final lap. After Tomac passed Reed for second place, Tomac put in the three best laps of any rider in ME3, erasing almost all of Savatgy’s lead. On the section outside the stadium on the final lap, as Tomac approached Savatgy on the flat left-hander, Savatgy took his left hand off the grip and moved to the right, allowing Tomac by for the win. Had it been a horse race, there would have been an inquiry.
4. Savatgy was definitely in Tomac’s sites, but we will never know how the battle would have ended. Instead of a memorable epic fight for the victory, fans were left with Savatgy surrendering to Tomac unconditionally. Savatgy’s pull-over cost him second place overall, as it allowed Anderson’s 3-5-4 combo to beat Savatgy’s 5-6-2 results.
5. Embarrassingly, neither Jeff Emig nor Ralph Sheheen addressed Savatgy’s move on the Fox Sports 2 cablecast. Sure, the Monster Energy Cup isn’t a championship race. Still, you expect an honest race with all competitors doing their best from start to finish, and that didn’t happen. Even on the replay, Emig and Sheheen refused to comment on Savatgy pulling over for Tomac, even though they had speculated on the possibility earlier in the race. Neither Savatgy nor Tomac were asked about it on the post-race television interview, and neither volunteered to bring it up. It seems “team orders” extends to the entire broadcast.
6. Tomac was the only rider to finish on the podium more than once. Other than Tomac, consistency ruled the roost. Marvin Musquin and Anderson were on the podium for ME 1, with Justin Barcia and Josh Grant getting it done in ME 2. In the final Main Event, Savatgy and Chad Reed podiumed.
7. Marvin Musquin, last year’s Monster Energy Cup $1 million winner, had problems in Main Events 2 and 3. After finishing second to Tomac in ME 1, Musquin got literally tangled up in the stalled bike of Reed in the tunnel early in ME 2, and then had mechanical issues after getting ping-ponged around the first corner of ME 3.
8. Ryan Villopoto came out of retirement to compete in the 2018 Monster Energy Cup. Villopoto was the winner of $1 million at the inaugural MEC in 2011. In 2018, however, Villopoto failed to crack the top 10 in any of the three Main Events.
2018 Monster Energy Cup Results
- Eli Tomac, Kawasaki, 3 points (1-1-1)
- Jason Anderson, Husqvarna, 12 (3-5-4)
- Joey Savatgy, Kawasaki, 13 (5-6-2)
- Justin Barcia, Yamaha, 13 (4-2-7)
- Malcolm Stewart, Honda, 17 (7-4-6)
- Josh Grant, Kawasaki, 19 (8-3-8)
- Vince Friese, Honda, 22 (10-7-5)
- Chad Reed, Suzuki, 28 (9-16-3)
- Jordon Smith, KTM, 31 (13-8-10)
- Blake Baggett, KTM, 32 (11-10-11)
- Marvin Musquin, KTM, 32 (2-9-21)
- Cooper Webb, KTM, 34 (6-19-9)
- Ryan Villopoto, Yamaha, 36 (12-11-13)
- Justin Starling, Husqvarna, 43 (18-13-12)
- Nick Schmidt, Suzuki, 44 (15-15-14)
- Ryan Surratt, Kawasaki, 45 (16-14-15)
- Alex Ray, Yamaha, 49 (17-12-20)
- Cheyenne Harmon, Yamaha, 55 (20-17-18)
- Colton Aeck, Honda, 56 (19-20-17)
- Chris Howell, Husqvarna, 58 (21-21-16)
- Tyler Bowers, Kawasaki, 58 (14-22-22)
- Dylan Merriam, Yamaha, 59 (22-18-19)