power, which in turn fills the stands. These paid players aren’t exempt from earning purse money, which is a cherry atop the sundae. Given that the competition abroad is much weaker than it is stateside, there’s tremendous opportunity to rake in a big payday. There are several less apparent, but still intrinsically valued, motivating factors to racing events like Bercy, Geneva and Genova. It is the perfect marketing opportunity for an American racer, as he can plug into an untapped fan base. As a result, his global worth in the eyes of sponsors spikes. It harks back to the 1990s when a slew of top American racers realized the benefits of missing a week of golf or getting wild at Lake Havasu to line their pockets and boost their fan base. Athletes like Jeremy McGrath and Larry Ward made small sacrifices for the greater good of their careers.
TWO YEARS AGO VILLOPOTO TALKED HIS WIFE INTO DELAYING THEIR HONEY- MOON SO THAT HE COULD COMPETE AT THE MONSTER CUP IN LAS VEGAS. IT WAS A WISE DECISION.
Although not an overseas off-season race, the Monster Energy Cup shares a number of benefits with those one-off annual events in Europe. Naturally, money is the biggest motivating factor. No other two-wheeled motorsport event offers racers the chance of winning a million dollars in a single evening. Ryan Villopoto did the deed in 2011 at the first running of the Monster Cup, much to the chagrin of the organizer, Feld Motorsports. That million-dollar bonus wasn’t insured, because the reality of a single rider winning all three main events seemed almost impossible. Almost. In hind- sight, having Villopoto cash in on the lucre was the best thing to happen to the race. It made the top racers believe that they, too, could be millionaires—or add to their millions—with a lot of speed and a little luck. Cash is king, which is why so many of the top racers have delayed their vacations. Two years ago