Villopoto talked his wife into delaying their honeymoon so that he could compete at the Monster Cup in Las Vegas. It was a wise decision. It’s hard to ignore the other upsides of racing this event, which isn’t part of any series. The Feld Entertainment folks threw the AMA rule book out the window, allowing teams to experiment with newfangled technology and two-way communication between riders and mechanics. The Monster Cup welcomes all types and displacement motorcycles. It’s a rare opportunity for factory teams to test unproven equipment in a race setting without the stress of losing a championship. American fans, unlike Europeans, fully expect the usual suspects to line up to the gate at Sam Boyd Stadium in October. Guys like Ryan Villopoto, Ryan Dungey, Justin Barcia, James Stewart, Eli Tomac, Ken Roczen and Chad Reed are must-see riders for us spoiled Americans. Why? For starters, it’s held in the U.S., at a popular vacation destination, only a four-hour drive from the hotbed of the sport in Southern California. Failing to race the Monster Cup would seem sacrilegious. A few big names were off the bill this year. Chad Reed skipped town amid a bike switch, having little time to test before making a run at Monster Cup. Trey Canard, a newly married man, decided to put his focus on racing the Bercy Supercross in France instead of Vegas. Davi Millsaps fell in the same category as Reed, as his team switched brands late in the year, and Davi was busy testing in anticipation for the Anaheim 1 opener. BUBBA’S SPEED HAS STARTED TO FADE— OR, PERHAPS MORE ACCURATELY, THE COMPETITION HAS CAUGHT UP.
Fortunately, there were new faces at the Monster Cup. The most exciting addition was James Stewart. Bubba’s speed has started to fade—or, perhaps more accurately, the competition has caught up. Yet Stewart is always a wild card to win a main event, which brings added buzz to the palpable Ryan Villopoto-versus-Ryan Dungey rivalry. Given the unconventional
The Monster Cup brings unique
racing and attractions. There is a
Super Mini, Amateur and KTM Jr.
class, as well as a whip contest.
Here, Jarryd McNeil gets upside-down and backwards for the crowd.