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Monster Energy Cup: Burning Questions

by Chris Leone // Website // Twitter
Images via Marvin Musquin (1); Joey Savatgy (2)

The bright lights of Las Vegas are the home of the biggest-money event of the Monster Energy Supercross season, the non-points Monster Energy Cup at Sam Boyd Stadium. Featuring a track that goes above and beyond the typical challenge for these racers, a mix of 450 and 250 riders will be confronted by a mix of dirt and sand that takes them both into the bleacher seating and out of the stadium entirely.

With nothing on the line but pride and a $250,000 purse (oh, and potentially a million-dollar bonus if you can win all three 10-lap races), expect everyone to go all out from the moment the gate drops. If you’re watching tonight’s all-star event on FS2 with us, here are the three biggest questions we’re aiming to answer:

Does Marvin Musquin have what it takes to repeat—sweep or not?

Musquin skipped last weekend’s Motocross of Nations at RedBud, turning down a chance to help France take its fifth MXoN title in a row to focus on this event. As only the second rider in history to earn the $1 million bonus for sweeping all three main events last year, he’ll look to become the first-ever repeat winner of the Monster Energy Cup. But don’t expect 2018 Pro Motocross champion and eight-time 2018 Supercross race winner Eli Tomac, 2018 Supercross champion Jason Anderson, or a returning Ryan Villopoto to make it easy on him.

What names on new bikes will be most exciting to watch?

Cooper Webb makes his debut for KTM alongside Musquin after leaving Yamaha this fall, while Tomac’s new Kawasaki teammate Joey Savatgy will race a 250 for the last time. Chad Reed will stick with his JGRMX-prepared Suzuki after finishing the Pro Motocross season with the team at Ironman, while Malcolm Stewart, who spent the Supercross season with JGRMX as a fill-in, rides a Honda after joining MotoConcepts in Montreal last month and sweeping the event. All will be interesting to follow.

Which missing riders will leave the biggest hole in tonight’s entry list?

Aaron Plessinger, the dual 250 Supercross West and Pro Motocross champion, won’t be making his 450 debut in Las Vegas this weekend for Yamaha. Zach Osborne won’t be there for Husqvarna. Neither will Weston Peick nor Justin Hill on their Suzukis. And 2015 Monster Energy Cup winner Ken Roczen won’t be on his Honda. Granted, these absences give us an opportunity to see some lesser names have a better shot at big bucks, but let’s be real: we’re missing some heavy hitters tonight.

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