Monster Energy Cup: Weekend Preview

by Chris Leone // Website // Twitter
Images via Supercross

Each year, the motocross season breaks up into three parts of roughly equal size: Monster Energy Supercross season, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season, and the offseason, where riders change teams and a number of wild one-off events tide us over until the start of the new year. This Saturday, the richest of those events returns to Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, as the Monster Energy Cup will award one lucky rider up to $1 million.

While the Monster Energy Cup has always been a source of experimental procedures, ranging from the addition of a rallycross-style Joker Lap to the Triple Crown format we now see multiple times a year in Supercross, this year’s event adds yet another exciting wrinkle. All three races will take place on a slightly different track layout, with two starting within the stadium and heading in opposite directions, and the third beginning from a start gate outside of the stadium entirely.

The Monster Million has gone out to riders in two straight years, with Marvin Musquin claiming the bonus for winning all three Cup races in 2017 and Eli Tomac doing so last year. With Musquin still on the mend, Tomac is your incoming favorite, and he’ll partner with Adam Cianciarulo for the first time at Monster Energy Kawasaki to go for another million bucks as Cianciarulo moves up to the 450 class.

2019 Supercross champion Cooper Webb will pick up the torch for Red Bull KTM with Musquin out, while Aaron Plessinger and Justin Barcia will aim for victory with Monster Energy Yamaha. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna looks to lean on Dean Wilson this weekend with Zach Osborne not on the preliminary Cup entry list and Jason Anderson planning to pull out.

Rumors also suggest that Chad Reed won’t be on a Suzuki, despite what the entry list says. Other top US-based names like Honda’s Ken Roczen, his new teammate Justin Brayton, and Blake Baggett are also missing from the entry list, though international stars like Tim Gajser and Jordi Tixier will shore up the depth of the field.

Saturday’s Monster Energy Cup at Sam Boyd Stadium kicks off at the stadium at noon PT with the Fan Fest, and practice and qualifying starting soon after. Alongside the three Cup races, the event will feature two races apiece from 250 Futures and Supermini riders, and one from KTM Juniors. Live coverage of the event starts at 7:30PM ET/4:30PM PT on NBC Sports Gold, while NBCSN will pick up the action on TV at 10PM ET/7PM PT.

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