The Wednesday before the Monster Energy US GP at Glen Helen it was announced that the South Pointe Hotel and Casino would give $100,000 to an American who could pull off a win in the MX1 class.
This was a very last-ditch attempt at getting someone like Ryan Villopoto or Ryan Dungey in the race. There are a lot of reasons why it didn’t work – first and foremost being that it was three days before the race. But here’s what’s interesting…
The goal was to get a rider who Americans cared about in the GP so that more fans might show up to watch because the turn-out last year was absolutely pathetic. But Chad Reed would’ve raced the event if the $100,000 would’ve counted for him but he’s not an American. The people at the casino limited it to Americans as if Americans only care about other Americans. It’s not the case. American MX fans care about racers who are racing in the USA so this includes people like Chris Pourcel, Chad Reed, Dean Wilson, Tyla Rattray etc.
Reed said that when he asked if he could qualify for the bonus they told him ‘wrong passport’ so he didn’t race. He’s going to race the outdoors this year with a lot of help from Honda now and he’s obviously a veteran of the GPs but he wasn’t going to do it for free, footing his own bill. He wanted at least a shot at a payday.
After all, this is professional racing, right? It’s only a profession if you get paid to do it.