To preview tonight’s Monster Energy Cup, Ryan Dungey, James Stewart, Ken Roczen, Trey Canard, Davi Millsaps, Justin Barcia and Austin Forkner gave the media their perspective at the pre-race press conference.
Red Bull KTM’s Dungey has finished second at the race the last three consecutive seasons and finished fourth at the inaugural race in 2011.
Dungey is coming off of an excellent Monster Energy Supercross season, where he won his second championship. In addition, he won the motocross championship, so a win tomorrow night would give him a sweep of all three major professional championships.
“I need to focus on the task at hand, it’s easy to get distracted, but it would be great to win the event. It’s something I haven’t done yet, so it’s something I would really like to do,” said Dungey.
“If it happens, it happens. I would definitely like to accomplish that. Hopefully, I will get good clean starts and take the joker lane at least one time every race. I just want to enjoy it, have fun and try to get the job done. It would be a nice little cap off to the season.”
Yoshimura Suzuki’s Stewart will compete in his first Monster Energy Cup since winning the race in 2013. With $1 million up for grabs, the two-time Monster Energy Supercross Champion will come out swinging. “I’m happy to be back. It’s going to be an exciting race” said Stewart. “It’s been a long year watching these guys go racing and being at home watching them. It was tough being at home.”
Perhaps as a warning shot to the other racers Stewart added: “There is a reason why I am coming back now.”
RCH/Jimmy John’s/Factory Suzuki Racing’s Roczen’s lone Monster Energy Cup was in 2013, and he finished third overall with 4-4-4 finishes.
“I’ve only done it one time, when I switched to the 450 class” said Roczen on racing the Monster Energy Cup. “The joker lane is something special that riders like to miss. From the outside, you might look at it and wonder how we could miss it, but as you are racing, we usually just do laps and don’t really think about going there. A lot of people have different strategies on when to take the joker, so that’s another interesting thing to look forward to on Saturday.”
Team Honda HRC’s Canard narrowly missed taking home the $1 million prize last year after winning the first two Main Events. A crash and subsequent eighth-place finish in the final Main Event gave him a third-place finish overall.
“It’s really difficult to do; I’ll be surprised if someone does it this year” said Canard. “To have come into the first two and having won them, thinking this could really happen. It’s a lot of pressure, but really I was focused on just having a good race. I just wanted to win the race regardless of winning $1 million or not.”
Autotrader.com/Toyota/Yamaha’s Barcia, who won the 2012 Monster Energy Cup, is looking forward to not only winning his second championship, but also winning the $1 million.
“It’s a super competitive event every year, obviously, so was nice to win; everyone wants to win the $1 million” said Barcia. “That would have been way better, but to get the overall was cool. It’s a different track for sure, lots of obstacles and different things. I always look forward to it and just come here to race.”
BTO Sports KTM’s Millsaps is the defending champion, finishing 3-4-1 last year. This will mark the first time that he will race the Monster Energy Cup for the BTO Sports KTM team and run the number one plate.
“I wasn’t trying to take the money [from Trey] but I love to win,” said Millsaps. “I just did the best I could. It was fun racing with Trey last year. This year, new bike, new team again, and hopefully we can make it two-zero.”
Team Green Kawasaki’s Forkner will be competing in the Amateur All-Star Class and is the only rider to win every Main Event he’s raced in at the Monster Energy Cup.
“I’m excited to get on the track and get a feel for it,” said Forkner. “Hopefully, I can make it six for six tomorrow and keep going undefeated.”
Monster Energy Cup – Did you know?
The first Monster Energy Cup race was held on October 15, 2011. Ryan Villopoto swept all three Main Events to earn the win.
Main Event Wins by Brand
Villopoto has all five of Kawasaki’s Cup Class Main Event victories.
Overall Wins by Brand
Suzuki: 1 (’13)
Honda: 1 (’12)
Kawasaki: 2 (’11 &’14)
Suzuki became the first repeat winner with Millsaps’ win last year.
Main Event Wins by Rider
Even though Dungey leads the field in Monster Energy Cup Main Event podiums, he has yet to earn a victory despite starting in all 12 Main Events. He has finished second four times and third five times for a record nine Monster Energy Cup podiums.
In ’12 and ’14 the overall winner only won one main event race. Barcia finished 1-2-1 in ’12 and Millsaps went 3-3-1 for the overall in last season’s Monster Energy Cup.
Podiums by Rider: Mains
Dungey is the only rider to have at least one podium in at least one Main Event for each Monster Energy Cup.
Dungey and Tomac are the only riders to have multiple overall podium finishes. Dungey has done this three times in the four years and Tomac has accomplished this feat twice (’12 & ’14).
Cooper Webb is the only rider who has at least one start in all three classes: Cup (’13 & ’14), Amateur All-Stars (’12 – WINNER), and Supermini (’11)
Only 3 riders have started all four Monster Energy Cups in the “Cup” Class: Ryan Dungey, Eli Tomac and Jake Weimer. Tomac is not entered this year.
Four different riders have won the four different Cups: Villopoto in ’11, Barcia in ’12, J. Stewart in ’13 and Millsaps in ’14. Stewart and Millsaps won in their only start. Villopoto is the only rider to win all three mains and the $1 million.
Not only have there been four different winners in the Cup class, there have been four different winners in the Amateur All-Stars too: Aaron Plessinger in ’14, R.J. Hampshire in ’13, Webb in ’12 and Justin Hill in ’11.
Three different riders have won the four Supermini events: Mitchell Falk in ’14, Austin Forkner in ’12 & ’13, and Adam Cianciarulo in ’11.
Forkner is the only rider to win two overall events at the Monster Energy Cup and has a perfect record of winning all four mains in which he has competed. He did not race at the Monster Energy Cup in 2014 due to injury.
170 different riders have started races in the Monster Energy Cup. 52 different riders have started in the Cup class.
Only three riders have raced in one of the two amateur classes and then advanced to race in the Cup Class: Austin Politelli (Amateur All-Stars ’11, Cup ’12 & ’14), Cooper Webb (Supermini ’11, Amateur All-Stars ’12, Cup ’13 & ’14) and Justin Hill (Amateur All-Stars ’11, Cup ’14)
Only two riders have at least two podiums in the Cup Class: Ryan Dungey has three (second in ’11, ’12 and ’13) and Eli Tomac has two (third in ’12 and second in ’14). Dungey finished fourth in 2014 so he has finished in the top five in all four of his starts – without a win. In fact, Dungey has competed in 12 Main Events at the Monster Energy Cup without a single Main Event win. He has finished second four-times, third five-times, fifth, sixth and eighth.
In the Supermini Class, Chase Sexton has had three straight podiums (second in ’12 and ’13, third in ’14).
Current Pros who have raced the Monster Energy Cup as an amateur
Adam Cianciarulo, Super Mini Winner – 2011
Justin Hill, Amateur All-Stars Winner – 2011
Cooper Webb, Amateur All-Stars Winner – 2012
R.J. Hampshire, Amateur All-Stars Winner – 2013
Aaron Plessinger, Amateur All-Stars Winner – 2014
Austin Politelli, second in Amateur All-Stars – 2011
Jordon Smith, third in Amateur All-Stars – 2013
Zach Bell, fourth in Amateur All-Stars – 2011
Jessy Nelson, fifth in Amateur All-Stars – 2011
Anthony Rodriguez, seventh in Amateur All-Stars – 2012
Mitchell Oldenburg, ninth in Amateur All-Stars – 2012
Chris Alldredge, 12th in Amateur All-Stars – 2011
Cianciarulo is really the only rider who has raced Super Minis to move up to professional racing, although guys like Forkner could as well.
The 2015 Monster Energy Cup features an all-new track design inspired by five-time Monster Energy Supercross Champion Ricky Carmichael.
The Carmichael-inspired track design will consist of supercross and motocross obstacles unlike any other racetrack design in the world.
The Monster Energy Cup posts a $250,000 purse with the winner walking away with a $100,000 check, and any rider that wins all three Main Events will take home $1 million!
How to watch Monster Energy Cup – TV Schedule
FS2 will air the race live Saturday, October 17 at 9:30pm ET / 6:30pm PT.
FOX Broadcast Channel will re-air a 90 min version of the race on Sunday, October 18 at 2:30pm-4:00pm ET / 11:30am-1:00pm PT (Pre-NFL) and 4:30pm-6:00pm ET / 1:30pm-3:00pm PT (Post-NFL). Check local listings for your specific market broadcast time.
FS1 will re-air the entire race on Tuesday, October 20 at 8:00am ET / 5:00am PT.
Live coverage from the Monster Energy Cup will also be available on the authenticated FOX Sports Go app.
On Saturday, October 17, fans can log on to www.MonsterEnergyCup.com to watch Race Day Live with Jim Holley and Andy Bowyer from Noon PT/3:00pm ET to 6:00pm PT/9:00pm ET.