The fourth edition of the ‘million dollar race’ at the Sam Boyd arena in Las Vegas could at last count on some participants from the FIM Motocross World Championship with CLS Kawasaki rider Dylan Ferrandis keen to try the now traditional end of season supercross-motocross hybrid event on October 18th.
The invitational annual meeting has seen European involvement from the likes of Ken Roczen and Marvin Musquin, athletes who are already based in the United States but has yet to see a Grand Prix rider attempt the fixture that Monster Energy initially hoped would draw the very best off-road racing talent.
MX2 rider Ferrandis, who has openly stated his intention to follow the likes of countrymen like Jean-Michel Bayle, Mickael Pichon, David Vuillemin and Christophe Pourcel to AMA competition after his CLS contract expires at the end of 2015, indicated that he wants a taste of the Monster Cup as a form of prelude to his expected move that will also include his appearance at the Bercy Supercross this winter.
“Normally I should do this race and the goal is to finish the last GPs on the top, go to the Nations, after the Monster Cup and then Supercross of Bercy,” commented Ferrandis, who was selected for the French Motocross of Nations team for the first time this year – his first as a factory rider from within the CLS set-up. “I’m looking forward to it and to train and push to try and be near the top.”
Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Steven Frossard also expressed his interest in heading to Nevada but the recent uncertainty over his contract with the works team and the relative lack of other offers in the MXGP paddock is likely to dilute his interest come October.
It is now becoming de rigour for teams and riders to include the mid-October date for the Monster Cup as part of their testing programme for the following supercross season. Ryan Dungey debuted as a Red Bull KTM rider there in the inaugural edition in 2011 and the upcoming date could see the likes of Ken Roczen, Justin Barcia and Dean Wilson among others all in new colours for the first time. The track itself is freshly designed by Ricky Carmichael each year and involves such novelties as a split start, joker lane (which the riders must enter at least once) and a sandy section. Despite the intention to make the demands of the race more universal and less specialised the course has been viewed as still too ‘supercrossy’ by Europeans and the likes of multi world champion Tony Cairoli to consider heading to the USA. The Monster Cup normally also falls in the middle of Grand Prix rider’s holiday period.
Meanwhile sources at Feld Motorsport, promoter of the race and also the AMA/FIM Supercross series that operates around north America with one of the seventeen rounds taking place in Canada, have commented that the MEC could change location from Las Vegas and travel the USA. New York would be a natural fit and the AMA SX championship visited the state for the first time this century last April.