Monster Energy Kawasaki Sweeps the Inaugural Monster Energy Cup

October 17, 2011

Irvine, Calif. – Monster Energy Kawasaki’s racers swept the first-ever Monster Energy Cup with Ryan Villopoto leading the way with a 1-1-1 main event result in the premier class, earning him the coveted $1 Million and a spot in history. Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green racers Adam Cianciarulo and Justin Hill earned wins in their respective supermini and amateur all-star classes, giving Kawasaki top honors at the inaugural race. Villopoto’s teammate Jake Weimer qualified straight into the main event where he finished ninth with a 12-6-11 moto result. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki racers Ben Townley, Broc Tickle, and Josh Hansen finished 15th, 16th, and 21st, respectively.

$1 Million
While Villopoto had already completed a dream season with championships earned in supercross, motocross and at the Motocross of Nations, he decided to go for one more win at the Monster Energy Cup. With his competition keeping him honest, Villopoto knew that the start would be crucial to breaking away from the pack. He led all 30 laps of the main event races, which earned him the top prize of $1 Million.

“The start was the key to the race tonight and I had an amazing bike underneath me to get me to out front early in every race,” said Villopoto. “We did a lot of testing on the 2012 KX™450F and it really showed tonight. The track was a bit different than a typical supercross, but there were enough big jumps to need supercross testing before coming out to the event. I had to miss our dealer meeting because of training and testing and I’m really happy all the work paid off so I could win this one for all the people that have stuck by me at Kawasaki.”

Rising Star
With a one-class format for the premier riders, the Monster Energy Cup invited top amateur athletes to compete on the same stage as the big bikes. Cianciarulo proved once again that he is going to be one to watch as he comes up the ranks, earning a 1-1 finish in the supermini class in front of a huge crowd at Sam Boyd Stadium.

“I am really honored to have been a part of such a great event,” said Cianciarulo. “I really hope they invite us back. All the fans were awesome and after I won, I could hear them cheering, which was a cool feeling. We only had four laps in our race, so I had to make sure I got a good start. Both starts were exactly what I wanted and it feels great to win at the first Monster Energy Cup.”

Out of the Shadow
The competition was stiff in the amateur all-stars class and Hill knew that after a fourth place finish in the first moto, he would have to win in order to have a chance at victory. Getting out front early, Hill rode an impressive second moto to earn himself the honor of being the first amateur all-star winner at the Monster Energy Cup.

“It feels great to win for Kawasaki and for Monster Energy,” said Hill. “ I had an up-and-down year, but this really ends the season on a good note. Hopefully we are able to come back next year and I can try and back up the win.”

Supercross Racing
Last supercross season, Weimer had to sit out 15 of the 17 rounds because of a broken arm injury he endured just before the season opener. While he didn’t get much supercross time in on the bike, the Monster Energy Cup allowed Weimer a chance to get out on the track before Anaheim 1. He had speed all night and even came back from a crash to earn ninth overall with a 12-6-11.

“It wasn’t the night I was looking for, but we did accomplish a lot with knowing what I want out of the bike,” said Weimer. “It’s always good to get time on the bike in a racing scenario before we get out to Anaheim 1 in January. It will be a good way to start testing and I think our preparation for this race will only help us get where I want to be for January.”

Back in the U.S.
Townley returned to the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team hoping to put his KX450F out front. He did just that in the first main event of the night, holding on to second place despite being pressured on the final lap. Townley wasn’t able to back up his first race performance after having a bike issue, but he showed he could run up front in the premier class.

“I am really thankful to the team for giving me this opportunity to come and race in the states again,” said Townley. “It was a great chance to race in front of the American fans and I hope I can make it back out here to race again.”

First Ride
After graduating from the Lites class, Tickle made his debut on the Kawasaki KX450F. Throughout the day and night, Tickle showed speed on the bigger machine and even got into the top-10 during the final main event of the night.

“I’m not really happy with 16th place overall, but I think I’ve come a long way since I started riding the KX450F in September,” said Tickle. “I already love the bike, I just think it is taking me a little bit to get used to the differences from the KX250F. It was really great to get seat time and get behind a gate before I race in my first race at Anaheim. I think we are already ahead in testing and I’m confident that I’ll be more than ready in January.”

Racing in Pain
Hansen looked to be a front-runner early in the day, but a crash during practice left him with a heavily bruised leg going into the night program. While he made it to the main event, Hansen had already put in over 15 laps before the three 10-lap main events. He rode through the pain the best he could, but ended the night 21st.

“It was a tough day for me and I really just wanted to go out and prove that I could race up front with those guys,” said Hansen. “I always seem to get dumb little injuries that really take a toll on me. I did the best I could for the pain I was in. I couldn’t believe how much my leg hurt, but I’ll be back to healthy for Anaheim 1.”

Time Off
With the last scheduled race complete, the racers will get a chance to take a short break before testing resumes. The countdown now begins for Anaheim 1 that will take place at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on January 7, 2012.


Monster Energy Cup
Sam Boyd Stadium – Las Vegas, Nev.
October 15, 2011

Premier Class Overall (Moto Finishes)

2. Ryan Dungey, KTM, 3-2-2
3. Brett Metcalfe, Suzuki, 4-3-3
4. Martin Davalos, Suzuki, 7-7-5
5. Eli Tomac, Honda, 5-4-10

Amateur All-Stars Class

2. Austin Politelli, Honda (3-2)
3. Cole Thompson, Honda, (2-3)
4. Zachary Bell, Honda, (1-4)
5. Jessy Nelson, Honda, (5-7)

Super Mini Class

2. Cooper Web, KTM, (2-2)