Million Dollar Man: Ryan Villopoto Wins Monster Energy CupMon, 17 Oct 2011 00:00:00 -0700
Ryan Villopoto swept all three main events to win the inaugural Monster Energy Cup and take home the $1 million prize.
The 2011 AMA Motocross and Supercross Champion was a favorite going into the Oct.15 Monster Energy Cup at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nev. Villopoto completed the hat trick by winning the Cup and the prize money.
“It’s pretty unreal,” says Villopoto. “I’m happy we were able to pull it off. To back it up next year would be hard, so if we do, it would be great. I can’t thank my team enough for this amazing victory.”
The Monster Energy Kawasaki racer took holeshot in the first 10-lap main event and faced little challenge from a pack including fellow Kawasaki rider Ben Townley, Mike Alessi on a Suzuki and Ryan Dungey who was making his debut as a KTM factory rider. Villopoto finished 12.222 seconds ahead of runner-up Townley who edged out Dungey by three-quarters of a second.
The second heat also saw Villopoto taking the holeshot and the win, but this time it was Dungey finishing second with Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Brett Metcalfe finishing third.
With victories in the first two main event races, Villopoto had secured the Monster Energy Cup. All that remained to be decided was whether he would win the third main event to win the $1 million prize.
Alessi, a holeshot specialist himself, took the early lead in the third main event with Villopoto in second and Dungey third. Before the first lap was over however, Villopoto had jumped out in front. Dungey moved up to second on the next lap but Villopoto was uncatchable, winning the final main event by 5.786 seconds. As he did in the second main event, Metcalfe finished third.
With a third place finish and a pair of runner-up results, Dungey finished second overall with Metcalfe taking the third spot with a fourth place and two third place finishes.
[Source: Monster Energy, Kawasaki]
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See also: 2012 Suzuki GW250 – Baby B-King the Flagship Model for Chinese Market, Dungey to Make KTM Debut at Monster Energy Cup, What We Ain’t Getting: 2012 Kawasaki ER-6n.