Monster Energy Cup 2018
The eighth running of the Monster Energy Cup was run and won over the weekend in Las Vegas and Eli Tomac took the million-dollar price in somewhat controversial circumstances when team-mate Joey Savatgy allowed Tomac through for the win in the final of the three motos.
Tomac had been victorious in the opening two motos and was on course for a $100,000 prize, but if he was to win all three motos that prize increased to the full million.
In the final moto Tomac chased down Savatgy, and likely would have passed his team-mate anyway due to his superior speed, but the obvious move by Savatgy to allow Tomac through and give him clear air did leave a bad taste in the mouths of some onlookers who wanted to see them battle all the way to the flag.
“This is crazy,” said Tomac. “To become the first two-time winner of the Monster Energy Cup and winning the “Monster Million” is just insane. My 2019 KX450 was running so well all night, our starts were dialed, the suspension was perfect; it all just came together, and I couldn’t be happier right now. It was a great team win tonight. To also have a fan defy the odds and win a million bucks because I won is just insane!”
Tomac’s million-dollar win also made one very lucky Monster Energy Drink consumer happy! A contest in America dubbed the ‘Monster Millions Sweepstakes’, sees ten prize winners receive a grand prize trip to Las Vegas, VIP tickets to the event and a $1,000 grab-for-cash contest during the evening’s festivities.
The contestant who then collects the most cash also becomes eligible to win a bonus $1 Million if one of the racers also wins $1 Million by winning all three Main Events.
That lucky fan was Jesse Hebert from Maryland, who with Tomac’s 1-1-1 results also saw his prize upped a full $1 Million Grand Prize after he successfully predicted Tomac would race his way to the “Monster Million.”
The race itself was rather unique in that it technically isn’t a “Supercross” track, due to the lack of a whoops section and the addition of more outdoor motocross style obstacles, plus a much longer lap time than a typical Supercross track. The layout was designed by Supercross legend Ricky Carmichael.
The open Monster Energy Cup Class format pits competitors against each other on 250cc and 450cc machines and offers racers the option to choose the bike of their choice.
Monster Energy Cup also features Supermini and Amateur All-Star classes for top athletes ages 12-15.
Race by Race
Main Event One
In Main Event 1, Savatgy was able to snag a holeshot aboard his KX450 with his teammate Tomac in tow. Tomac was able to quickly get by Savatgy and move into the lead by lap three where he would check out from the competition for the remainder of the race. Marvin Musquin took runner up honours ahead of Jason Anderson and Justin Barcia while Savatgy was relegated to fifth by the flag.
Main Event One Results
- Eli Tomac – Kawasaki
- Marvin Musquin – KTM +3.30
- Jason Anderson – Husqvarna +4.385
- Justin Barcia – Yamaha +6.520
- Joey Savatgy – Kawasaki +10.483
- Cooper Webb – KTM +18.428
- Malcolm Stewart – Honda +19.458
- Josh Grant – Kawasaki +20.385
- Chad Reed – Suzuki +21.656
- Vince Friese – Honda +21.967
Main Event Two
The second race of the night was almost identical to the first with Tomac taking the holeshot this time and winning by a large margin with Savatgy crossing the line in sixth place. Unfortunately, Bowers’ night would end early after he tangled with a downed rider in Main Event 2.
Main Event Two Results
- Eli Tomac – Kawasaki
- Justin Barcia – Yamaha +4.109
- Josh Grant – Kawasaki +5.996
- Malcolm Stewart – Honda +8.016
- Jason Anderson – Husqvarna +9.981
- Joey Savatgy – Kawasaki +11.164
- Vince Friese – Honda +14.600
- Jordon Smith – KTM +16.159
- Marvin Musquin – KTM +18.556
- Blake Baggett – KTM +22.801
Main Event Three
The pressure was on Tomac with the largest payday in motorcycle racing as he lined up for Main Event 3 with $1,000,000 on the line, Savatgy would make it a KX450 holeshot sweep for the night as he nabbed the holeshot once again and began to check out from the field.
Tomac suffered from a poor start that left him in seventh place by the end of the first lap and spent the next nine laps hunting down the competition and slicing his way to the front.
The crowd was standing on their feet and cheering as it came down to the last lap. Tomac closed the gap on his Monster Energy Kawasaki teammate, who allowed him through to sweep the night and secure the Monster Million.
Chad Reed took his best finish of the night in that final moto with a strong third place ahead of Jason Anderson.
Jason Anderson though took seventh overall for the night ahead of Savatgy and Barcia while Chad finished eighth outright.
Some big stars had disappointing overall results with 2017 Monster Energy Cup winner Marvin Musquin striking some troubles during the night.
“The day started off great with awesome practices and I showed great speed with the fastest lap time. Going into the races, obviously the start was key because it was difficult to make passes, especially in the first moto. I was looking forward to getting better in the second moto but I had pretty much the same start and just tried to make passes like I did in the first moto. I was very motivated for the last moto to try to get a better start and try to win it. I had a great start and I made a nice inside turn but unfortunately someone ran into me and instead of going left we went right off the first turn. From that, it was over. I’m very disappointed because I show great speed during practice and in the first moto I show good speed, good passes and good fight, but I needed to be more consistent and get better starts overall. It’s always a tough race with such a short time to get ready but it’s good to be able to race it and to show good speed.”
Ryan Villopoto also came out of retirement to chance his arm on a Yamaha YZ450F and scored 12-11-13 results for 13th overall.
Main Event Three Results
- Eli Tomac – Kawasaki
- Joey Savatgy – Kawasaki +2.093
- Chad Reed – Suzuki +6.382
- Jason Anderson – Husqvarna +7.449
- Vince Friese – Honda +8.725
- Malcolm Stewart – Honda +10.437
- Justin Barcia – Yamaha +12.821
- Josh Grant – Kawasaki +16.885
- Cooper Webb – KTM +18.776
- Jordon Smith – KTM +27.710
2018 Monster Energy Cup Results (Overall)
- Eli Tomac 3
- Jason Anderson 12
- Joey Savatgy 13
- Justin Barcia 13
- Malcolm Stewart 17
- Josh Grant 19
- Vince Friese 22
- Chad Reed 28
- Jordon Smith 31
- Blake Baggett 32
- Marvin Musquin 32
- Cooper Webb 34
- Ryan Villopoto 36
- Justin Starling 43
- Nick Schmidt 44
Monster Energy Cup Winners
- Ryan Villopoto – 2011 ($1 Million winner)
- Justin Barcia – 2012
- James Stewart – 2013
- Davi Millsaps – 2014
- Ken Roczen – 2015
- Eli Tomac – 2016
- Marvin Musquin – 2017 ($1 Million winner)
- Eli Tomac – 2018 ($1 Million winner)
- Max Vohland
- Kaeden Amerine
- Chance Hymas
- Jack Chambers
- Joshua Varize
- Hunter Yoder
- Nick Romano
- Devin Slusher
- Larry Reyes
- Jayden Clough
Amateur All-Star Overall
- Jo Shimoda
- Jalek Swoll
- Derek Drake
- Seth Hammaker
- Brian Moreau
- Carter Halpain
- Jesse Flock
- Carson Mumford
- Braden Oneal
- Parker Mashburn
Images by Hoppenworld