|Villopoto Cashes in on $1 Million at Inaugural Monster Energy Cup|
Las Vegas, NV | October 15, 2011
Hill Captures Amateur All-Star Championship as Cianciarulo Claims Super-Mini Title
For the first-time in off-road motorcycle racing history, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto, of Poulsbo, Wash., won $1 million by sweeping all three main events at the inaugural Monster Energy Cup at Sam Boyd Stadium. Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo, of Port Orange, Fla., went 1-1 in the Super-Mini class and earned the overall championship. Justin Hill, of Yoncalla, Ore., finished 4-1 in the Amateur All-Star class and scored the overall.
“It’s pretty unreal,” exclaimed 2011 Monster Energy Cup champion 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.”
In main event 1, Villopoto jumped out to an early lead with the holeshot followed by Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Ben Townley, of Taupo, New Zealand, Suzuki’s Mike Alessi, of Victorville, Calif., Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki’s Bret Metcalfe, of Menifee, Calif., and Red Bull/KTM’s Ryan Dungey, of Belle Plaine, Minn. On lap 2, Dungey passed Alessi and Metcalfe in the same corner, moving into second place, where he would put a charge on Townley. Villopoto captured the win, Townley finished second and Dungey finished third.
Once again, Villopoto pulled the holeshot in main event 2 with Dungey and Metcalfe in tow. Villopoto set himself up to win the $1 million with another win. Dungey finished second and Metcalfe finished third.
“Heading into the final moto, I just need to get another good start like I’ve been doing,” said Villopoto after the second main event. “I’ll be happy leaving here healthy, and if I win, great, if not, this was still awesome.”
Suzuki’s Mike Alessi earned the holeshot in the third and final main event with Villopoto and Dungey following in second and third, respectively. On the opening lap, Villopoto moved into the lead. Dungey and Alessi traded positions on lap 2 before Dungey made a solid pass and opened a gap on him. Metcalfe moved into third. Dungey finished second, which gave him second overall and Metcalfe finished third, which gave him third overall.
Cianciarulo opened the first Super-Mini moto with the holeshot and extended his lead with every lap. KTM’s Cooper Webb, of Newport, N.C., moved into second place on lap three after passing Kawasaki’s Blake Green, of Corona, Calif. Webb held on for second and Green finished third.
Cianciarulo started the second Super-Mini moto the same way he did the first one and lead wire-to-wire to earn the overall. Webb worked his way through the field and into second place, where he would finish. Green finished third.
“It was an awesome race,” said Cianciarulo. “I got a good start, and tried to hold it. I had to make sure not leave the inside open and not make any mistakes out there. I never thought I would win, especially on a track designed by the two guys that got me here.”
Honda’s Zach Bell, of Cairo, Ga., opened a huge lead after earning the holeshot in the Amateur All-Star class’ first moto. Cole Thompson, of Brigden, ON, finished second after passing Honda’s Austin Politelli, of Menifee, Calif., who finished third. Green made a late-race pass around Kawasaki’s Bradford Young, of Delray Beach, Fla., to finish third.
Justin Hill, of Yoncalla, Ore., put his Kawasaki up front in the second moto of the Amateur All-Star class with Politelli and Thomas Covington, of Temecula, Calif., in third. Thompson moved into third place on lap 2, passing Covington. Hill held on for the win, Politelli finished second and Thompson finished third. Overall, Politelli finished in second and Thompson finished in third.
“There was some great racing out there,” said Hill. “I did my best to stay in front and keep it on two wheels. The track was tough, so you had to be on top of your game. I’m really excited to be crowned the Amateur All-Star Class champion.”
Monster Energy Cup Class Results
Super-Mini Class Results
Amateur All-Star Class Results