James Stewart took the Monster Energy Cup crown on Saturday at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas winning two of the three 10-lap motos to easily grab the $100,000 prize. Stewart finished 8th in Moto 1 and would have taken home $1 million had he won that too.
The win gives Stewart momentum for the upcoming 2014 Supercross season. Stewart, the 2009 Supercross champion, finished 9th this year in Supercross and 5th in Motocross. He battled crashes and injuries all year.
"You don't understand how special this is for me," said Stewart. "I am speechless right now, this is a huge win for me and I am pretty damn happy. I know we are making the right steps to get our program to where it needs to be."
Photos by Ryne Swanberg
Ryan Villopoto, the 2013 Supercross and Motocross champion, picked up right where he left off grabbing the holeshot and winning Moto 1. Villopoto and Dungey squared off on Moto 1 and Dungey looked to be the victor but he failed to take the Joker Lane and was assessed a five-position penalty. The Joker Lane consists of deep sand that removes riders from the track circuit. All riders must use the Joker Lane once during each of the three main events.
"I just was racing, you know going for the win," Dungey said. "We were playing cat and mouse and it skipped my mind. I kind of threw it away, but you know, this is a good race to get ready for 2014."
In Moto 2, Stewart grabbed the holeshot from Villopoto and the two seemed destined for an epic head-to-head battle until Villopoto crashed on the last lap and did not finish the race. Justin Barcia, the 2012 Monster Energy Cup champion, finished second and Dungey third. Villopoto, who took the $1 million prize in the inaugural Monster Energy Cup, did not race in Moto 3.
Ken Roczen, grabbed the holeshot in Moto 3, but couldn't hold on once the hard-charging Stewart passed him for the lead on lap 4. Dungey took second and Eli Tomac finished third.
"Vegas, baby. I could turn that $100,000 into about $7 million if I want to," Stewart said. "I've got to thank my team (and) everybody out there who's been sticking with me. It feels so good."
The Monster Energy Cup boasts the highest potential purse in off-road motorcycle racing. The track consists of a hybrid Supercross/Motocross track in a one-class format allowing racers to ride their bike of choice in three main events. If a rider takes first in all three events they win $1 million otherwise the overall winner takes home a $100,000 purse.
Jimmy Albertson who rides for the MotoSport.com/Crossland racing team finished 19th overall.
Ricky Carmichael introduced the Joker Lane last year and has been involved in the Cup's track design all three years. The 2013 track was the 2012 track reversed and included a split start, a high-speed 33 degree bank built into the stands and a 100' triple among other obstacles. The 2014 Supercross season begins in Anaheim, CA on Jan. 4, 2014.
Dirt Shark Biggest Whip
The inaugural Dirt Shark Biggest Whip contest provided pre-race entertainment to see who holds the biggest and gnarliest whip in all of Motocross and was won by Tom Parsons. The seven-man main event already had four pre-qualifiers leaving three spots open. Brett Cue, a MotoSport.com employee, faced 10 other riders for those three spots including Parsons. Despite "whipping" well, Cue did not qualify for the finals.
2013 Monster Energy Cup Results:
- James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki (8-1-1)
- Ryan Dungey, Bell Plaine, Minn., KTM (6-3-2)
- Ken Roczen, Murrieta, Calif., KTM (4-4-4)
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda (5-6-3)
- Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM (2-9-8)
- Cole Seely, Murrieta, Calif., Honda (13-7-5)
- Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki (10-8-9)
- Justin Barcia, Pinetta, Fla., Honda (7-2-18)
- Dean Wilson, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Kawasaki (20-5-6)
- Josh Grant, Corona, Calif., Yamaha (15-10-7)
Written By: AndrewT