Off Road

$1million up for grabs in Monster Energy Cup, Las Vegas

And MXGP champ Tim Gasjer is out

THE Monster Energy Cup, world motocross racing’s richest purse, kicks off this weekend in the Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas.

World MXGP Champion Tim Gasjer won’t be there aiming for that million dollar prize money after pulling out through injury.

The Monster Energy Cup will be without the new MXGP champ, Gasjer, after the Slovenian re-injured his shoulder last weekend in the Supermotocross Riders Cup in Germany.

Gasjer said this week: “I feel so bad that I can’t go to the Monster Energy Cup this year because it’s no secret that I want to race against the best in the world in America and I was really looking forward to it. I think it would have been a great battle this weekend in Las Vegas, but there is too much risk with the injury in my shoulder.”

Ken Roczen was absent from the SMX Cup last weekend in Europe but surely enters the first of three Monster Energy Cup races as favourite. The German has been on a huge wave of form in 2016, dominating the AMA Motocross outdoor season.

He is also the defending champion of the MEC, having won the $100,000 overall last year with a 1-4-1 score (you need 1-1-1 to win the million). A high-profile switch to Honda machinery means the German could still be in transition period but he also has statistics against him winning the golden purse: only one rider in the history of the Monster Cup has won all three races.

In five years of the Monster Energy Cup there have been five different winners with only Ryan Villopoto achieving the grand slam in 2011.

AMA Supercross Champion Ryan Dungey might have something to say about it after putting on a masterful performance last weekend in Germany. Dungey has won almost everything there is to win in the sport, except the MEC victory and that million dollars. He was out for much of the summer with a serious neck injury but he showed last weekend his was back on form by winning the individual SMX Cup.

A new start position high in the stands will add a twist to racing this weekend in Vegas. The MEC also runs a ‘Joker Lane’ format in races meaning each rider must pass through the slightly slower Joker Lane at least once in the race. Simple as it sounds, the best of the best have forgotten to play the Joker: Ryan Villopoto, Ryan Dungey and Jason Anderson have all sailed past in the heat of a race.

Check out the animated Monster Energy Cup, Sam Boyd Stadium track preview below.

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