Barcia wins the Monster Energy Cup
Muscle Milk Honda rider Justin Barcia took out first place in last night’s Monster Energy Cup in Las Vegas,netting himself a cool $100,000 payday in what was the final race of the AMA Supercross season.
20-year-old Barcia fended off Ryan Dungey (Red Bull KTM) who finished second and Eli Tomac (third, GEICO Powersports Honda) on the final Main Event points table.
“It was really fun and I had a great time racing with all these guys,” Barcia told announcer Erin Bates post-race.
In what was an adrenaline-fuelled night of speed and carnage, defending champion Ryan Villopoto won the first Main Event race of the evening. Transmission problems with Dungey’s KTM forced him to perform a mid-air suicide shift, overshooting the triple jump in the process. He finished third, behind Barcia, who placed second.
Villopoto’s winning form left him in the second Main Event moto when an uncharacteristic, split-second miscalculation saw him crash out at the back-end of the whoops section before clawing his way back to finish 12th.
Barcia jumped up to first place ahead of Dungey (second) and Suzuki’s Mike Alessi (third). Eli Tomac’s speed and strategy saw him clench the number one spot in the third and final Main Event race. The Honda rider zipped ahead of Barcia (second) and Dungey (third).
The top five final Main Event points table results of the night were: Justin Barcia (Honda, first), Ryan Dungey (KTM, second), Eli Tomac (Honda, third), Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki, fourth) and Chad Reed (Honda,fifth). The Monster Energy Cup was Reed’s first moto since his horrific crash at Dallas, Texas in February.
Yamaha racer Cooper Webb took the top spot in the Amateur All-Stars placings, scoring above Adam Cianciarulo (Kawasaki, second) and Paul Coates (Yamaha, third).
14-year-old Austin Forkner was the man of the night in the Super Mini class event. The Missouri rider finished first on his Kawasaki two-stroke, beating Chase Sexton (Yamaha, second) and Las Vegas local Kotara Takahasi (Kawasaki, third).
Because Barcia did not win all three of his races, as Villopoto did last year, he was not eligible to take home the entire ‘Monster Million’ seven-figure paycheck. Nevertheless, the gritty young rider from Florida will step up to a Muscle Milk Honda CRF450 in both the AMA Supercross and Motocross series in 2013. Next stop – Anaheim One, California.
“My Muscle Milk Honda was rippin’ – just had a great time and looking forward to A1,” Barcia said.
By Paul Savage, Twostrokemotocross.com Guest Editor