Las Vegas, NV, October 15, 2011 - Ryan Villopoto blitzed his way to a million dollar payday at the inaugural running of the Monster Energy Cup at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, taking runaway wins in all three main events.
Capitalizing on great starts on the hybrid Supercross/motocross course (two holeshots and second to the first turn in the other), the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider quickly gapped the field in all three instances and never let up, pulling away to large and comfortable cushions in each of the 10-lap races.
Ryan Villopoto (2) got off to fast starts in all three motos.
Any suspense there might have been on the evening centered around who would take the runner-up spot - and there were plenty of candidates, including Ryan Dungey, who was making his first appearance on KTM after less than a week on the bike. Also in the mix were Yoshimura Suzuki's Brett Metcalfe, Mike Alessi (riding a privateer Suzuki), Justin Brayton (recently signed to Muscle Milk Honda), Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Ben Townley, and Nick Wey, riding a privateer Kawasaki.
After getting pinched off in the first turn of the first main event and starting the race near last, Dungey worked his way through the pack and chased down Townley and engaged the Kiwi in a battle for second. Townley held tough through the final laps of the race, however, and kept the 2010 Supercross champ at bay to claim second behind Villopoto, some 12 seconds behind the Kawasaki rider.
Ryan Dungey (5) chases Ben Townley in the first moto.
Dungey rounded out the podium in race one, while Metcalfe and Tomac finished fourth and fifth.
Dungey got off to a much better start in race two, and exited the first turn not far behind Villopoto. Townley was in the mix again, along with Tomac and Metcalfe, however, Townley pulled off the track on lap seven after suffering a problem with his chain guide.
Dungey managed to break away from a battle between Metcalfe and Tomac, but was a full six seconds down from Villopoto at the finish. Metcalfe held on for third, with Tomac fourth and Martin Davalos.
In the final main event, Alessi grabbed the holeshot ahead of Villopoto and Dungey. Villopoto was able to make a pass for the lead on the opening lap, however, Alessi was able to hold Dungey off for two laps, and even made a daring block pass on the on Dungey on lap two to retake the runner-up spot after Dungey passed him midway through the lap.
Alessi tried another pass on lap three, but then ran off the track a few turns later and dropped to sixth.
Once around Alessi, Dungey was able to gap Metcalfe and was once a gain a lonely second at the finish, almost six seconds behind Villopoto and some 14 seconds ahead of Metty.
After the three races were tallied, Villopoto was the clear winner with a perfect 1-1-1 score, while Dungey was second after going 3-2-2. Meanwhile, Metcalfe finished off the MEC podium with a 4-3-3 tally.
1. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw) 1-1-1
2. Ryan Dungey (KTM) 3-2-2
3. Brett Metcalfe (Suz) 4-3-3
4. Martin Davalos (Suz) 7-5-5
5. Eli Tomac (Hon) 5-4-10
6. Kyle Chisholm (Yam) 9-9-7
7. Nicholas Wey (Kaw) 14-11-4
8. Jimmy Albertson (Yam) 11-10-8
9. Jake Weimer (Kaw) 12-6-11
10. Mike Alessi (Suz) 6-21-6