As Fall weather finally descends on the most of country, AMA Supercross breaks up the off-season with the ninth running of the Monster Energy Cup at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nev., Saturday October 19.
And with a $1 million payday on the line for any rider who can sweep Victory Lane in three Main Events, there is plenty on the line. In eight previous races, three riders have performed the feat. Ryan Villopoto pocketed the bonus in the inaugural running in 2011. The last two editions of this race have also featured perfection with Marvin Musquin sweeping in 2017 and Eli Tomac in 2018.
It will be a little different in 2019, however; and perhaps just a little more difficult. This year the three races will be run on three different versions of the track. Two of the Mains will start inside the stadium with a hard turn to the right in one race and a longer, sweeping turn to the left requiring the riders to transverse the track in two directions.
The third Main will start outside of the stadium with a left hand turn leading onto a long, fast straightaway that culminates in a hairpin rising almost to the upper deck.
In order to accommodate the various layouts, several of the jumps and turns are oddly configured for compromise and riders are going to have to learn essentially two completely different tracks.
If that were not enough, there will be a Joker Lane that has to be navigated during the event. In 2013, missing the Joker Lane in the first Main cost Ryan Dungey a shot at the million.
While several of the top names will skip this weekend to recuperate from a grueling outdoor Motocross season, there will be plenty of star power to watch. Tomac is defending his Monster Cup title from last year and as the three-time reigning Motocross champion, he is looking to ice the cake.
Adam Cianciarulo will make his 450 debut this week after winning the 250 Motocross title last year.
Making this a head-to-head-to-head matchup for champions, Tim Gajser looks to prove that his MXGP championship matches up with the American titles.