Monster Energy Cup 2017: Fant Files

For the 2017 Monster Energy Cup racers from the amateur ranks all the way to seasoned veterans lined up on an elevated metal start gate high above the Sam Boyd Stadium floors. This one off race brings some of the most unique track designs and racer match ups for the entire season. Even with live broadcasts in Supercross the stadium held its strength in numbers.

A new face and announcement was brought to the FC Honda team this weekend. Hunter Yoder will now join Carson Mumford on a CRF150 as part of their amateur efforts. This is one of the most trick 150s we have seen. Fuel injection, custom gas tank, and WP suspension are just some of the goodies we found on this bike.

A close up of the CRF150 motor shows you how factory this bike is.

A custom fuel tank is added to the FC CRF150s .

With a seat open at Honda in the month of October, Christian Craig was once again called up to the big team of HRC to represent the brand and race at MEC.

Young gun Jett Reynolds’s Pro Circuit Kawasaki.

Similar to the Factory PC team, the amateurs run a Bell helmet wrapped with Monster Energy stickers and their names on the back. Here sits Lance Kobusch’s helmet under the PC tent on Saturday.

Yes they are amateurs still but these bikes are far from being called amateur bikes. Pro Circuit had all their machines finally massaged by their mechanics all weekend and looking great on race day. The look is seamless from amateur to the pro level in regards to look and professional aesthetics.

While cruising the pits of Rockstar Racing Husqvarna we couldn’t help but admire the detail (mechanic) Jedidiah Rodriguez puts into Jordan Bailey’s race machine.

What started as a shot to feature Broc Tickle on a new team turned into revealing possibly the next generation of KTM. We have heard there is a new KTM coming soon and this might be the first look at it. The engine itself is different from the current 2018 model year design. Only time will tell if this is what will be coming in 2019.

Under the tents were more bikes than normal as teams like TLD KTM had to set up support for their pro level riders as well as amateur riders competing.

Seth Hammaker riding in the Amateur All Stars class on Saturday was able to go 1-1 on the night.

Matthew LeBlanc’s bike under the Star Racing Yamaha tent for the weekend.

As bikes came in and out for practice sessions, mechanics stayed busy to keep the bikes in their best racing shape for the night program. Here is Pierce Browns front number plate on the work bench.

If anyone had a target on their back this weekend it was Eli Tomac. Tomac seemed to be cool, calm and collected at the press conference on Friday even with all eyeballs on him.

Jake Weimer was able to set up a deal with MotoConcepts Racing for 2017. Unfortunately a bad practice crash would keep him off the bike for MEC.

Justin Bogle explained that he really wanted to stay on a Suzuki as he moved forward with his career. He was able to ink a deal with JGR and even get some testing in at their headquarters in North Carolina before racing in Vegas.

If you ever want some eye candy..JGR is always a sure bet to get some.

Twisted Development was in full swing on Saturday with a large support area for their riders.

The TLD Amateur squad waiting for practice in the warm sun of Las Vegas.

Marvin was on rails all day. He was able to show on Saturday that he will be a fierce competitor in the 2018 Supercross season.

Broc Tickle only inches away from Josh Grant as he tries to stick a pass before exiting the outter part of the stadium.

Typically Jordon Smith rides a 250 for the TLD KTM squad but for the MEC he went with a 450SXF. Here Jordon is taking his bike over the scrub single that was outside the stadium.

Tim Gajser was a wild card that entered MEC with not a lot of Supercross under his belt. He has been interested in riding it for several years now but due to schedule conflicts was never able to make it in the past. You could see the excitement on his face Friday afternoon before all the racing kicked off.

Justin Bogle keeping low over the scrub single on his RMZ450.

Jett Reynolds signing some autographs in between practice runs.

A head on shot of the elevated start ramp and metal gates. The transition at the bottom was cleaned up after Friday’s press day. Riders were saying that the bottom of the ramp was a bit too abrupt and could cause problems on race day.

Just one of many of the TLD Amateur bikes getting a bath before the night program started.

In between racing there was a Best Whip contest put on by Monster Energy. Jarrryd McNeil absolutely upside down on his YZ250.

Dean Wilson would qualify fastest on the day. Here Deano is navigating through on coming roost before the long stretch in the rear or the stadium.

The first couple laps of Moto 1 had people out of their seats. Musquin and Tomac were all in to chase the million with Anderson creeping on their heels.

The split start was crazy but meeting back up and jump together was even more crazy. Look at the distance between Broc Tickles front wheel and Dean Wilson’s back.

Eli Tomac keeping low on his Kawasaki KX450F in the joker lane which was faster than the normal route on the track for 2017.

Pierce Brown was on rails going through corners in Las Vegas.

From left to right : Josh Grant, Jordon Smith, Jason Anderson, and Broc Tickle

Josh Shimoda who is a newer recruit for 2017 blasting a left hand corner on his FC Honda.

And there you have it. The 2nd rider to take the million home. Villopoto did it and now Marvin Musquin joins an elite list of riders who have won at the unique event.

 

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