Sneak Peek: Monster Energy Cup 6

During the annual Vital MX summer tour, we make an annual stop in to see the crew at Feld Motorsports. Currently most of their attention is focused on the replacement for the U.S. Open of Supercross, the Monster Energy Cup. The U.S. Open was cool, but the tight confines of the MGM made it more like an Arenacross than a real Supercross. And the $100,000 top prize, while cool, is now almost a standard win bonus for some riders. While Las Vegas is still the host city, moving from the MGM Grand Garden Arena to the site of the traditional season-ending Supercross venue, Sam Boyd Stadium, will give them lots of room to experiment.

That's where the Monster Energy Cup fills the void. Sure, the possibility of someone taking home a $1,000,000 top prize for winning all three mains is a big attention-getter for sure. And yeah, it also makes the Feld brass pretty nervous. But while there, we did some snooping, and ran across some other intriguing info...

The Equipment

While the old race was dubbed the U.S. Open, about the only way it was truly "open" was in the later years, where you could ride whatever size bike you wanted. This time around, it really is open...especially when we hear that there are pretty much two rules that the entries have to be concerned with...sound, and fuel.

The teams will have the option to be tested for the 2012 standard (Two meter max), but only have to meet the current 2011 standard.

Standard fuel rules apply.

That opens up a whole lot of options.

Normal pro rules for two-stroke participation? They're tossed right out the window. Riders can ride whatever bike (and engine size) that they want.

Homologation? Forget about it. Husqvarna? TM? Aprilia? They could all field entries. Manufacturers also wouldn't be stuck on their current cc limits. Oversized 250Fs? That's a possibility. (We also checked in with Chad Reed today, and he said that he didn't think anyone would go over the current 450 engine size of the big-bores.)

Other technology? Quite a few of the pro teams already the GET system, or something they've developed on their own. But they'd also be allowed to make full use of it...with the GPS, etc. Works parts that we don't normally see here? That's a definite possibility.

We'd guess long flaming burnouts will probably be discouraged, but it'll be interesting to see how creative the teams might get with this...either going for the win, or testing future technology in a way and in a format that they can't normally do. It really is a run-what-you-brung event.

The Course

While the teams get to test new and different technologies, the Dirt Wurx crew also gets to experiment with a very different course. While the traditional Supercross finals track exits the stadium briefly, The Monster Energy Cup course will make a much longer excursion outside of the stadium. There are no official blueprints yet, just a print from Google Earth, combined with lots of doodling, and input from Ricky Carmichael.

Well, it's not quite a cocktail napkin, but you can get a rough idea of one of their initial concepts of where the track will go. The pits will be in the parking lot, rather than their usual spot further out (north) of the stadium.

While we didn't explicitly hear the word ramp while there, we wouldn't exactly be surprised to see any. But we did hear stuff like 100-foot tabletop, wall berm, and 250-friendly (to level the playing field for guys on the smaller bikes).

There will also be a stage at one end of the stadium, and we wouldn't be shocked to see a band hit the stage during intermissions. All of this can get tested outside of the normal championship chase.

The Format

Speaking of intermissions, you may want to stay in your seats. Remember semi-finals? They're back for this race. Maybe we see them again next year? Remember, there's some experimentation going on here.

Oh, another reason to stay glued to your seats will be Supermini and 250A class events. Basically, a chance to get to preview 15 or 20 in each class of the next couple generations of hotshot, before they hit the pro ranks.

The Pits

Instead of the pits closing at 5:30, they'll be open to fans throughout the event. Part of the course will also work its way through the pits.

That's the scoop on what we've heard so far. We're looking forward to seeing what other tricks they've got up their sleeve for this event, and will be there for sure on October 15th.


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