Sign of the Lap  Times: Monster Energy Cup

Sign of the Lap Times: Monster Energy Cup

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Another Monster Energy Cup has come and gone, and while the first two MECs were full of memorable moments, the third running of the annual Vegas extravaganza topped them both. Join us as we break down lap times from the three 10-lap main events.

 

Race 1

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 1 1:08.813 8 1:09.798 Ryan Villopoto
2 6 1:08.859 7 1:09.534 Ryan Dungey
3 2 1:09.220 6 1:10.781 Marvin Musquin
4 5 1:09.225 8 1:11.052 Eli Tomac
5 4 1:09.330 6 1:11.062 Ken Roczen
6 3 1:09.700 8 1:11.176 Jake Weimer
7 7 1:09.741 7 1:11.695 Justin Barcia
8
8 1:09.922 6 1:12.211 James Stewart
9 9 1:10.512 4 1:12.346 Cooper Webb
10 10 1:10.630 7 1:12.466 Broc Tickle


That's the third year in a row that Ryan Villopoto has won, and set the fastest time, in the first race of the Monster Energy Cup. Unfortunately, it's also the second year in a row that he went on to crash out of the event in race two.

Ryan Dungey has the best average lap time of the race, which isn't surprising, considering that he forgot to take the mandatory detour through the Joker Lane!

The on-track rivalry between Eli Tomac and Ken Roczen is quickly becoming one of the best and fiercest in the sport. If you want to find one of these guys, just look for the other because it doesn't seem like they're ever very far apart. That goes for lap times too. Check out how close their best times and average times are!

Raise your hand if you thought Marvin Musquin would take second place in any of these races. Okay, if your hand is up, you're lying. Make no mistake, Musquin's a great rider, but against this stacked field we doubt many expected to see him grab a runner-up ride on his 350. But he performed well, setting the third-fastest time of the race, as well as an oustanding average time. What a ride from the Frenchman!

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Ryan Villopoto was on fire in the early goings!
Simon Cudby photo

Race 2

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 1 1:07.722 3 1:09.519 James Stewart
2 21 1:07.972 5 1:08.787 (9 laps) Ryan Villopoto
3 2 1:08.004 4 1:09.458 Justin Barcia
4 3 1:08.302 6 1:09.953 Ryan Dungey
5 5 1:08.589 4 1:10.907 Dean Wilson
6 4 1:08.603 4 1:10.327 Ken Roczen
7 6 1:08.969 4 1:10.857 Eli Tomac
8
7 1:09.160 8 1:10.946 Cole Seely
9 9 1:09.215 4 1:10.961 Marvin Musquin
10 8 1:09.665 4 1:10.950 Broc Tickle


Not surprisingly, Stewart and Villopoto, the only two riders to hit the huge quad, have the fastest lap times of this race. You've got to love Stewart's race craft in finding things like this to keep in his back pocket (the first time he did the quad combo was when Villopoto was on his tail) just in case. You've also got to love that Villopoto responded by doing the combo himself on the very next lap. It all added up to one of the best races of the year. It's a bummer for both Villopoto, and the fans, that he crashed. Can you imagine the intensity and aggression that an angry Villopoto would have brought to race three with the the sting of defeat still very fresh on his mind? Check out their head-to-head battle in the data below. It's not hard to spot Stewart's Joker Lane lap!

Lap James Stewart Ryan Villopoto
2 1:08.901 1:08.633
3 1:07.722 1:08.321
4 1:08.828 1:08.398
5 1:08.218 1:07.972
6 1:09.312 1:08.664
7 1:08.834 1:09.969
8 1:09.183 1:08.108
9 1:09.535 1:10.234
10 1:15.141 N/A

Just like Dungey in the first race, Villopoto forgot to take the Joker Lane in the second race, an error he would later attribute to not seeing the white flag. As a result, his average lap time is by far the best of the race.

Solid numbers here from Dean Wilson, who was racing for the first time after missing a ton of races with injuries. A crash held him back in the first race, but he rebounded nicely in the second.

Stacked. We're all tired of hearing that word, especially when referring to the talent pool of the 450 Class, but brace yourselves for another year of, Stacked! Stacked Stacked! Just how stacked? The fast times of the top ten are all within two seconds! Now that's, wait for it, Stacked! Stacked Stacked!

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The massive quad Stewart (above) and Villopoto were hitting led to the fastest lap times in the second main event.
Simon Cudby photo

Race 3

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 3 1:08.159 7 1:09.368 Eli Tomac
2 1 1:08.366 4 1:09.380 James Stewart
3 4 1:08.462 3 1:09.787 Ken Roczen
4 2 1:08.647 10

1:09.446

Ryan Dungey
5 5 1:09.441 7 1:11.969 Cole Seely
6 8 1:09.662 8 1:11.943 Marvin Musquin
7 6 1:09.788 5 1:11.212 Dean Wilson
8
7 1:09.815 6 1:11.248 Josh Grant
9 18 1:09.820 2 1:14.583 (3 laps) Justin Barcia
10 15 1:10.055 6 1:11.623 Tyler Bowers

Ken Roczen led the first four laps of the final race with Stewart close behind. Both riders knew winning this moto would deliver an overall win, and a $100,000 check. Let's see how close they kept their lap times as they battled for a six-digit payday.

Lap James Stewart Ken Roczen
2 1:08.708 1:08.822
3 1:08.714 1:08.462
4 1:08.366 1:09.021
5 1:08.976 1:10.017
6 1:08.742
1:09.393
7 1:08.973 1:09.147
8 1:09.182 1:09.184
9 1:09.150 1:09.904
10 1:13.617 1:14.140

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Following bike changes after the second main, Eli Tomac laid down the fastest lap in the third main event.
Simon Cudby photo

As you can see, many of their times are very close, despite Roczen opting not to hit the massive quad combo that Stewart was doing. How much closer would it have been had Roczen launched it? Would he have given Stewart a run for the money, or would his night have ended like Villopoto's?

How about Cole Seely quietly putting together a solid run in the final race with a fifth place and the fifth fastest time? Not bad!

Speaking of great rides, take a look at the numbers Tomac put up in this race. He's got the fastest time, and the best average time (the first lap doesn't count toward the average time). After the race, Tomac mentioned a bike change before the third race that made a big difference. Had he gotten a better start, he could have been right there battling for the lead.

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