Bench Racing Ammo: Tracking the Future

Bench Racing Ammo Tracking the Future

Since the Monster Energy Cup debuted in 2011, the race has featured two classes of amateur riders—Amateur All-Stars and Superminis. The race offers a chance for amateurs to get accustomed to everything supercross has to offer—huge crowds, racing in a stadium, etc—on a tamed down version of SX (big jumps, but no whoops). For fans, the hook is that you get to see the future stars of SX, live and in person, right now.  That’s true, with the likes of Cooper Webb, Adam Cianciarulo, Justin Hill, Austin Forkner, Aaron Plessinger, RJ Hampshire, Jordon Smith, and many more going on to successful pro careers.

In fact, of the five previous Amateur All-Stars winners (2011- 2015) three have gone on to win Rookie of the Year honors. So, good luck to you, Cameron McAdoo. With that in mind, we decided to look back at every Amateur All-Stars and Supermini podium performers in the history of the MEC to see where those riders are now.

Amateur All-Stars

2011

1. Justin Hill
2. Austin Politelli
3. Cole Thompson

Justin Hill – The younger brother of Josh Hill, Justin turned pro in 2013 and spent two years with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki before moving to KTM (factory and Troy Lee Designs). The two-time 250SX race winner will return for a second stint at Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki in 2017.

Austin Politelli – Politelli turned pro a year later in 2012, and has since ridden for a number of teams. He won the 2013 Canadian MX2 title—and even had a tryout with Red Bull KTM at the MEC later that year.  The California native spent most of last year with Barn Pros Racing/Home Depot Yamaha. 

Cole Thompson – Since turning pro in 2012, Thompson has bounced around a number of different teams in the States. He’s recently found success in his native Canada with factory KTM, winning the 2016 MX2 title. 

Justin Hill getting ready to talk to Erin Bates after his MEC win.
Justin Hill getting ready to talk to Erin Bates after his MEC win. Cudby

2012

1. Cooper Webb
2. Adam Cianciarulo
3. Paul Coates

Cooper Webb – Of all the Amateur All-Stars winners, Webb has gone on to the most successful career thus far. After being named the 2014 SX Rookie of Year, Webb has gone on to win two 250SX West Region titles (2015-2016) and one 250MX championship (2016). He’ll make his 450 debut with factory Yamaha in 2017.

Adam Cianciarulo – Injuries have taken their toll on Cianciarulo during his career. He competed in all 12 rounds of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross in 2016—the first time in his career—finishing eighth overall. He’ll return to Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki in 2017.

Paul Coates – A native of the United Kingdom, Coates has spent time racing in America and the FIM World Motocross Championship. He raced the 250SX East Region in 2016 as a privateer, finishing 13th overall.


2013

1. RJ Hampshire
2. Zac Commans
3. Jordon Smith

RJ Hampshire – Hampshire has spent his entire pro career with GEICO Honda and recently re-signed with the team. He has one career podium since turning pro full-time in 2015.

Zac Commans – Commans overcame a traumatic brain injury sustained at the James Stewart Freestone Amateur National in 2014 and made his pro debut last year in the 250SX West Region with Slaton Racing.

Jordon Smith – After two up and down years with GEICO Honda, Smith will move to Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull KTM in 2017. He debuted with the team at the Monster Energy Cup last weekend.

Hampshire has one podium so far in his career.
Hampshire has one podium so far in his career. Cudby

2014

1. Aaron Plessinger
2. Darian Sanayei
3. Benny Bloss

Aaron Plessinger – Plessinger won Rookie of the Year honors in both supercross and motocross in 2015 and has amassed two wins in his career. He’ll return to Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha in 2017.

Darian Sanayei – The Washington native spent last year in the EMX250 Championship in Europe, finishing second overall. He recently signed a deal with the Steve Dixon factory-backed Kawasaki team to contest the MX2 Class in the FIM World Championship in 2017.

Benny Bloss – What began as a fill-in role turned into a full-time deal for 2017 with the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC-KTM-WPS team (formerly BTOSports.com KTM). Bloss won 2016 450MX Rookie of the Year honors after finishing an impressive sixth overall.


2015

1. Austin Forkner
2. Chase Sexton
3. Mitchell Harrison

Austin Forkner – Forkner turned pro at Hangtown in 2016 and immediately was a podium contender. He went on to win two motos (and one overall) late in the season en route to 250MX Rookie of Year honors. He’ll make his supercross debut with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki in 2017. 

Chase Sexton – After winning the 2016 AMA Horizon Award, Sexton will make his pro debut with GEICO Honda in 2017.

Mitchell Harrison – Harrison had an up and down rookie season this past year with Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha. Things seemed to click late in the year, when Harrison made the podium at the Glen Helen USGP—the first of his career. He returns to Star Racing in 2017.

Forkner is undefeated in his Monster Cup appearances.
Forkner is undefeated in his Monster Cup appearances. Cudby

Supermini

2011

1. Adam Cianciarulo
2. Cooper Webb
3. Blake Green

Adam Cianciarulo – See above

Cooper Webb – See above

Blake Green – Green is still competing in the amateur ranks and rode 250A and Open Pro Sport at Loretta Lynn’s this year.


2012

1. Austin Forkner
2. Chase Sexton
3. Kotaro Takahashi

Austin Forkner – See above

Chase Sexton – See above

Kotaro Takahashi – Competed at Loretta Lynn’s in 2015, finishing 19th and 31st in 450 A and Open Pro Sport, respectively.

A young Austin Forkner and Kotaro Takahashi on the podium.
A young Austin Forkner and Kotaro Takahashi on the podium. Cudby

2013

1. Austin Forkner
2. Chase Sexton
3. Michael Mosiman

Austin Forkner – See above

Chase Sexton – See above

Michael Mosiman – Mosiman finished third and sixth, respectively, in Open Pro Sport and 250 A at Loretta Lynn’s this year.


2014

1. Mitchell Falk
2. Garrett Marchbanks
3. Chase Sexton

Mitchell Falk – Is currently with the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull KTM amateur team and won the first main event at the Monster Energy Cup Amateur All-Stars race on Saturday, before a spectacular crash in the second main event.

Garrett Marchbanks – Is a rising star with Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green. He finished third overall in Amateur All-Stars on Saturday at the Monster Energy Cup.

Chase Sexton – See above


2015

1. Lance Kobusch
2. Max Miller
3. Joshua Varize

Lance Kobusch – Did not compete at the Monster Energy Cup this year as he just transitioned to the big bike.  

Max Miller – Finished sixth overall in Supermini on Saturday.

Joshua Varize – Finished fourth overall in Supermini on Saturday.