Aaron Cooke and the staff at Milestone MX Ranch have worked tremendously hard over the past months to pull together the first annual MonarchMoto Pro Super-X Invitational on December 14th. Taking place on the Supercross course housed at the Riverside,CA, facility, it will host a roster of the sport’s fastest riders in three separate divisions. The crew has taken the production to a high level and will broadcast the event through oomba.tv for fans around the world. We managed to grab a few minutes with Cooke between last-minute details and are just as excited as anyone to watch the gate drop on Saturday morning.
When we last spoke, the Milestone SX Pro Invitational had just been announced. Now only a few weeks later, interest has skyrocketed and there have been numerous details discussed. How have the last few weeks gone?
It’s been amazing. We’ve had a lot of people come onboard and support the event and our title sponsor, Monarch Moto Clothing Company, has put up a 10,000-dollar purse. We will also be live on the Internet with a webcast on oomba.tv. They are putting a huge budget into producing a major live show that will be impressive. All of our camera angles are from lifts, just like the Nationals. Our rider list has grown tremendously as well, and we have picked up guys like Jake Weimer, Wil Hahn, Dean Wilson, Cooper Webb, and Shane McElrath to race.
What are the formats for the two professional classes?
We have two 16-rider fields making up each class, and the 250 riders and 450 riders will be competing separately, just like at Anaheim.
Was it difficult to bring together a deal and work with numerous elite companies for this event?
It is difficult and I put a lot of my reputation on the line so that we could pull this event off with racers. Everything has come together, which is great and I have an awesome team that is helping me out. Milestone is pulling together everything they can to make this an amazing event and when people show up tomorrow for the race, they will be shocked at the look of the venue.
The Perris race that the Milestone SX Pro Invitational is based from went away once riders began to buckle down and prepared solely for the upcoming race season instead of doing off-season events. Is the amount of riders who have expressed interest surprising?
Absolutely not, because I think that there is a void in the schedule and the guys that don’t travel to Europe want to get some racing in before Anaheim. They want it under their belts as a warm-up. We were inspired by the Goat Breker races at Perris and even have Larry Huffman coming to announce the race. We want to show our respect for the event that happened in the past, but have a slightly different qualification process and format. With only four riders on the track at a time, the racing will be really tight and exciting.
A spectator could see a number of pros riding the Milestone SX track on any given day. Were there any changes to the track that needed to be made so that it could make for better racing, or was it set to go already?
We have changed a few little details that will make for better racing, but only having four riders at a time on the track is why we chose the format. The track itself didn’t need a lot of changes made to it and we have taken a lot of input from the pros that ride it every day. We added some additional inside lines so that there are more passing opportunities.
With the entry lists that you have for both classes, the main events should both be stacked with talent. How do you think qualifying through the knockout format will fare for the riders?
It is an interesting format that I pulled from my days of racing professional BMX. It’s a double-elimination, so even if you are a top-two finisher in the first heat race, you still have to go through the semis and make the top-two in that to make the main event. For the guys that don’t make it out of the semis, there will be a Last Chance Qualifier and will make for five total riders on the gate for the main event. But if you don’t make it out of the first heat, it’s straight the beer gardens.
Since the event doesn’t have the same corporate sponsors as the touring series, this will give more brands the chance to come and be a part of the day.
We wanted to invite everyone that we possibly could to come out for the day and did not charge our vendors. We just want a good atmosphere, and should have that with companies like SPY Optic, Alias, Action Sports Canopies, Malcolm Smith Motorsports, 6D, Bert’s Mega Mall, O’Neal, Scorpion, Spoke Skins, MFX, and even AAA and Clean Laundry. We have over 18 vendors who will have giveaways and holiday pricing for everyone.
What time does the day at the track kick off?
Gates open at 7:30AM with practice starting at 9AM, and racing starting at 10:15AM. It will be a day full of racing with our Amateur All-Stars and the great group of riders that make up the class. They will be racing four at a time that will later set up a main event. These guys have something to prove before turning pro.
For those looking to attend, is it too late to purchase tickets?
We are looking to get as many people as we can to come out and are expecting records for Milestone MX. We made it 15-dollars for everyone ages 8 and older, and your entry not only gets you in for the race but lets you ride the Main, the Vet, and the Beginner tracks. If you want to bring your bike and get a few laps in before the race, be there when the gates open in the morning and ride for only 15-bucks, then go and enjoy the event.
Amateur All-Stars Line-Up
James Gardiner III
Josh Van Den Heuvel