10 Highest Earners from the 2014 Supercross Season

If you see these guys at the track, ask them to buy you a drink (or two).

In the end, it was all James Stewart
In the end, it was all James Stewart© Garth Milan/Red Bull Content Pool

The money issue in Supercross is often a topic of hot debate. Most contend that the 450 main event purse of $98,615 is a paltry sum when compared to the gargantuan payrolls associated with many stick-and-ball sports, which, purely objectively, it is. Factory riders earn salaries and contingency money from sponsors when they podium, so they are often less concerned with the actual purse money (which often pales in comparison to their race bonuses). But still there isn't any rider making LeBron money.

That said, the top tier riders aren't suffering from money woes. To estimate how much the top riders made, we dug into the numbers and reviewed how riders performed on the podium. We then estimated an aggregate bonus earnings of $100,000 for a 1st place finish, $35,000 for 2nd, and $15,000 for 3rd, based on educated guesses and industry rumors. Actual rider payouts will vary drastically based on their contracts and sponsors. Since we took a few liberties, this list is by no means science. Rather it's a ballpark gauge on the top 10 highest earners in the 2014 SX season so far.

RV2 in action in Seattle
RV2 in action in Seattle© Garth Milan/Red Bull Content Pool

1. Ryan Villopoto

Purse Earnings: $103,790

Estimated Bonus Earnings: $640,000

Estimated Total Earnings: $743,790

Purse Earnings: $96,305

Estimated Bonus Earnings: $605,000

Estimated Total Earnings: $701,305

Purse Earnings: $70,250

Estimated Bonus Earnings: $315,000

Estimated Total Earnings: $385,250

Purse Earnings: $66,025

Estimated Bonus Earnings: $260,000

Estimated Total Earnings: $326,025

5. Justin Barcia

Purse Earnings: $45,980

Estimated Bonus Earnings: $100,000

Estimated Total Earnings: $145,980

6. Chad Reed

Purse Earnings: $37,360

Estimated Bonus Earnings: $100,000 (note: Though Reed had two wins and two other podiums, his numbers were adjusted lower because he is not actually a factory rider, therefore likely does not earn the same amount in bonuses.)

Estimated Total Earnings: $137,360

7. Justin Brayton

Purse Earnings: $39,490

Estimated Bonus Earnings: $35,000

Estimated Total Earnings: $74,490

8. Andrew Short

Purse Earnings: $39,070

9. Mike Alessi

Purse Earnings: $34,095

10. Nick Wey

Purse Earnings: $31,365

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By Eric Wright