After Red Bull “unwound” the motocross track to a half-mile long straight dirt track, the gates dropped for a motocross competition unlike any other.
The “evolution of super cross” featured 32 riders racing head to head best of three format on a track that featured 10,000 cubic yards of dirt, 80 total jumps, 300 feet of whoops taking three weeks to build.
Red Bull Straight Rhythm featured several big name riders including Travis Pastrana, who made his return to racing for the first time since 2009.
“I decided to race Red Bull Straight Rhythm because it just looked like an absolute blast,” said Pastrana pre race. “I still ride dirt bikes all of the time and this year I’ve been focusing more on just doing things that are fun and this event is just that, fun. On a straight track with no turns definitely plays to my strengths because it allows me to maintain the sped and aggressive nature in the way I ride.”
The fans in attendance and those watching live on Red Bull TV experienced several incredible match ups including Pastrana versus Josh Hansen and James Stewart battling younger brother Malcolm Stewart were they met in the semi finals, where James beat his younger brother in two close races to move to the finals.
James Stewart (7) Malcolm Stewart (34) Red Bull Straight Rhythm Photo: Tyler Tate/T Squared Action Sports
There he met Justin Brayton, who he also defeated in two straight races to win the Open Class title. Brayton took second, with Malcolm Stewart taking third place after his head to head win over Dean Wilson.
“What Red Bull did with this event was great,” said Stewart. “They thought outside the box and I hope this event is here to stay. It was a lot harder than I thought it’d be. On every run today, the guys rode faster and faster. There were places where I didn’t think I could make up time, but somehow, I made it up where I needed to and came out with the win the first of its kind of such an incredible event.”
James Stewart (7); Finals Winning Jump; Red Bull Straight Rhythm Photo: Tyler Tate/T Squared Action Sports
In the 250cc Class, Marvin Musquin demolished the field to reach the finals were he ran two dominant runs over Justin Hill for the top honors, with Jessy Nelson making the final podium spot.
Marvin Musquin (25); Finals Winning Jump; Red Bull Straight Rhythm Photo: Tyler Tate/T Squared Action Sports
“Consistency was the key,” said Musquin. “I felt like I was doing good each run, but it was pretty stressful. You don’t want to make any mistakes because you know the other guy is right next to you. It’s close racing and I think the fans really loved it, and the riders loved it and I can’t wait for next year.”
Crowd favorite and action sports legend Travis Pastrana riding a custom built 500 cc 2-Stroke bike, failed to make it out of the first round losing to Josh Hansen but gave the fans something to scream about as he won the second of the three races crossing the finish line and throwing a massive backflip over the last jump.
“I don’t have all the timing, endurance or speed I used to have, but for me to go out there and be fairly competitive,” said Pastrana. “It was so much fun. Red Bull Straight Rhythm was exactly what I wished was around 12 years ago. It was a great experience for me to get back on the bike, keep it a two-stroke and ride a 500cc for the first time in my life, was just awesome.”
Travis Pastrana (199) Red Bull Straight Rhythm Photo: Tyler Tate/T Squared Action Sports
As part of the Red Bull Signature Series on NBC, Red Bull Straight Rhythm airs Saturday, Dec. 20 at 4 p.m. ET. Red Bull Straight Rhythm is available on demand on Redbull.com/StraightRhythm as well as on Red Bull TV. Red Bull TV is available as a pre-installed channel on Samsung Smart TVs and Apple TV and as a free, downloadable app on Amazon Fire TV, Kindle Fire and Xbox 360.