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All you need to know about the Straight Rhythm

Aside from the two main class categories – that’s 125cc and 250cc two-strokes – there really is only one rule: don’t cross the white line into your opponent’s lane in Saturday night’s Red Bull Straight Rhythm in California. There’s also a 500cc one-on-one race featuring Travis Pastrana!

Action from 2018

You can watch it LIVE and free from 12.30pm on Saturday night (actually early Sunday morning!) by clicking HERE!

The big names include Ronnie Mac on the American Eagle 1997 Honda CR250 and his arch rival Ken Roczen on an ex-Jeremy McGrath factory RC250 Honda. Ryan Villopoto out of retirement on his Pro Circuit YZ, Cooper Webb paying homage to JMC on a KTM 250. Cole Seely on a factory-engined CR250, and lots more.

The jump and whoop laden half-mile (800m) track doesn’t have any turns. None whatsoever. Simplifying things further, only two competitors race at a time, ensuring the action at Red Bull Straight Rhythm is easy to follow. Each duo will go head-to-head in a best-of-three format, with the winner advancing to the next round until only one rider is left standing. Taking the overall title, however, isn’t simple when battling it out in a line-up loaded with star power.

The 250 class features Cooper Webb, Jason Anderson, Ken Roczen, Ryan Villopoto, Cole Seely, Tyler Bowers, Ryan Sipes, Gared Steinke, Ronnie Mac, Alex Ray, Pierce Brown, Brandon Hartranft, Adam Enticknap, Josh Hansen, Ryan Morais, Tevin Tapia, Austin Politelli, Enzo Lopes, and Parker Mashburn.

In the 125s are Carson Brown, AJ Catanzaro, Jerry Robin, Max Vohland, Joey Crown, Chase Marquier, Carlen Gardner, Jeff Walker, Robbie Wageman, Alexander Nagy, Michael Leib, Simon Lägenfelder, and Mitchell Harrison.

Ken Roczen

Easily one of the biggest global stars that supercross has ever produced, Germany’s Ken Roczen is a threat at any motorcycle race he shows up at. His technical abilities are legion and he has multiple championships to his name. He’ll be riding Jeremy McGrath’s 2006 Honda CR250R – the last two-stroke to holeshot a supercross main event. How’s that for hardware?

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Cooper Webb

After dominating supercross’s 250 class to bag a pair of 250SX titles and a 250 AMA National Championship, North Carolina’s Cooper Webb moved in to the 450 class. He started slow, but in 2019 he shredded his way to the 450SX Championship – the most coveted title in all of dirt-bike racing. This will be his first appearance at Red Bull Straight Rhythm and, turns or no turns, he’ll be in it to win it.

Ryan Villopoto

Red Bull Straight Rhythm hasn’t been kind to Ryan Villopoto. He was eliminated by Gared Steinke in the two-stroke class in 2017 and was edged out by longtime rival Ryan Dungey in 2018. He eventually finished third last year, but, for a guy like Villopoto, who could beat most riders on a unicycle with a flat tyre, that’s two spots lower than his standard. He’s been racing a two-stroke all summer in the 125 All-Star Races, so expect him to be on point this time around.

Cole Seely

We already know that Cole Seely has world-class speed on a dirt bike, and that his buttery style is smoother than Morgan Freeman’s voice wrapped in a sheet of velvet. But this year, there’s even more reason to watch him at Red Bull Straight Rhythm. The longtime Honda rider announced his retirement earlier this year, which means this might be the last time he’ll race at the highest level. He’ll also be on a bike that he’s been building in his garage, powered by a 2007 Factory Honda race engine that’s been sitting in storage. It’s a tribute to the Mugen Honda Johnny O’Mara made famous by wining the USGP in 1980.

Travis Pastrana

Whatever Travis Pastrana does is always worth watching, but when it comes to motorcycles in particular, you really don’t want to miss a thing. Yes, he’s got more talent than should be legal, but it’s his boundless urge to use his two-wheeled skills to entertain and show off that takes him over the top. A case in point: when he raced at Red Bull Straight Rhythm in 2014, he did backflips over the finish line on his 500cc Suzuki. Pastrana will be riding that same bike this year against Tyler Bowers in the one-off 500 Class, and, win or lose, you know he’s going to be electrifying!

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