Marvin Musquin again asserted his Red Bull Straight Rhythm dominance with a decisive win in the Open Class to take home the top spot for the second year in a row. The Frenchman has never lost a single heat in the race’s history, though the rabid pack of Open Class riders were keen to change that this year.
The event, which features a unique form of supercross in which riders race head-to-head on a half mile track with no turns, once again took place at Fairplex in Pomona. Saturday’s hazy afternoon sunset faded just in time for the night’s racing to really heat up.
The 2017 track featured five prominent sections broken up by four speed-check obstacles with fewer jumps than last year which resulted in tighter racing. In the Open class, Musquin’s legacy rang true as he faced and defeated three separate, but highly qualified, opponents to take home another win.
Josh Hansen, who finished third in 2016, showed speed and innovative lines all day to take home second place while Broc Tickle, new to the event, rode smoothly to a third-place finish.
Musquin revealed, “There is no other race like this. Racing side-by-side in a straight line has worked out well for me, and I want to keep the momentum going.”
The Lites class saw some of the closest racing with 2016 Red Bull Straight Rhythm winner McElrath taking home gold again from Sean Cantrell and Alex Martin
McElrath said, “Coming in to the final (against Cantrell), I didn’t want to lose even though I was competing against my team-mate.
“This event provides me with the opportunity to work on my technique, drive and have fun with our buddies.”
The Two-Stroke Shootout final witnessed a hard-to-predict clash between Gared Steinke and fan favourite Ronnie Mac with Steinke holding his nerve for his first Red Bull Straight Rhythm gold. Ronnie Mac crashed and rode the second run with a bent bike so couldn’t match Steinke’s time.
Steinke declared, “When I first came out here on Thursday, I was a bit nervous, but today during practice it all clicked. My confidence today quickly rose. I knew I could win and I went for it all. For the two-stroke competition to have past champions and for me to beat riders I’ve looked up to since I was a boy, it was very special.”
Open Class Results
1. Mavin Musquin
2. Josh Hansen
3. Broc Tickle
Lites Class Results
1. Shane McElrath
2. Sean Cantrell
3. Alex Martin
Two-Stroke Shootout Results
1. Gared Steinke
2. Ronnie Mac
3. Ryan Sipes
Photos Chris Tedesco/ Red Bull Content Pool