SANTA MONICA, CALIF. (OCTOBER 17, 2018) – Ready to step back in time to an era when two-strokes ruled the world? The twenty-eight riders competing in Red Bull Straight Rhythm certainly are, as they prepare to mix some gas and haul some ass on October 20 at Fairplex in Pomona. The event has gone all two-stroke this year, so those heading to Pomona will be rewarded with the sweet, sweet smell of pre-mix fumes and the racing excitement that only the ‘90s can deliver. Tickets are still available at redbull.com/straightrhythm and those that can’t make it out in person can still get a virtual whiff of race gas as the event airs live on Red Bull TV.
Twenty-eight riders will compete in Qualifying with sixteen advancing from the 250cc class and eight from the 150cc class. Reigning two-stroke champion Gared Steinke will lead the group, as he attempts to defend his crown against the likes of Ronnie Mac and Ryan Villopoto, both of whom have vowed revenge after last year’s event. Ryan “straight off the couch” Dungey will also return to the ½ mile straight rhythm track, seeing if he can shake off the rust, get on the pipe and propel himself to two-smoke victory. Four-stroke or two-stroke, retired or not, Dungey is fast.
With no real factory support for the riders, it’s anybody’s game, so predicting the winner will be tougher than a two-dollar steak. But soothsayers, fortune tellers or straight up know-it-alls can show off their gifts in the Red Bull Straight Rhythm Bracket Challenge, which allows participants to predict how the 250cc class will unfold. Hosted by PulpMX, the challenge not only allows winners the opportunity to lord their superior knowledge over all the losers, but will also pay off with a Troy Lee Designs prize pack. Just think of the envious stares you’ll get ripping around the track with “You’ve Just Been Passed by the Bracket Champion” custom lettering on the back of your jersey. Classic.
Ryan Dungey, Ryan Villopoto, Gared Steinke, Shane McElrath, Jordon Smith, Ronnie Mac, Ryan Sipes, Christophe Pourcel, Josh Grant, Tyler Bowers, Vince Friese, Mike Alessi, Ryan Morais, Cedric Soubeyras, Darryn Durham, Johnny Jelderda, Mike Brown, Cameron McAdoo and Kyle Partridge.
Gared Steinke, Colton Aeck, AJ Catanzaro, Christophe Pourcel, Carson Brown, Ryan Surratt, Luke Renzland, Chance Fullerton and Chase Marquier.
Despite the bike changes, the concept remains the same. Line up side by side and race head-to-head down a ½ mile of rollers, whoops, doubles, tables and all other kinds of rhythmic insanity. Racing is a best-of-three format, so each rider gets at least two chances to grab victory. This also helps to cut down on all the crying about bad starts at the after party. In its fifth year, the event will continue the format where practice, qualifying and racing will all take place on the same day, with the finals taking place at night under the lights.