Photo: Chris Tedesco
Consider it a safe bet that the Red Bull Straight Rhythm held on Saturday in Pomona, CA won't be a one-time deal.
The inaugural event lived up to the hype as more than 10,000 fans braved soaring temperatures to watch who would be crowned the fastest rider on a straight half-mile Supercross style track complete with whoops, speed checks and rhythm sections. James Stewart won the Open class and Marvin Musquin grabbed the honors in the 250 class.
The bracket style competition pitted today's fastest riders against one another in a one-on-one style competition. Winners moved on after winning a best out of three.
In the Open class, MotoSport rider Josh Hansen got the unlucky draw to face fan favorite and FMX star Travis Pastrana who chose a 500cc 2-stroke as his ride. Hansen won the first race but lost the second race leading to a do-or-die tie-breaker. Hansen won the final race to move on. Pastrana did throw in some freestyling as he performed a back flip crossing the finish line as he won Race 2.
Hansen's outlook only got worse as he faced Stewart who easily handled Scott Champion in the first round. Though Hansen kept it close, he had little chance of upsetting one of the fastest riders racing today. Stewart's win set him in line for a family dual with brother Malcolm who beat Josh Hill in the second round. An all Stewart semifinal was well worth the price of admission for fans while Justin Brayton and Dean Wilson competed for the right to face one of the Stewarts.
Malcolm entered the semifinals with the fastest race time of the day but lost to his big brother in Race 1. He mounted a come-back in Race 2 and was close to forcing a tie-breaker but one of the speed checks, small but steep jumps, knocked him out of rhythm allowing James to take the lead and complete the sweep. The Wilson/Brayton matchup took three races to find a winner with Brayton taking Race 2 and coming from behind in Race 3 to set up a Finals match-up with James Stewart.
Ultimately, Stewart went the distance undefeated on the day to capture the first Open Class Championship in the Red Bull Straight Rhythm competition.
"It was a lot harder than I thought it'd be," Stewart said. "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."
Photo: Christian Pondella
In the 250 Class, Musquin easily beat Jarryd McNeil, a part-time FMXer in the first round. Other notables included Justin Bogle, the 2014 250 East Supercross Champion, and Justin Hill advancing to the quarterfinals. MotoSport rider Cody Gilmore lost to Jordon Smith.
Musquin remained undefeated heading into the semifinals after beating Darryn Durham while Bogle needed three to take-down Smith. Hill and Jessy Nelson moved on as well. Musquin continued his winning ways taking down Bogle in two and Hill displaced Nelson to set up a Red Bull KTM teammate showdown. It was an undefeated Musquin who showed how it's done, taking two and becoming the first 250 Class Red Bull Straight Rhythm Champion.
Photo: Garth Milan
Straight Rhythm Open Class Results
- James Stewart
- Justin Brayton
- Malcolm Stewart
- Dean Wilson
Straight Rhythm 250 Class Results
- Marvin Musquin
- Justin Hill
- Jessy Nelson
- Justin Bogle