Red Bull Straight Rhythm is a two-wheel fun-haver’s dream. Take some of the sport’s top personalities, unwind the twists and turns of a traditional Supercross course in favor of a half-mile drag race of jumps and whoops, and take points racing out of the equation completely in favor of mostly bragging rights. One of the most unique events in the sport, the action takes place this afternoon and evening at Pomona Fairplex in California, and includes 19 riders competing for 16 spots in the premier 250cc two-stroke class.
Gates are just about to open at Pomona for qualifying heats, while the Red Bull TV live stream kicks off later this evening with head-to-head competition. While you’re enjoying the exhibition, here are some of the biggest questions we’ll be looking to answer at this one-of-a-kind event:
Who’s ready to go back in time to motocross’ glory days?
Save for one electric bike (the Alta Motors ride being helmed by Darryn Dunham, even as Alta reportedly shut down this week), it’s all two-strokes riding this weekend at Straight Rhythm. With this being an exhibition event, we’ve always seen all sorts of crazy ideas and interesting bikes taking part at Pomona, but going full retro takes the gimmickry to the next level. Not that it’s a bad thing: bringing old-school bikes out for this weekend’s action has attracted some of the sport’s top names.
Could this month serve as a springboard for more racing for guys like Ryan Dungey and Ryan Villopoto?
Yes, Villopoto was a surprise entry at last weekend’s Monster Energy Cup, and showed exceptionally well considering his time off the bike. But this weekend, he’s also joined by Dungey, the rider with whom he combined to win all eight of the top-level Monster Energy Supercross championships from 2010-17. Even with the rise of riders like Eli Tomac, Marvin Musquin, and Jason Anderson, the sport has missed its top two riders from recent years, and even just a handful of one-offs would be fun to watch.
Of all the fun entries showing up to play today, which is your favorite?
Straight Rhythm is a race that’s all about fun, but some entries will stand out more than others. With all due respect to Dungey and Villopoto, legendary rider and two-wheel personality Ronnie Mac is due to steal the show in the 250 class (obviously). But if you’re following along with the 125 riders who will also be competing, pay attention to AJ Catanzaro: he’ll be riding a Kawasaki with the number 259 on it, paying tribute to James “Bubba” Stewart and his earliest Supercross successes.