Friday, 12 June 2015

X Games Flat Track Main

Flat track (sponsored and facilitated by Harley-Davidson) was the opening sport of last week's X Games in Austin, Texas. If you don't know much about the X Games, it is  extreme sports Olympics, a made for TV spectacular and hugely popular.
Motorcycles are often featured, but normally supercross, freestyle and step-up (high jump for 450s). This is a first for flat track and is, I've heard, a four-year deal. I was in Sacramento at the GNC race a few days before the X Games and the whole of the sport was very excited about the opportunity.
The track was built for the event, as rough as a rhino's rump, and about 3/8 of a mile in length. Heavy rains the week before was blamed for the track's poor condition.
The start used an MX-style dropping metal gate, like the Superprestigio does. The heavy twins didn't seem to like it.
One of the most impressive things from a spectating amateur racer's point of view (mine) was how quickly fallen riders got off the track. It was as if a sniper was in the crowd and the TV producers told the riders that if they held up the banjo-string-tight TV schedule they'd get a dum-dum in the back of the head.

There was just one class of invited riders, 24 pros (including Daytona 200 winner, Danny Eslick), trying to qualify for a 12-rider main. This video the main and there are very few surprises in the line-up - this is the line-up, by the way, not the result.

Jared Mees             HD
Kenny Coolbeth     HD
Bryan Smith           Kaw
Mikey Martin         Tri
Johnny Lewis         Duc
Sammy Halbert      Kaw
Briar Bauman         Kaw
Brad Baker             HD
Jake Johnson          HD
Doug Lawrence      HD
Brandon Robinson  Tri
Mick Kirkness        HD

Enjoy the 20-lapper. Make sure you watch right to the flag... G


JP said...

Forgot the X Games were even going on. So I missed most of it.
But , to give an idea about the rain we had, the Blanco River in Wimberley, southwest of Austin reached flood stage of 42 feet. I riding buddy has a friend who lives there, and a Toyota Tundra was floated onto a stump that is atop a hill above her house. Even though her house is something like 10-15 feet above the flood stage, the whole house was under water. Wimberley is where a family was washed, house and all down the river when the waters rose really fast. The family dog was found stuck in a tree, and the husband was found alive. The rest of the family was killed.
One stat I heard was during the worst bit, Texas got as much rain in 24 hours as falls over Niagara Falls in 60 hours
Another stat they mentioned was enough water fell in May to cover every square foot of Texas with 8 inches of water.
Yeah, we got a bit of rain.My yard, though not flooded and rather well drained (I live atop a hill) is still somewhat soft from water, though it is not as bad as even last week.
I'd not be surprised if they had equipment getting stuck in the muck when they started work on the track for the X games.

Sideburn Magazine said...

Yes, I saw it was bad. I didn't hear the winner complaining about the track too much. Hopefully it'll be better next time.
Still a good spectacle.

JP said...

A few of the Daytona short track races in the past have looked worse track-wise, but they are not on the twins for those. I can recall seeing some rough cobbed tracks in the past and forget who once commented that is was good someone fell in a hole as the bike filled it and smoothed things out a bit for the guys following.
Gutted for Mees.
One good thing about the weather was we were not nearly as hot as we can often get this time of year. We didn't have an official 90 degree day in DFW for the month of May. The nights were comfortable getting down into the mid 70's (I was camping in Kerrville on the 4th and 5th). A few years back our first 100 degree day was in April, and I think we went 47 days with temps over 100.