Early on, Pastrana faced-off against Josh Hansen. Hansen won the first of three races, but Pastrana bounced back to win the second, throwing a backflip at the final jump for good measure. Hansen prevailed in the last run, however, knocking Pastrana out of the contest in the first round.
“I don’t have all the timing, endurance or speed I used to have, but for me to go out there and be fairly competitive, it was so much fun. Red Bull Straight Rhythm was exactly what I wished was around 12 years ago,” said Pastrana. “It was a great experience for me to get back on the bike, keep it a two-stroke and ride a 500cc for the first time in my life, was just awesome.”
James Stewart prevailed against Scott Champion in Round 1, Malcom Stewart beat Brett Metcalfe, Brayton knocked out Ryan Morais and Wilson moved past Grant Langston.
The Stewart brothers both won their respective match-ups in Round 2, setting the two against one another for the semi-final round. Wilson and Brayton advanced to the semis as well. James was dialed and beat Malcom in two races, and then faced Brayton in the finals. Again, Stewart proved fastest through two races, giving him rights to the top-step.
“What Red Bull did with this event was great,” said Stewart. “They thought outside the box and I hope this event is here to stay. It was a lot harder than I thought it’d be. 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.”
Musquin was similarly pleased with the event, beating Jarryd McNeil, Darryn Durham and Justin Bogle in succession to meet Justin Hill in the finals. Hill had taken out Michael Leib, Nico Izzi and Jessy Nelson on his road to the last match-up, but couldn’t match the French rider’s pace in the end.
“Consistency was the key,” said Musquin. “I felt like I was doing well each run, but it was pretty stressful – you don’t want to make any mistakes because you know the other guy is right next to you. It’s close racing and I think the fans really loved it, and the riders loved it and I can’t wait for next year.”
The full results brackets are included below, as are two videos, one featuring riders’ reactions to the straight course, the other a point-of-view run from James Stewart during a practice run and the final from Pastrana’s helmet during his race-winning run against Hansen, complete with backflip.