MotoOnline looks at 10 of the coolest features of the great outdoors in American Motocross.
The Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship is the pinnacle of outdoor motocross worldwide. It’s not the official world championship – that belongs in Europe with Youthstream – but it is the series where arguably the fastest and most spectacular riders on the planet are based.
While at Freestone’s second round of season 2011 last week, MotoOnline.com.au discovered 10 of the coolest aspects in the American-based series. You’ll love each and every one of them!
Have you been to an AMA outdoor before? Share your stories below.
One thing we have seen boosted in recent seasons of Australian motocross is the opening ceremony before the main event kicks off. That’s very much similar to what they do in the States, however there’s just something about the American National Anthem that screams ‘let’s go racing!’. At Freestone they had the top guys in the series lead off one-by-one for the first sighting lap, a site I’ll be sure to remember as Reedy was the first out of the gates ahead of a massive cheer squad.
At most tracks in the U.S, fan access is made incredibly easy with the possibility for them to either cross the track between motos, or simply taking advantage of man-made tunnels that go beneath certain obstacles. At Freestone there were numerous options, enabling fans to watch from the out- or in-field sections of the picturesque tree-lined track.
I’d been undecided until Freestone whether I preferred the unique shorter formats in Australia, or if I preferred to watch the best of the best battle it out over a 30-minute duration. Well, Freestone made up my mind for me as I found myself intrigued for the entire motos in all classes. With competition as stacked as it is right now (and it also is in Australia), there are battles developing like Yo-yos throughout the field all race long. Watching Byrner fight back at the end of the second moto was a particularly impressive memory that won me over.
I mentioned to crowds earlier, but man do they know how to enjoy a day out at the races in the U.S. Point a camera at them and they wave, shout and do anything in between to raise excitement. There are tattoos of bike brands (like them or not!) left, right and centre, plus the off jersey bandit floating around. It’s not only the crowd that sets the atmosphere alight though, as circuit announcers do a great job of providing informative entertainment as well. The buzz right before moto one is electrifying.
Since taking up photography a little more seriously this year, my mind has begun to explore tracks differently than in previous years. Once upon a time I’d look at tracks and picture myself railing berms, carving ruts or attempting the selection of jumps you usually find situated to challenge the pros. Nowadays, it’s all about what turn has nice backgrounds, where will the crowd be the rowdiest on lap one, or what’s the best angle for the finish line as the chequered flag falls. Freestone and the majority of the AMA tracks are superb for photography (and TV cameras), making the coverage look that much better. Plus, the continuity of tracks on the AMA schedule means events have a certain amount of prestige about them each and every year.
It might sound strange, but there’s something about heat and motocross that just works well together. It might not be so great for the stars of the sport as they put it all on the line to win on any Saturday, but you can bet that it’s all the more gratifying at the end of the day when they win big in the heat. Besides, what better way to work on your tan than with a day at the track?
Needless to say, we all love staring at factory bikes in the U.S. They’re the very bikes we dreamed of as kids, featuring the latest evolutions in motocross and the best of the best when it comes to aftermarket bolt-ons. Whether it’s Reed’s factory Honda or Metty’s Suzuki, you’ll be amazed at the attention to detail that goes into the AMA contenders.
Racer X Illustrated started introducing event stickers a number of years ago from memory, and now that MX Sports (a sister company of Racer X) runs the nationals in the U.S, you’ll find sweet stickers at each and every round – all customised accordingly to the track the series is visiting on that particular weekend. This year they’re shaped as cans with support from Rockstar Energy, a nice marketing touch and a great way to remember the event.
Having the podium finishers ride directly to the podium following each and every moto is a fantastic way to get the crowd involved in the action, with a huge mob awaiting the victors following the races at Freestone. It adds to the atmosphere, with fans ultimately awaiting the champagne to pop and they stick around to soak up every last drop of the overspray. That’s what we call a celebration!
Muscle Milk Models
You would have noticed in our behind the scenes image gallery from Freestone that we chased down the Muscle Milk models all day long in Texas, admiring their talent while doing the rounds handing out samples of the product. Yes, Rockstar had a trio of models on hand at the round too, but Muscle Milk won hands down when it mattered in the heat of Wortham.