Back On Track: at Red Bud
By: Ryan Webb
Welcome to Red Bud Motocross Track for the 2005 ATVA Motocross Nationals. Red Bud is located in Buchanon, Michigan. Well, this is not your average track. They have such famous attractions as LaRoccoís Leap. This is one of the most famous jumps on the entire motocross circuit. But donít think that this is just about the leap. This track has everything to offer, from long straights to big jumps. There is also a huge set of whoops. The layout of the track is great for the fans too. The entire track is viewable from different spots, and most of the fences run right alongside the track. This makes Red Bud a fanís delight for watching the races. However, donít think that this is some new track that is just hitting the circuit, this track has been around since the seventies. Letís take a look at what makes Red Bud a huge success.
As you line up on the starting gate, you will notice that after the short straight there is a hard left almost 90 degree turn. You then come up on a right 180 followed by a left turn that is just over 90 degrees. Hereís a great place to have your cameras ready because we come to what they call the ski jump. This is a huge downhill jump that will take you out about 100 feet. After you land the ski jump it levels off and goes into a left 90 to a double. Now in practice the pros ran the same line as everybody else, but in the motos they had to make a right 90 up a hill to a sweeping left 180 back down. Then there was a right 90 followed soon after by a left 90. Once you made the left, you come to a section that looks like it could be a triple, but everybody did it as a double single. Then you make a hard right 180 to what seems to be one of the most difficult sections of the track.
Looking ahead after the right 180 you come to a double-double section. This is set off by a small double that seems pretty easy, but then you come to what some people call the canyon jump. This is a large double that actually takes you up hill while you are doing it. This is probably about a 50 foot double with the landing about 4 feet higher than the launch. That in itself can be a pretty intimidating sight. However, people were doing it all weekend long. Some werenít quite making it though. There was more than one person who had to be hauled out by the paramedics because they didnít have the distance to clear the jump. But, those are the risks you take when you are racing the national circuit. We just hope that everyone was okay that didnít make the jump. After the canyon jump there was a sweeping left that took you back down the hill and then a right 90 that took you back up. If that wasnít enough up and down there was a tight left 180 that took you back down to a sloped single and an uphill straight. That seems like it had a very small set of whoops, but it was just worn down to the rough.
As you went up the hill, you came to a right 180 that took you back down the hill to a left 180 that took you up a large hill that was a huge uphill jump that dropped off below you. As the pros jumped down the hill they had probably traveled about 100 feet. Thatís pretty big when there is nothing in front of you but the blue sky. When they reached the bottom, there was a short straight that took you into a bermed left 90. Now, when the pros ran, they actually had to take another line that wasnít run by anyone else. They had the straight cut in half and the proís went up the hill over a small uphill single into a right 180 that took them to a single back down the hill, and then they made that left 90 into a left 180. Straight out of that left turn is the very impressive LaRoccoís Leap. Now for those of you, who have never seen the Leap before, it is a very large uphill triple. This triple is something that you might never see an atv do. Thatís right this is something that the pros werenít making. This is a 115 foot triple from tip to tip. However, what makes this so impressive is the fact that the lip of the triple is about seven feet higher than the launch. Pretty much all of the pros were doing the double that measures out about 45 feet. However, the landing is still about four feet higher than the lip of the launch. The Leap will be one of those things that may show itself to be just out of reach for the quads.
After they doubled the leap, they would single the triple and then make a left 180 and head somewhat down the hill to the 90-foot tabletop. Upon landing they would continue downhill and make a hard right 180 and head into the whoop section of the track. These were some of the biggest whoops on the circuit. They were about 200 feet long and were a little more than knee deep with dirt. Many of the riders were having some trouble in practice getting their lines down on these bad boys. However, come race time they had them planned out and running great. After the whoops, you come to a very tight 180 to the left followed by a tight sweeping right 180. After that you come up into the finish line tabletop and started down across the starting straight into a high-left bermed 90 that took you back into the first little straight section.
Just to recap, this track is not for the faint of heart. If you are not going to go big at Red Bud, you would probably be better off not going at all. Red Bud is one of the more challenging tracks on the circuit, but it is also one of the most fun tracks to be involved with. They have some nice high-speed straights and some great jumps. Add in the set of huge whoops and you have a beautiful track that is laid out good for both riders and fans. Red Bud will definitely get your blood pumping as you see some of the best racing that has taken place all year.