When it comes to our athlete’s we always want them to win and accomplish the goals they have set for themselves but succeeding is more than a measurement of wins and losses. The Red Bull Straight Rhythm is an event that brings the fun back to moto and athletes. The elite line up consisted of past champions rookies and some real-life cartoon character that were set to do battle on a mile long Supercross style track with no turns known as the Red Bull Straight Rhythm. To add to the hype this this year’s event was based around two strokes and a retro theme that would have riders coming dressed as legends in the sport.
Our team at PNG loves to ride so when we decided to field two of our athletes at this year event PNG founder Joe Abbott and his son Jake were more than willing to give up their personal two strokes for Parker Mashburn and Kai Aiello to race. We could have over branded the bikes with PNG all over them, but we decided to really embrace the retro vibe and do a throwback that would represent an era that the moto community could put their arms around. 17 year old Parker Mashburn would be riding a KTM 250 two stroke with #25 representing his OB team Manager Nathan Ramsey and 19 year old Kai Aiello would be riding a 1994 themed KTM 125.
The event jam packed and the vibe was great, so it was time to go racing. The 250 class qualified down to 16 riders and the 125 class was scaled down to 8 for the Main event. After the 250 Qualifying was done Parker was seeded against multi time champion Ryan Villopoto. Kai made some great runs through the technical course but after the times were posted he missed out on qualifying by only a second with a 12th. This was both of the riders first main stage supercross style event, so we were extremely proud of their efforts in qualifying. The sun was going down and Parker was the second group to go and the crowd went wild as Parker defeated Ryan Villopoto in the first round convincingly from start to finish. Parker advanced to the next round against Brandon Hartranft where he would be defeated but Brandon went on to the finals so Parker had no reason to hang his head.
This event is the main objective for what we are wanting to accomplish with PNG athletes. These riders didn’t have a two stroke and KTM was not able provide them one, so we stepped in to support them so they can make memories, gain exposure and better their race craft that would last forever. We had fun, Parker and Kai were safe and our pits were packed with fans of the bikes. Thank you all the riders and bike builders who gave it their all for all of us to enjoy a night of racing and the smell of premix.