I didn’t really start this site to write about specific races or do race reports, but I watched the last two SX races – Anaheim II and San Francisco – and noticed something. Anaheim II was the retro night, with a track modeled after the ’86 track where Bailey and Johnson battled.
The track was far more technical than today’s tracks. The jumps were steeper, causing the riders to slow down, and the result was the riders stayed on the ground more. Amazingly, the racing was actually better with the riders on the track instead of flying through the air for 60% of the lap, seeing who could soar the farthest as if it was a jumping contest.
San Fran was a mud bath and the track deteriorated to the point that almost no one could do the triples. And those who did only cleared one triple per lap. Again, the racing on the ground was much better. The crashes were more frequent but less severe. The racing was actually pretty good, with numerous lead changes and lots of battles.
I’m sure the Powers-That-Be will put the DirtWorks crews back to the normal space-shuttle style tracks for the rest of the season but, for my money, we’d be a lot better off if they’d go back to the technical tracks of the ’80s and let the riders actually race instead of play Evel Knievel all night.