PROUDLY SA RIDER: Kerim Fitzgerald, seen here during a training session in Johannesburg, will compete at the 2016 Red Bull Straight Rhythm event in California.Image: Red Bull
California - SA motorcyclist, Kerim Fitz-Gerald (29), is in California where he will take on some of the world’s toughest competitors in the Red Bull Straight Rhythm event on October 22.
It's been less than a month since he competed in the Motocross of Nations (MXoN) in Italy and won his ninth South African Motocross title.
What's Straight Rhythm?
Red Bull Straight Rhythm is an evolution of the Supercross format where riders race on a half-mile long unwound track. Now in its third consecutive year, the event showcases 24 riders divided into two classes with 16 participating in the Open Class and eight riders in the Lites Class (250 cc or less).
The 2016 event will see a revised format with practice, qualifying and finals all taking place on one day under night lights.
Facing world-class competition
Fitz-Gerald, a member of Team Red Bull KTM, is set to face off against well-known international riders Shane McElrath, Dakota Alix and Josh Hill in the Lites Class at Fairplex in Pomona, Santa Monica.
Commenting on the unique track from California, Fitz-Gerald said he was trying to get as much practice in before the big race on Saturday.
He said: “I rode the track for most of the day on Tuesday just getting comfortable on the bike and adjusted to the track. The track is challenging because it’s so fast. With normal Supercross, you have corners where you slow down and then line up but this is quite different - everything is coming at you so fast so it will take a bit of getting used to.
"I’m just trying to ride as much as I can before the event.”
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With a quality field of competitors, Fitz-Gerald knows he will have to perform at optimum level on the day, but feels the opportunity to ride in the event supersedes the riders themselves.
He said: “Taking part in Red Bull Straight Rhythm with all these guys is amazing, especially as a South African. But I think it’s just really special just getting the opportunity to participate. I’m looking forward to the actual event and am grateful for the opportunity to ride. Hopefully this will open a door for future South Africans to compete.”
Check out this cool video: