As picturesque as the 2014 Unadilla MX layout was, we’d pass on the chance to ride the course at the same time as the rest of the 2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. First came the brutal roost, which actually damaged a few rider’s teeth by the end of the day, then the endless ruts that made the track look like some sort of hellish slot car course. How rough was it? Have a look at the GoPro footage from the day.
Ken Roczen | 2014 Unadilla MX | 450 Moto One
Ken Roczen lined up right beside his Red Bull KTM teammate and title contender Ryan Dungey at the start, a risky move for both. What could have happened if the two locked bars while barreling down the straightaway and into the first turn? Unfortunately, Roczen was pinched off by the pack of riders as they entered the first turn and was shuffled a few spots back in the running order. To avoid the melee of the pack and pummel of roost, he moved to the outside edges of the course and raced through somewhat clean air. After a few quick moves, Roczen was into the lead group but still had a ways to go before he could race with the leaders.
One portion of the video that shows the quick reflexes and skill of a rider comes at the 1:18 mark, where Roczen quickly suffers from a bobble while entering a series of rollers but quickly regroups to jump through the rest of the section. A mistake by Phil Nicoletti on the approach of a step-up jump allowed to move up one more spot, and onto the rear fender of friend Andrew Short, and then Justin Brayton.
Within the span of one full lap, Roczen had worked his way from outside the top-ten and up to second place.
Fredrik Noren | 2014 Unadilla MX | 450 Moto Two
The footage from Fredrik Noren's camera shows just how much straight-line power the JGRMX/Toyota/NFAB/Yamaha bikes can put out. Even though Noren's Team Honda Muscle Milk ride is one of the best bikes in the pits, he and the rest of the field lose to Justin Brayton in the gate-drop drag race. After negotiating the turn, Noren finds himself in the middle of the track and in the line of fire from roost. The sound of the rocks bouncing off Noren, the bike, and camera is enough to make the body brace for the impact, but he charged straight through the debris.
Noren's first lap was a challenge, as he worked to avoid downed riders and an endless barrage of block passes by the competition, all while the track was at its worst.