Roughest AMA/GP Tracks

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3/22/2018 3:07 AM

So like most Europeans I have the impression that AMA isn't as rough as GP's but never going to a AMA National your can't really compare the two.

So it obviously varies from year to year on how rough a track gets but generally do AMA's get stupidly rough?

So Valkenswaard was one hell of a rough track this weekend. How does this compare to places like Southwick or Glen Helen.
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I would say right now that Lommel and Valkenwaard are the 2 hardest tracks in the GP series, change my mind lol.
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Do places like Thunder Valley get rougher from huge breaking bumps?

What is the roughest Pro race you have been to/seen? Pictures?


I have only ever been to Matterley for the GP's and MXON and its never been too much of a rough track, has some nice sheets of rocks underneath the dirt though. (picture was taken after everyone stampeded towards the podium)
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3/22/2018 3:18 AM

Lierop is/was one of the toughest SOBs around.

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3/22/2018 3:43 AM

The main difference will be you have deeper sand tracks there, and they don’t really do much track maintenance on the GP circuit between races. So with that combo yes GP tracks will most likely be a lot tougher. I can tell you though that walking the track after a national will def open your eyes. It’s nothihg you want to go for a Sunday ride on with the boys lol

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3/22/2018 3:59 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/22/2018 6:18 AM

RV talked about it on the latest Pulp MX Show.

The combo of so many classes, so much track time and very little work on the tracks make the majority of the GP tracks brutal.

But then a track like Patagonia doesn't get rough at all(relatively), partly because only 2 classes. So not all GP tracks develop to war zones.

I would say that the GP tracks are on average gnarlier but there are some tracks in US that gets just as rough or even rougher. The worst part with US tracks is the track prep. It's good with ruts in the corners but not on the straights. The racing suffers so much from that kind of track prep.

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3/22/2018 4:53 AM

I think the US tracks have become overly prepped and watered. It’s not necessarily rough, but the soft highly watered prep to keep dust down in the latter part of the day just creates rut-o-cross. Think back to the old days of Unadilla where it was all grass and the bikes just chewed everything up, it created minimal flow and huge braking bumps. That was pretty rough, then the old So Cal tracks, aka, Carlsbad, it was just hard ass concrete, sometimes watered, some real dusty places, that track was just beat down to the core soil over the years, square edge kickers etc, all the grooming and prep have done away with the old school roughness. That’s just my opinion, not that it accounts for much.

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3/22/2018 6:02 AM

On the whole, the GP tracks are far rougher and have much more varied terrain from track to track. Can't remember which race it was, but I was watching RV at one of the GP races and it was one of the gnarliest tracks I'd ever seen.

Roughest AMA National race I did was Binghamton for me. Track was straight gnarly and the ruts were up to your knees in some corners. Other tracks were certainly as gnarly. But that track always stood out in my mind.

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3/22/2018 6:54 AM

American tracks seem more dangerous because of the huge jumps. I live by Millville and about five or so years ago I remember a guy getting killed trying to huck the huge jump out there on the back side after the whoops/rollers. I know a few guys die every year trying to hit the big ass jumps at Red bud Millville Glen Helen etc. Not being from Europe I don't know what it's like over there but I do know here you got guys on 50+ hp bikes trying huck shit WAY over they're skill level. That to me makes a rough track. Do or die obstacles. If you roll them you can't win- I'll take braking bumps and ruts anyday over a 150' jump

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3/22/2018 1:11 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/22/2018 1:11 PM

I would rate the Euro track to be more demanding, physically. But since the tough ones are soft, they are not that "dangerous", or the consequences of crashing is less.

Take a AMA national track that is ripped 2 feet deep, with 6x 30 feet ruts in and out of every corner and on long straights combined with high speed and huge jumps. I would say consequences of crashing on them, and maybe even mentally riding at that high speed is more demanding.

So two different things.

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3/22/2018 1:12 PM

I was going to comment on Lierop too. I went to that GP once. It's gnarly for sure.

I think it's a different kind of rough sometimes. Hangtown late in the day after the soft shit gets pushed away and you are down in the clay...man...that will beat you up even if you are standing up and feeling fresh.

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3/22/2018 1:34 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/22/2018 1:34 PM

Yep, Lierop could get crazy rough.
Joel Smets once said is was really difficult to ride because it was really hard to get a rhythm going there.

Here's a few rough track pics for the sake of argument.

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Mill

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Valkenswaard

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Lierop

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Lommel

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3/22/2018 4:36 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/22/2018 7:44 PM

The GP tracks that have the EMX classes over 2 days of racing get rougher. It’s just simple math of how many bikes are on the track. The EMX 125 and 300 classes add 80-120 bikes on the track.

They had large gates at Valkenswaard in the MXGP (40 riders) and MX2 (37 riders) classes aswell.

Free Practice: 8 laps x 40 riders = 320 laps
Timed Practice: 9 laps x 40 riders = 360 laps
Qualifying Race: 11 Laps x 40 riders = 440 laps
Warm Up: 7 laps x 40 riders = 280 laps
Moto 1: 17 laps x 40 riders = 680 laps
Moto 2: 17 laps x 40 riders = 680 laps
Total per class: 2,760 laps
Total weekend of MX1/MX2: 5,520
Total EMX 125/EMX 300: 3,800

Total possible Weekend laps at Valkenswaard: 9,320 laps

But if you look at the fly away races, the GP tracks tend not to be as rough as an AMA National just based on participation of riders . The Glen Helen GP was not nearly as rough as the Glen Helen Nationals. Maybe the way it was prepped had something to do with it aswell. But mainly the number of riders on the track.

At a fly away GP. Take Argentina this season using the average amount of laps completed in the practice sessions.
Free Practice: 11 laps x 30 riders = 330 laps
Timed Practice: 10 laps x 30 riders = 300 laps
Qualifying Race: 13 Laps x 30 riders = 390 laps
Warm Up: 7 laps x 30 riders = 210 laps
Moto 1: 19 laps x 30 riders = 570 laps
Moto 2: 19 laps x 30 riders = 570 laps
Total per class: 2,370 laps
Total weekend of MX1/MX2: 4,740

Average AMA National:
4 Practice sessions: 6 laps x 40 riders = 960 laps
1 LCQ: 4 laps x 40 riders = 160 laps
Moto 1: 17 laps x 40 riders = 680 laps
Moto 2: 17 laps x 40 riders = 680 laps
Total Per Class:2,480 Laps
Total Day of 250/450: 4,960


NOTE: These laps are taking an average number for practice sessions. Moto laps are for the leaders. So there was no deduction for lapped riders or riders pulling off. So in reality the number of laps completed is less than the maximum calculated.

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3/22/2018 4:44 PM

KirkChandler wrote:

The GP tracks that have the EMX classes over 2 days of racing get rougher. It’s just simple math of how many bikes are on the track. The EMX 125 and 300 classes add 80-120 bikes on the track.

They had large gates at Valkenswaard in the MXGP (40 riders) and MX2 (37 riders) classes aswell.

Free Practice: 8 laps x 40 riders = 320 laps
Timed Practice: 9 laps x 40 riders = 360 laps
Qualifying Race: 11 Laps x 40 riders = 440 laps
Warm Up: 7 laps x 40 riders = 280 laps
Moto 1: 17 laps x 40 riders = 680 laps
Moto 2: 17 laps x 40 riders = 680 laps
Total per class: 2,760 laps
Total weekend of MX1/MX2: 5,520
Total EMX 125/EMX 300: 3,800

Total possible Weekend laps at Valkenswaard: 9,320 laps

But if you look at the fly away races, the GP tracks tend not to be as rough as an AMA National just based on participation of riders . The Glen Helen GP was not nearly as rough as the Glen Helen Nationals. Maybe the way it was prepped had something to do with it aswell. But mainly the number of riders on the track.

At a fly away GP. Take Argentina this season using the average amount of laps completed in the practice sessions.
Free Practice: 11 laps x 30 riders = 330 laps
Timed Practice: 10 laps x 30 riders = 300 laps
Qualifying Race: 13 Laps x 30 riders = 390 laps
Warm Up: 7 laps x 30 riders = 210 laps
Moto 1: 19 laps x 30 riders = 570 laps
Moto 2: 19 laps x 30 riders = 570 laps
Total per class: 2,370 laps
Total weekend of MX1/MX2: 4,740

Average AMA National:
4 Practice sessions: 6 laps x 40 riders = 960 laps
1 LCQ: 4 laps x 40 riders = 160 laps
Moto 1: 17 laps x 40 riders = 680 laps
Moto 2: 17 laps x 40 riders = 680 laps
Total Per Class:2,480 Laps
Total Day of 250/450: 4,960


NOTE: These laps are taking an average number for practice sessions. Moto laps are for the leaders. So there was no deduction for lapped riders or riders pulling off. So in reality the number of laps completed is less than the maximum calculated.

Thats such a crazy amount of more time on the track! We're talking about roughly 4,000 more laps on a sand track the the average american national thats crazy

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3/23/2018 2:21 AM

Damn how could I forget Lierop such a great track, isn't it shut down now?

How about WW Ranch that seemed to get pretty rutted when the GP ran there. Is that a typically roughness of the AMA's. I don't think they had support classes that weekend?

Found some great photos from WW ranch.

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3/23/2018 3:50 AM

OP wants to talk about rough tracks and all I see in the thread are pictures of ruts? Ruts don't equal rough. Ruts in most cases make for shitty racing imho. No fun to watch and no fun to ride in. We've had a couple of cases the last couple years where they didn't rip the crap out of the tracks because of fear of rain and the tracks still got chopped up and bumpy but WAY less rutty. Red Bud actually seems to have tamed down the water truck the last couple of years and it has been less rutty and damned rough by the end of the day.

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3/23/2018 4:47 AM

AMA tracks here in the US don't see the same amount of bikes as a GP track on a given race day. Most AMA tracks have also trucked in a lot of clay to make jumps hold better and prevent the track from blowing out. Just look at how Southwick is a shell of what it once was. Southwick used to be a legit sand track. Race promoters here in the US are more concerned with bikes in the air than good racing. Look at how tracks have evolved in the states over the years. Literally every track now is riddled with jumps and have at least one "pin and pray" insanely huge jump at each track. Tracks that usually have the best races are tracks that are more GP style traditional motocross tracks like Steel City. Probably the only decent outdoor race that was exciting to watch was Southwick 2016 with Roczen and Tomac going at each other like Ricky and Stewart back in the day.

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3/23/2018 5:37 AM

DoubleA wrote:

Damn how could I forget Lierop such a great track, isn't it shut down now?

How about WW Ranch that seemed to get pretty rutted when the GP ran there. Is that a typically roughness of the AMA's. I don't think they had support classes that weekend?

Found some great photos from WW ranch.

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Yes Lierop has been closed since July 2017 or something. They're still in a lawsuit and it takes a very long time. I hope they will get a permanent permit after all but it's gonna be a long and bumpy road.

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3/23/2018 6:49 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/23/2018 6:50 AM

Terrain is the biggest thing not roughness. And roughness in regards to difficulty shouldn't necessarily always be measured by size.

You can have a blue groove hard packed track with comparatively very small bumps and square edges, but be incredibly technical to ride fast. This is the true art of Motocross. Adapting throughout the day as all the nice lines, smooth areas, generous berms and powder is pushed away...


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3/23/2018 8:34 AM

Man herlings corners very nice!!

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Now that's Italian

3/23/2018 8:51 AM

None of them. It's already been said. Lierop was.

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3/23/2018 1:22 PM

B DUB 333 wrote:

American tracks seem more dangerous because of the huge jumps. I live by Millville and about five or so years ago I remember a guy getting killed trying to huck the huge jump out there on the back side after the whoops/rollers. I know a few guys die every year trying to hit the big ass jumps at Red bud Millville Glen Helen etc. Not being from Europe I don't know what it's like over there but I do know here you got guys on 50+ hp bikes trying huck shit WAY over they're skill level. That to me makes a rough track. Do or die obstacles. If you roll them you can't win- I'll take braking bumps and ruts anyday over a 150' jump

X2 for dangerous but I would not say for general “roughness”, mainly due to what many already said the lack of prep on the European tracks.

ps: I have been one of the idiots mentioned above.

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3/23/2018 1:32 PM

When I think of rough tracks I do not think of ruts I think of chug holes and bomb craters. Carlsbad was the last of those tracks. Unadilla is the closest we have now in the US. The rest of the tracks are all prepped the same even southwick.

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7/29/2020 7:31 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/29/2020 7:32 AM

it’s all rough, europe just has deep sand but here are some pictures of the JS7 spring nationals at Freestone which is easily the toughest track i ride every year apart from underground
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7/29/2020 8:27 AM

Lierop, hands down

Brutal place and so hard to keep up speed

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7/29/2020 9:08 AM

B Dub 333 no one has ever died jumping a jump on a Glen Helen National Track and time the best of my knowledge at any other National Track layout during a National.
And any difference at all is because of who is running a race.
I can remember years ago that a top rider did not know the track was not responsible for the track prep between motos. Even a natural terrain nowadays seems to enhance jumps or sections of a track to slow the speeds down. But yes Europe has tougher tracks when they are natural terrain.

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7/29/2020 9:18 AM

To me, ‘ruts’ isn’t ‘rough’. ‘Rough’ to me is bumpy, not slot car racing.

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7/29/2020 9:25 AM

Lierop/Lommel in UE. I would say Redbud and Millville in USA.

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7/29/2020 9:37 AM

For the medium level i'd say that italian tracks are pretty demanding. Photos taken at the end of the day/during manches.
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7/29/2020 9:38 AM

I'd say that EU tracks are way more demanding, not meaning more skill, but more physical

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7/29/2020 10:54 AM

I’ve once been able to ride (almost) a GP track the next day after the race weekend. Almost, since it was after the old MX3 class race but EMX250 and WMX raced also so the track was pretty beat up. And I can say that it’s not only that it gets rough and beat up, but in a completely different way than the usual rough practice track. It’s a totally different animal, probably because of the prep, how it’s watered and maintained during the weekend and how it’s ridden.

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7/29/2020 11:49 AM

B DUB 333 wrote:

American tracks seem more dangerous because of the huge jumps. I live by Millville and about five or so years ago I remember a guy getting killed trying to huck the huge jump out there on the back side after the whoops/rollers. I know a few guys die every year trying to hit the big ass jumps at Red bud Millville Glen Helen etc. Not being from Europe I don't know what it's like over there but I do know here you got guys on 50+ hp bikes trying huck shit WAY over they're skill level. That to me makes a rough track. Do or die obstacles. If you roll them you can't win- I'll take braking bumps and ruts anyday over a 150' jump

You say, "A few guys die every year...at Red Bud, Millville Glen Helen"? I haven't heard of this. Last Red Bud life lost, I believe, was 2011 of heat stroke Josh Lichtle. I'm shocked to hear a few guys every year.

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