X Games Training Day at Pala Raceway
Training Day: Pala Raceway
Prior to the start of X Games Minneapolis 2017, assorted Moto X athletes invited to compete begin to gather at Pala Raceway in Southern California to warm up on jumps, experiment on quarterpipes and perfect their whips. Earlier this month, photographer Chris Tedesco visited the track to document a day in training for X Games.
Before padding up, Axell Hodges says hi from the pits. Hodges is slated to compete in Moto X Quarterpipe High Air, Moto X Best Whip and Moto X Step Up.
Jarryd McNeil (right) unloads his bike at Pala Raceway. Like Hodges, McNeil is also pulling triple duty in Moto X Quaterpipe High Air, Best Whip and Step Up.
Scale to size
Yes, the jumps at Pala Raceway are huge.
Josh Hill is scheduled to compete in Moto X Quaterpipe High Air, and it appears that the invite was well warranted.
Style for miles
Josh Hill, at height over the Pala quarterpipe.
Axell Hodges, all suited up.
Axell Hodges tucks in before take off on a near-vertical lip.
Whipping it up
This is Axell Hodges' whip in practice. It might be time to figure out what that long lost Twitter password is once Best Whip and Tweet to vote hits Minneapolis.
Bryce Hudson certainly knows how to air it out over jumps.
Bryce Hudson keeps it on edge with the ever-popular blunt to fakie.
Quick reminder: Bryce Hudson can jump.
Jarryd McNeil owns 7 medals (3 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze) from six X Games and is the defending gold medalist in Step Up and Best Whip. He can also backflip with the best of them.
On his own time
"I've always had to travel to ride or rely on other riders," says McNeil. "Now, I'm more prepared because I'm on my own time and more comfortable practicing."
"It's kind of like having a bounty on your head," McNeil says of being a man to beat. "There's always pressure, whether you've medaled or not. If you don't have that pressure or aren't a bit nervous or a bit stressed, then something's wrong, because that's how you win."
Jarry McNeil started riding freestyle in 2007 after burning out on racing politics and failing to make any money. He can throw whips in both directions, which will help heading into X Games Minneapolis 2017.
Laying it flat
Moto X Best Whip competitor Tom Parsons gets sideways during training.
Tom Parsons just passed the 300k mile mark on his trusted van. This information has nothing to do with this picture perfect whip.
Parsons' freeriding experience translates into some very comfortable whips at Pala.
A training day at Pala Raceway comes to a close as Tom Parsons poses under a lip. Look for all of the Moto X action to get underway on July 13 at X Games Minneapolis 2017.