Red Bull: New Year. No Limits. Countdown Has Begun

Photo: Chris Tedesco/Red Bull

Santa Monica, Calif. (December 26, 2011) – Testing is complete. The ramp installation has begun at the event site. The motorcycle and snowmobile are tuned and ready. Robbie Maddison and Levi LaVallee got to spend time at home with their families and enjoy the holidays. Now it’s back to business and the task at hand – breaking the world record for motorcycle and snowmobile distance jumping at Red Bull: New Year. No Limits. The event will air live from San Diego, Calif., on Saturday, December 31 at approximately 11 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. PT on ESPN, ESPNHD and ESPN3, immediately following the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.

LaVallee, a 29-year-old native of Longville, Minn., will jump his snowmobile alongside Maddison, a 30-year-old Aussie now living in Temecula, Calif., who will pilot his motorcycle as both athletes simultaneously jump over 300 feet of water from the North park to the South park at the Embarcadero Marina Park in the downtown area of San Diego Bay. LaVallee will attempt to break his own record of 361 feet and Maddison will be aiming to eclipse the current record of 391 feet.

On-site viewing will be free to spectators at both parks. Gates will open to the public at 6 p.m. PT.

“The big one is right around the corner now,” said Maddison. “My bike has been totally dismantled and reassembled, Joe Gibbs Racing rebuilt my engine and all the final parts and adjustments are about done. I’m excited for Red Bull: New Year. No Limits. A new world record is the perfect way to start a new year!”

“I’m thrilled because we finished testing and everything went really well and ended on a positive note,” said LaVallee. “So I’m ready, a bit nervous, but extremely excited for Saturday night.”

WORLD-CLASS ATHLETES
Maddison boasts an accomplished freestyle motocross career, with an X Games silver medal in 2010 in Moto X Best Trick and two wins on the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour (Calgary 2009 and Madrid 2010). He also has a successful history of record-breaking achievements and globally captivating feats. Among them are backflipping across the Tower Bridge in London and clearing the Corinth Canal in Greece, to go with his previous New Year’s Eve successes, beginning in 2007 when he jumped his motorcycle 322 feet over a football field in Las Vegas and followed it up in 2008 by jumping onto – and off – the 96-foot-tall Arc De Triomphe at Paris Las Vegas.

LaVallee is a seven-time Winter X Games medalist (four golds) and champion snocross racer. He has fully recovered from a crash while training for the same event last year, just hours after shattering the world record with a leap of 361 feet on a snowmobile. He is widely known for becoming the first person to double backflip a snowmobile in 2009 at Winter X Games. Despite the temperate climate in San Diego, have no fear; LaVallee will use artificial turf on his run-up path, which will provide the necessary grip for his snowmobile’s track to ensure maximum speed as he hits the take-off ramp.

Red Bull’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration highlights extraordinary athletes pushing their physical, mental and technical limits to break boundaries and records. Leading up to their big night, LaVallee and Maddison have worked with Red Bull’s athlete performance experts, physicists and engineers, in addition to their core teams, in an effort to get the most out of their bodies and machines. Valuable information has been attained with the goal of integration into future technological development.

After last year’s unfortunate cancellation, this will be the fourth Red Bull: New Year. No Limits. event in the last five years. In 2008, the year Maddison went up and off the Arc de Triomphe, Rhys Millen backflipped an off-road truck. In 2009, Travis Pastrana jumped his rally car a staggering 269 feet over water, landing on a barge in Long Beach’s Rainbow Harbor.

Mystik Lubricants, title sponsor of LaVallee’s race team, is excited to partner with Red Bull in showing support for Levi during his quest to break his distance jump record in San Diego on New Year’s Eve.

For Red Bull: New Year. No Limits. event details and videos, visit www.redbullnewyearnolimits.com.

Daredevil Snowmobiler Roars Into National Spotlight

Photo: Chris Tedesco/Red Bull

The central Minnesota town of Longville has only about 150 residents, but it’s famous for at least two things.

It’s the turtle racing capital of the world.

And it’s the home of Levi LaVallee.

LaVallee is a championship pro snowmobile racer, but that’s not why he was on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” last week or why he’s going to be on “Good Morning America” this week.

Read the rest here.

Levi LaVallee Set To Appear On Jay Leno Show

Photo: Chris Tedesco/Red Bull

LONGVILLE, Minn., December 13, 2011 – Snowmobile star Levi LaVallee will be a guest on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno this Wednesday, December 14 at 11:35 p.m. ET/PT (10:35 p.m. CT) on NBC.

Levi will follow comedian Louis C.K., starting off on the couch and an interview with Jay Leno, and then proceeding to become the first person to jump a snowmobile in the Tonight Show’s illustrious history.

Levi will be jumping his snowmobile alongside fellow Red Bull athlete Robbie Maddison and his motorcycle at Red Bull: New Year. No Limits. on Saturday, December 31 in San Diego, live on ESPN. Both athletes are aiming to break the distance jumping world records in their respective disciplines. Levi holds the existing snowmobile record at 361’ and Robbie is looking to take back his record by exceeding 391’.

Photo: Chris Tedesco/Red Bull

For more information, visit www.redbullnewyearnolimits.com

Here is the latest pre-event video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIEOjR5hGjI&list=UUblfuW_4rakIf2h6aqANefA&feature=plcp

Round 2: Blackjack National

The Blackjack National marked Round 2 of the National snocross tour. It went down this past weekend in Ironwood, Michigan, -well, actuall Bessemer, which is the next town down Highway 2 as you head East into Michigan’s U.P. Here are some photos I shot on Saturday and some of my impressions on the day as well as the competition overall.

Travis Muller got the call from Warnert Racing to fill in for the injured Kaven Benoit. Benoit was at the race walking with a crutch. He dislocated his hip at Duluth.

No, Ron Pattyn's trailer isn't foggy, it's just my lens. Here he pours some of Dragon's finest race fuel into a test container to bring to tech.

The Stud Boy trailer is guarded by these two vicious guard dogs.

Iain Hayden does his dynamic warm up before Pro practice. He had a gnarly crash at Duluth and had another in the first round of qualifying at Blackjack.

Dan Ebert's mechanic Greg Muller warms up his mod before Pro practice. Dan had a great weekend that the Regional race at Quadna Mountain Park the weekend before.

Johan Lidman warms up on the bike before Pro practice. That Muscle Milk is good stuff!

The lodge at Blackjack. Word is the owners want to make the race a regular deal every year - same date, same everything to people keep coming back. It's not a bad idea as this is about the only place there's snow so early in the snowmobile/ski season.

Pro Lite is where the action is this season and the class has the best racing on the circuit in my opinion. Here Petter Narsa lets Garrett Mees know that the guy with the red plate should go first.

One reason I like the Pro Lite class is there are about 10 guys who can win on any given weekend, and some of them aren't the guys racing out of the big haulers. Chase Rosemeyer is one of those guys.

CSRA regulars Joey Sagan and Dylan Hall were strong all weekend. Hall swept the Semi-Pro points on the CSRA circuit last year and is a rookie Pro on that circuit this season.

Of course, everyone knows Dylan Martin, he's Ross Martin's brother. Like his brother, Dylan has a lot of talent and can win on any given weekend. He will race Pro on the East Coast Snocross circuit this season for Team Southside.

Jake Scott races for Team LaVallee. With Levi Lavallee sitting out the weekend because he was in California testing for his distance jump and Bobby LePage out with injury, Scott carried the flag for the LaVallee squad.

Even with all the talent in the Pro Lite class if you could name one kid who is the next big thing it might have to be Kody Kamm. Kamm is still learning the snocross ropes and is sometimes his own worst enemy on the track. When things fall into place for him he's blazing fast though.

James Johnstad has been lighting it up in the Pro Lite class. He's still super-young too, so who knows where he will go?

Andrew Carlson has the massive support of the Carlson Motorsports team behind him. He seems on the brink of breaking big in the next season or so.

Dave Joanis is another guy who races Pro on CSRA and has dabbled on the National circuit over the past few years. He had a great day at the race on Saturday, winning the final.

With Kyle Pallin and Cody Thomsen moving up to Pro, the Pro Lite ranks in the Cat amp are pretty thin. Perhaps their best hope at a good result lies with Matt Pichner.

Nick Pattyn has risen to the top of every class he's raced in so far, now he's racing Pro Lite. He's young, but definitely on the pace.

Andy Lieders came out of nowhere a few years back and I think still shows promise. He seems plagued by bad luck though.

Joe Fallen has had a great start to his season. He's another one of those privateers who could steal a race if he has a good day.

Oh hey, there's Tucker Hibbert.

Emil Ohman watches Pro Open heats. He's proven so far this season that a healthy Emil is a serious competitor.

Ross Martin says, "That's the gnarly part, right over there," as Dani pees her pants cuz hey, it's Ross Martin!

This isn't the gnarly part Ross was pointing at, this is the kinda gnarly part.

Apparently Mathieu Morin is feeling better after popping his shoulder out at Duluth. He finished fifth in Pro Open Saturday. Must be the Jimmy Johns.

Scott Judnick lookin' all serious and stuff.

OK, HERE's the gnarly part. Downhill, close-spaced, kind-of-a-rhythm-section that was the scene of more than a few crashes. Woulda been sweet to have a massive X Games-style flyaway on this downhill but hey, what do I know?

Justin Tate was running fourth at Duluth on Sunday before he got bumped off the track. He also injured his shoulder in that incident but he said it wasn't a big deal it was better a few days later. He's pretty much a privateer in Pro Open, which is really cool.

Cory Davis was on out Top 10 snocross rider rankings list. He's shown moments of brilliance this season but for the most part has struggled after sitting out snocross racing last year.

Brett Bender's mod is super-cool. The trend this year seems to be black sleds.

Dan Ebert transferred to the main through the LCQ. One of only four Cats to make it in.

The sun was setting behind the mountain as the Pro Lite final went down. Here, Dave Joanis has the lead but he's looking back...

...because Derek Ellis (along with Ellis' teammate Petter Narsa) is right behind him.

Joanis got the win followed by Narsa and Ellis. Narsa still had the red plate at the end of the weekend but he's headed back to Scandinavia to fulfill his contract to race for Lynx. By the way, that's an all-Ski-Doo Pro Lite podium folks.

T.J. Gulla looks for a good place to watch the Pro Open final. After a podium finish at Duluth on Sunday Gulla struggled at Blackjack on Saturday. He came back Sunday, won the LCQ and finished eighth.

The Hibbert and Martin show lines up for the final. First year Pro Mike Bauer qualified fourth.

Hibbert got a monster holeshot, but the start was a tricky one, kind of a double dogleg deal combined with an uphill.

The riders get funneled into the uphill run and yup, looks like Hibbert's got it.

But wait! Hibbert gets tagged from behind and pushed out onto the soft stuff. That taillight at the top of the hill? Oh, that's just Martin, pretty much checked out.

Martin learned last season that you can't let up even when you get a monster holeshot and crazy lead. He was on the gas trying to put distance between himself and whatever was behind him.

He almost had the race right off the start, but once again Hibbert was forced to eat roost as he went to work running down Martin. Something in the driveline on Bender's sled locked up early in the race leaving Tremblay and Malinoski between Hibbert and the leader.

Hibbert got by Malinoski and then ran down Tremblay.

Paul Bauerly ended up tenth on Saturday and ninth on Sunday. Not a bad weekend for a guy who doesn't get much recognition.

Martin came around with about two laps left to go in the 14-lap race headed into the finish line jump...

...with Hibbert close enough to catch some of his roost blast.

Hibbert caught Martin and tried a block pass, running into Martin. Hibbert got by but lost his spindle. He nursed it around to start the final lap...

...then got on the gas, realizing his sled didn't handle THAT bad and hey, every spot lost cost him valuable points.

Shortly after Martin's win Nate Hentges, Tim Bender and Tom Rager Jr. talk about the general awesomeness of the race.

Advantage: Martin.

 

LaVallee To Miss Blackjack National

Photo: Marv Watson/Red Bull Photofiles

LONGVILLE, Minn., December 8, 2011 – This coming weekend, December 10th and 11th, most of Team LaVallee will be heading north to the Blackjack Ski Resort in Bessemer, MI for the second race on the AMSOIL Championship Snocross Series (ACSS). However, Team LaVallee’s pro rider, Levi LaVallee will not be able to compete in the Blackjack National. Immediately following the AMSOIL Duluth National, LaVallee left for California to do another round of testing for his Red Bull: New Year. No Limits. distance jump. With Santa Ana winds blowing strong throughout Southern California, testing was put on-hold until the winds were calm and the conditions were right to start jumping again.

“It was tough decision to miss the Blackjack National, but I knew that there was more testing needed for my distance jump. And ultimately, safety is my first priority and I want to make sure I have this jump dialed for New Years. So I am going to stay here in California, continue to test, and hopefully I can still catch the races online.” states LaVallee.

Team LaVallee’s other pro rider, Bobby LePage will only be doing starts this coming weekend as LePage suffered an injury to his leg late this fall and still has not been given approval to ride from his doctor. Team LaVallee’s Pro Lites Rider, Jake Scott will be riding this coming weekend and hopes to have a successful weekend of racing!

For ticketing and information, visit www.isocracing.com
Can’t make it to Michigan? Watch the races online! http://www.ustream.tv/xsantv

Fox Welcomes LaVallee Back To Its Athlete Roster

Scotts Valley, CA December 1, 2011 – FOX announced today that Levi LaVallee has returned to their roster of world-class athletes after being away for just one season. LaVallee’s 2011¬–2012 season will be action-packed with snocross, Winter X Games, and a New Year’s Eve distance jump over 300 feet of water in San Diego. Levi has his sights set on breaking his own distance jumping record of 361 feet, set during practice for the same stunt in 2010.

“Being back on FOX shocks, I look at how can I redefine my limits and take it to the next level in freestyle, distance jumping, and snocross,” said LaVallee. “Riding on FOX gives me the confidence to push myself to go bigger, farther, and faster.”

“This is so much more than just a sponsorship deal; I’m once again part of a suspension family that supports me at every level on and off the track,” Levi went on to say.

Levi is the current snowmobile distance jump record holder at 361 feet, a 4-time Winter X Games gold medalist, and the first person to attempt a double backflip in competition during the 2009 Winter X Games.

“Levi is very driven and has a packed season across many disciplines,” said Rick Strobel, Snowmobile Race Manager at FOX. “We’re all excited to have him back on the FOX team and to help him achieve his ambitious goals.”

Along with Levi comes the entire LaVallee team owned by Levi and Glenn Kafka, which includes Bobby LePage and Jake Scott.

Video interview with Levi: http://youtu.be/9lJxppga-RQ

LaVallee’s bio: http://foxshox.info/lavallee

LePage To Sit Out Duluth National

LONGVILLE, Minn., November 25, 2011 – Team LaVallee’s, Bobby LePage will sit out for the 20th Annual AMSOIL Duluth National race, held this weekend November 25-27 at Spirit Mountain in Duluth, Minnesota. LePage injured his leg late this fall during pre-season riding and on was looking to return, but after instructions from his doctor, LePage will not be able to compete at the 20th Annual AMSOIL Duluth National.

“I was really hoping to be back by the Duluth National, especially because its my home-town race, but the doctor said I needed a little more time for my leg to heal. So, I am going to keep taking things easy until I get the green light from my doctor.” states LePage.

Team LaVallee’s other pro rider, Levi LaVallee and pro lites rider, Jake Scott will be competing this weekend and it all starts tonight (Friday, November 25th) where the AMSOIL DOMINATOR® kicks off the 2011-12 ISOC AMSOIL Championship SnoCross Series.

2011-2012 sledRacer.com Snocross Rider Rankings

We’re on the brink of the 2011-2012 snocross season, time for the sledracer.com annual snocross rider rankings. Just a week out from Duluth, if you’re not ready now you’ll never be and we’ll help you get revved up with a little snocross bench racing. Bust out a cold one and read on as we give our $.02 on who is the best in snocross. You can see our past rankings (and see how accurate we were) here andhere.

11. Emil Ohman
No. 27
Ski-Doo
While Emil Ohman is entering just his third season of snocross in the United States, he’s been around Europe for a while. Translation: he’s older than you assume. But with age comes experience as well as patience, and the 2008 FIM snowcross world champion Ohman has both and both can be used to beat younger riders. Ohman had a breakout season in 2010 when he stood on the podium five times and placed third in Pro Stock points. He definitely came into Duluth on the pace last season but tweaked his knee there which opened up the gates to an injury-plagued 2011 season. Is a healthy Ohman a contender? It’s tough to say, but the pieces are there.

 

 

 

10. Kyle Pallin
No. 324
Arctic Cat
How can you put a rider on the Top 10 who has never ridden as a Pro? History would show that a rider who dominates the Semi-Pro class like Pallin did in 2012 usually makes a seamless jump into the Pro class. Plus, he finished 4th at the Winter X Games in snocross last season, proving he can ride a mod and put in the laps with the big boys. He’s got a ton of momentum behind him coming into the 2012 season, the question is, can he win?

 

 

 

 

 

9. Logan Christian
No. 43
Arctic Cat
The Pro National series Rookie of the Year last season, Logan Christian suffered a knee injury riding motocross in the off-season. After a less-the-stellar first half of the 2011 season, Christian turned it around after the New York race, made himself a consistent Top 5 rider and almost stole a win at the Hayward event. He rides for Christian Brothers Racing, one of the biggest and best teams on the circuit. Known for his relentless training regimen, expect Christian to start slow coming off injury but pick up mid-season and maybe steal some podiums.

 

 

 

 

8. Cory Davis
No. 160
Arctic Cat
Another rider who spent last year away from snocross (but not away from racing), Cory Davis is a naturally-gifted snowmobile rider, perhaps the most gifted on the circuit. During the summer of 2010 he suffered a severe injury to his foot riding ramps on his dirt bike. While now healed, questions surround Davis’ ability to ride snocross with the “new” foot. If he can pound the laps expect him to be Top 5 if not a podium contender.

 

 

 

 

 

7. Levi LaVallee
No. 108
Polaris
The progression of the sport generally means a season away from racing is a death knell for most racers, but we’re betting Levi LaVallee can come back and be competitive again. Ever fit and always fearless and aggressive, LaVallee does not like to lose and he won’t be out there to mess around mid-pack. A former race winner and Pro Open points champ, he could easily be placed higher on this list.

 

 

 

 

 

6. Mathieu Morin
No. 27X
Ski-Doo
Last season Mathieu Morin swept the Pro points titles on the East Coast Snocross circuit. ECS is not the Nationals so it’s hard to say if he can bring that momentum with him. One thing is for sure, he was without a doubt the dominant rider on that circuit last year and his track record shows he wins wherever he goes. This year he replaces Brett Turcotte on the BOSS Racing squad. He’s been on the National tour before and done well, even winning races (including Pro Stock at Duluth in 2005). He should have a good season in 2012.

 

 

 

5. Garth Kaufman
No. 48
Arctic Cat
Garth Kaufman has quietly worked his way to the top of the field in snocross and he’s stayed there for the past few seasons. His smooth, consistent style combined with an adequate “next gear” that allows him to be just a step faster than some of the mid-packers puts him on the podium enough to call him a contender. While the Christian Brothers Racing rider has yet to show if he has that top gear that would put him out front (and keep him out front) against the Top 3, he’s definitely shown he’s a rider to take seriously.

 

 

 

 

4. Robbie Malinoski
No. 4
Ski-Doo
One of the most experienced riders on the circuit, Malinsoki also rides for one of the highest-profile teams, Scheuring Speed Sports. Famous for logging the first National snocross win on a 4-stroke as well as for being the only rider other than Blair Morgan or Tucker Hibbert to sweep the points championships, Malinoski is a tough, consistent rider who can ride just about anything and always seems to find the podium. Expect him to be on the podium, but betting on the top step might prove risky.

 

 

3. Tim Tremblay
No. 27
Ski-Doo
Two years ago Tim Tremblay filled a spot on the Warnert Racing roster and won the Pro Stock points championship in his rookie season, proving he belonged on the National circuit. His results tapered off in 2011 but he still claimed a handful of podium spots. Still, he’s competitive and is even able to win on the Ski-Doo, a sled that has been a disappointing third best in the pack. On paper, the sled looks much improved for 2012, but will it put Tremblay in the mix with Hibbert and Martin again?

 

 

 

 

 

2. Ross Martin
No. 837
Polaris
Ross Martin led more laps in more races than any other rider in the Pro class on the snocross National tour last season. Problem was, more often than not he wasn’t leading when it counted. Martin races for Judnick Motorsports, one of the most successful racing teams in the history of snocross and has the full force of the Polaris racing empire behind him. The mod-only Pro class should play into his favor because he’s always been better on his mod and has three Pro Open championships to prove it (2007, 2008, 2010). He’s the only rider who, when it comes to ability, racing experience and support, can match Tucker Hibbert. But, until he leads the laps that count, he remains the No. 2 rider on the list.

 

 

 

1. Tucker Hibbert
No. 68
Arctic Cat
In addition to being the reigning ISOC Pro points champion, Tucker Hibbert holds 66 Pro National snocross wins, he won the FIM Snowcross World Championship in 2010 and holds 10 Winter X Games snocross medals, including five gold medals. He locked up both championships last season despite suffering from an injured wrist (that required off-season surgery) for nearly half the season. While Blair Morgan’s win total still eludes Hibbert, the double race format this season could put him close to Morgan’s record of 84 wins. Despite his stats not being as fat as Morgan’s, Hibbert is arguably the greatest snocross racer ever and, until someone beats him on the National circuit, he is No. 1 on our list.

Winter X 2012 Invited Athletes: Snowmobile

ESPN released it’s first round of invited athletes for Winter X Games 16 set to take place in Aspen, Colorado, January 26-29, 2012. Snowmobile athletes are:

Freestyle:
Daniel Bodin
Justin Hoyer
Levi LaVallee
Heath Frisby
Caleb Moore

Best Trick
Daniel Bodin
Levi LaVallee

Bodin Wins Red Bull Fuel + Fury

Reigning Winter X Freestyle gold medalist Daniel Bodin won Fuel + Fury at Wrigley Field. Photo: Red Bull

CHICAGO – November 5, 2011 – More than 5,000 Chicagoans witnessed seven of the world’s best snowmobilers battle head-to-head earlier tonight, showing off their best freestyle moves right outside the iconic Wrigley Field during Red Bull Fuel + Fury. The participants broke out their best tricks, including the Hart Attack, Kiss of Death Flip, Cliffhanger, Superman and Indian Air. While everyone broke out their best moves, Daniel Bodin sealed his win when he debuted the Shaolin Backflip, the first time this trick has ever been performed in any competition. Making the winning moment even more special, Bodin received his trophy from legendary baseball player Ernie Banks.

“This is just amazing,” said Bodin on what it was like to win in Chicago. “There’s a lot of history here; it’s only the 5th of November so we didn’t have snow, but the crowd was screaming and to get a first place win, I mean, it’s the best start to the season. Now I want to go more, harder, stronger and kill it this year.”

This year’s Red Bull Fuel + Fury competition put a spin on what is traditionally a winter sport, taking out the snow and challenging the riders to go head-to-head in a double elimination format on an urbanized track of dirt mounds, turf and steel “kicker” jumps. This event marked the first time Red Bull Fuel + Fury landed in the heart of a major metropolis.

The competition, hosted by seven-time Winter X Games medalist Levi LaVallee, was judged by industry heavyweights Drake McElroy, Dylan Harju, Paul Thacker, Jack Rowe and Greg Hartman. The judging criteria included flight height (air), execution of trick and landing. Other competitors included snowmobiling all-stars Cory Davis, Fred Rasmussen, Ted Culbertson, and Jeff Mullin. Second place was awarded to Heath Frisby and Jimmy “Blaze” Fejes was awarded third.

Bodin earned legendary status in 2008 when he set the world record for longest backflip on a snowmobile, propelling his machine to a massive 147 feet. A true motorsports ambassador, he continues to push the boundaries no matter what the terrain.

HISTORY OF RED BULL FUEL + FURY

In 2003, snowmobile pioneer Jay Quinlan executed the first-ever backflip on a sled en route to winning the inaugural Red Bull Fuel + Fury in Jackson, WY. In 2004 and 2005, he returned to the event, which moved to the abandoned Pabst brewery in Milwaukee, WI, wowing the crowds with back-to-back backflips in 2004. The competition returned to its backcountry roots in Alaska in 2006. The 2011 competition marks a much-anticipated comeback on the biggest stage yet. For the latest updates, visit www.redbullusa.com/fuelandfury.