PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Thousands of fans of professional motocross will gather in Westmoreland County this weekend for the 2012 Steel City National.
“This one’s good because it’s got elevation change, it’s got some big jumps, and also, the ruts make it kind of technical,” says Blake Baggett of the course. “So, as long as the weather holds out and it’s not rainy, it really turns out to be a pretty cool racetrack.”
One of the main draws to the race this weekend is Baggett, the AMA Pro Motocross points leader. He first churned up the track back after turning pro in 2009.
“I missed it in 2010, but definitely excited; the track’s awesome,” says Baggett. “This is one of the best tracks on the circuit. So, excited to get it underway and the weather is going to be really good.”
The motocross bikes can go upwards of 45 miles per hour, but the men who race them say it’s not speed that wins the race but picking the right line around the course.
Most riders on the circuit have been on a bike since right after they learned to walk.
“I came back when I was 7 and started racing stuff like this, Steel City and High Point, and I’ve just been doing it since, other than when I am hurt,” said Mike McDade, an AMA Motocross rider.
And having one of the AMA’s premiere events in the Pittsburgh area is a big deal for the race promoters.
“Western Pennsylvania people are unique. They are very passionate about their sports, and those that a motocross fans are very passionate about it,” said Tim Cotter, of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross championship. “So, they’ve circled this date on the calendar last year and they’re already lined up out at the gate to come in. It’s just a really special place.”
Events at the Steel City National open Friday when amateurs can ride the course. The main event is Saturday with more racing on Sunday.