We are all used to hearing about Red Bull projects in connection with daredevil and lunatic stunts. The good news is that they don’t plan on stopping. The other good news is they teamed up with Markus Stöckl, manager of MS Racing, went to a no man’s land in Atacama Desert, Chile, and did it again.
The trick was to choose just the right 1,200-metre-long gravel slope of 45 degrees in the middle of nowhere and the rest was all simple – put on a weird alien looking slick red jumpsuit and helmet with aerodynamic features and just go for it. It wouldn’t be Red Bull if they didn’t fit the whole bike with GoPro cameras so you could have a perfect first-hand experience of the potentially undies-soiling gig.
Markus managed to reach the top speed of 167.6kmh but that isn’t the fastest anyone has ever been downhill – Stöckl managed to make the previous record himself (because duh) while riding on snow on an Intense M6 and reaching 210kmh. But this current adventure will go down the books as the fastest bike downhill descend on dirt.Even though Eric Barone holds the ultimate record (223.2kmh) for not having the slightest regard for his life (read as being the fastest MTB downhill rider), his bike was specially modified while Stöckl’s was not.
Actually, the bike he rode, a Mondraker Summum, is a production piece taken straight off the shelf. “It’s a standard mountain bike so there’s no part on the bike that you cannot buy,” Stöckl added. “Sure, it’s a high-end bike with the best parts of it but you can buy any part, nothing has been specially made.” Only custom gadget was the suit with enormous flat calves. Did we mention how weird it looks?
For 43-year-old Stöckl, the whole project wasn’t just about those 11 seconds of thrill that managed to whip his pulse up to 170 bpm but also an adventure two years in the making. “I’m back on the mountain without a name in the middle of the desert. It’s tricky because it’s all rocky and loose at the start. It was such a long time and standing up there was like we already cried at the start. It was great fun,” he claimed emotionally after literally falling off his bike in the wake of the successful record attempt.