Stunt riders take to the air for the Thunder Thursday motocross competition

By Abel Reyes

The audience chanted on for Jeff Griffin, as he won the the freestyle motocross competition at Thunder Thursday. (Abel Reyes)

The audience roared for Jeff Griffin as he won the the freestyle motocross competition at Thunder Thursday, one day before the annual Long Beach Grand Prix starts.  

A packed audience was in downtown Long Beach to see Jeremy Stenberg, Nate Adams, Todd Potter, and Jeff Griffin perform the annual freestyle stunt show.

One day before the event Jay Cruz, Dustin Hedsand, and Tony Carbajal was at Belmont Shore for the yearly Roar in the Shore to perform a more intimate stunt show for fans.

A MX freestyle biker is trying to gain the fans attention by performing a stunning back flip at Thunder Thursday in Long Beach California. (Jorge Hernandez)

Griffin was the youngest out of the stunt motorcyclists and won at his second Thunder Thursday.

“There’s always great talent surrounding me and all I can do is learn right now and so I came out today and tried my hardest,” Griffin said.

Dustin Hedsand was one of the motorcyclists performing, and according to Hedsand, Thunder Thursday was more than special for him this year.

“It’s amazing to perform for all the people that come out but to perform in front of your old man on his birthday is an amazing thing,” Hedsand said.

“I’ve seen my son perform a thousand times but this one was just that much sweeter,” Mike  Hedsand said, father of Dustin Hedsand.

Historically, Thunder Thursday has always been held the day before the annual Long Beach Grand Prix.

According to Dwight Tanaka, director of operations of the Grand Prix, Thunder Thursday was created to warm up the audience before the official races.

Thunder Thursday had a packed house this year, as it brought out families and friends to Downtown Long Beach.

Rachael Lane was at Thunder Thursday to forget about school at Long Beach City College.

“Its spring break and the last thing I want to think about it is LBCC,” Lane said.

The annual Long Beach Grand Prix will begin Friday April 12 at 7 a.m. with the first Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge Competition, and will end on Sunday April 14.