Red Bull X-Fighters Mexico City 2006

April 1, 2006 1:17pm

First Victory for Mat (ador) Rebeaud

SANTA MONICA, CALIF. (April 1, 2006)  Mat Rebeaud of Switzerland adds his name to a distinguished list of motoreros as he claimed victory at Red Bull X-Fighters in Mexico City on March 31, 2006.

The  23-year-old  from Payerne in Switzerland pulled out his entire bag of tricks at the international freestyle motocross competition and experienced "the most beautiful day of my (his) life" winning  his first  big international  competition. However this was a hard won battle, fitting for the world's largest bullfighting ring.

A  sold-out crowd of 42,000 at the Monumental Plaza de Toros was ready with handkerchiefs  and  passion as the velvet night made a perfect backdrop for the dramatic competition.  As early as the first round, top favorite Travis Pastrana  and  surprise  Norwegian  challenger Andre Villa came out hard. Meanwhile  Rebeaud's  rise  to  glory began slowly in fifth place after the
first round where he managed a meager 70 points.

The  top five riders advanced to the semi-finals where the three places for the  final  were  determined -- one of which, for Andre Villa, seemed be secured. But a fall for Villa and a disappointing second round for Spaniard Dani Torres ended their nights early.

The final round began with a breathtaking run by last year's winner, Ronnie Renner, and then topped by Rebeaud, who showcased a trick he just recently mastered which looks like an under backflip.  These two riders set a huge standard  for  final rider Pastrana.  Known for his imaginative riding, the favorite  was  forced  to  push himself even more than usual. This evening though his limits were found: the 22-year-old American experienced a severe fall  after using two obstacles on the course as a step-up jump.  With the crowd  chanting the legend's name, Pastrana was able to walk off the course with  assistance  and  wave once last time to the audience he inspired with his abilities.

This inspiration was reciprocated as the crowd also inspired the riders: "I have  fallen  in  love  with these fans", raved Travis Pastrana after round one.  Last  year's  winner Ronnie Renner thanked the fans with the "largest whip  of  my  (his)  life",  and the Mexican local matador, Johan Nungaray, spoke after his run of the "best and most exciting two minutes, I have ever experienced".

Red Bull X-Fighters Mexico City 2006

1. Mat Rebeaud (SUI)
2. Ronnie Renner (USA)
3. Travis Pastrana (USA)
4. Dani Torres (ESP)
5. Andre Villa (NOR)
6. Robbie Maddison (AUS)
7. Nate Adams (USA)
8. Eigo Sato (JPN)
9. Sebastian Mejia (COL)
10. Johan Nungaray (MEX)