Travis Pastrana Wins X-Fighters Madrid


photo: Christian Pondella
Madrid, Spain, July 27, 2007 – The ten Red Bull X-Fighters participants literally took off at the last of three tour stops in 2007. After all, the bullfighting arena of Las Ventas in Madrid was the event’s home turf, and the riders knew what they owed to the 23,000 enthusiastic spectators, replete with their chainsaws, white bandanas and air horns. But what counted just as much as a good show for the fans was that this was the final chance to win the event and possibly become the Red Bull X-Fighters tour champion of 2007. Coming off as a winner of the contest and the tour was Travis Pastrana.

When the Scuderia Toro Rosso Formula One car driven by team pilot Tonio Liuzzi finally entered the arena, madness was on at Las Ventas! The first head-to-head round in the re-vamped freestyle motocross set-up (a quarterpipe was added as a technical feature) saw the ten-rider line-up being reduced to eight. Germany’s Busty Wolter failed against Aussie Matt
Schubring, while Libor Podmol (CZE) defeated Ronnie Renner.

In the second head-to-head round, Andrè Villa (NOR) put on a smooth and powerful run but, couldn’t come near his opponent, Swiss star Mat Rebeaud. Although Rebeaud was riding with a broken hand, he never seemed to be fitter. His huge whips, airs and flips earned him a position in the semi-final. “Unlucky” to ride against Travis Pastrana, Japanese rider Eigo Sato pushed it hard but his amazing flip combos and Rock Solids couldn’t
keep up with Pastrana’s trick set. Schubring found himself riding against local hero Dany Torres, with his whips, Tsunamis and flips stirring up unbelievable passion among the audience. Technically perfect Nate Adams with his Flintstones and Holygrabs, which sent him to the next round (to Libor Podmol’s eventual regret).

photo: Christian Pondella
The semi-final saw Pastrana compete against Torres. Pastrana unleashed some unbelievably high and stylish tricks (Saran Flip, Nac Flip, 9 o’ clock Indian, Heelclicker and Tsunami Flips, etc.) and even let go of his bike in a Backflip up the dirt hill. Although Torres was riding like a true FMX madman in front of his Spanish brethren, he was under pressure and made a few mistakes. Then, Rebeaud’s pumped-up run provoked Nate Adams to push himself. The American counterattacked with a series of technical tricks but was too fast at a landing and crashed against the barriers of the bullring. Nate broke his finger but thanked the crowd by taking his shirt and goggles off and throwing them into the audience.

The finals were a display of guts, power, airtime, technical skills and audience interaction. Both Rebeaud and Pastrana were performing on a high level, with Travis finally being crowned the winner of the Red Bull X-Fighters in Madrid 2007 and also the entire 2007 tour. “I saw all the guys doing Cliffhanger Backflips in training and then Mat Rebeaud put on such a good run with a broken hand,” said Pastrana. “It’s unbelievable to be on top of all these great guys!”

Results Red Bull X-Fighters Madrid 2007:
1. Travis Pastrana (USA)
2. Mat Rebeaud (SUI)
3. Nate Adams (USA)
4. Dany Torres (ESP)
5. Eigo Sato (JPN)
6. Libor Podmol (CZE)
6. Matt Schubring (AUS)
6. Ronnie Renner (USA)
6. Busty Wolter (GER)
6. Andrè Villa (NOR)

Results Top 3 Red Bull X-Fighters Tour 2007:
1. Travis Pastrana (USA)
2. Mat Rebeaud (SUI)
3. Dany Torres (ESP)