Red Bull X-Fighters Texas Report


Twelve of the best freestyle motocross riders in the world came together in Fort Worth, Texas today for a competition like no other: The Red Bull X-Fighters. Riders were greeted by a massive technical course that took 850 truckloads of dirt and three weeks to build inside the Fort Worth Stockyards. How would they put it to use?

  • Red Bull puts on an amazing show
  • Freestyle motocross meets rodeo
  • Nate Adams was unstoppable
  • Matt Rebeaud lays it flat off the quarter pipe
  • Thomas Pages hit the ground hard trying to front flip
The amount of talent in this contest was unreal. Looking down into the corrals where the riders were pitted, I saw Nate Adams, the first guy to ever beat Travis Pastrana; Robbie Maddison, holder of multiple world records and the winner of the X-Fighter’s previous round in Calgary; Adam Jones, the 2007 X Games gold medalist; and Eigo Sato, a less known Japanese rider who is actually leading the Red Bull X Fighters points chase! There truly was no favorite, and the judges were in store for some very difficult decisions.

Three days of practice in 100 degree Texas heat lead up to the big night, and for guys like Jeremy Stenberg, the event was over after just 90 seconds. You see, the Red Bull X-Fighters has a unique head-to-head, single elimination format instead of a traditional “jam” format where they are scored out of 100 points. The judges chose Mat Rebeaud, the 2008 event winner, as the better of the two after they’d each put in their best, and just like that, Twitch’s night was over.

Six riders made it in through qualifying on Friday night, and five more would have to compete for the final two spots. After Spain’s Dany Torres put down an energetic opening run, France’s Thomas Pages had his work cut out. Pages made a mistake early and knew he needed something huge to stay in the game, so huge he went! Out of nowhere the Frenchman hucked a front flip in the middle of his run. Unfortunately, it turned out a lot like Jim Dechamp’s flip at X Games 14, and Pages hit the ground hard after grossly under-rotating. He was down for a while, but somehow walked off under his own power. Torres’ spot was locked in soon after, and Adam Jones survived a stint in the hot seat with the second best score to land the final qualifying position.

Eigo Sato and Robbie Maddison would face off next. Sato does all the big tricks and gets great extension, and he’s been the most consistent rider on the tour, but he made a rare mistake and went with a dead sailor for his final leap. The door was open for Maddo, but an awkward landing dislocated his shoulder mid-run. Doing his Aussie brethren proud, Maddison popped his shoulder back into place, got back on the bike, and carried on like nothing had happened. He still lost unanimously to Sato.

Though he didn’t win, the man of the evening was another Australian, Cameron Sinclair. Cam is one of what is now a handful of riders who have tried the double backflip, and he was so confident in the maneuver that he actually ended his Friday night qualifying run by nailing it off a super-kicker. It was the first time in FMX history that the trick had been part of a timed run, and he did it in front of empty stands at 1:30 in the morning. He made short work of Dany Torres by repeating his run, which in my opinion, was the best of the night. With 15 seconds left on the clock he casually rolled up to the steepest ramp, and again executed a perfect double backflip. He was noticeably pained afterward though, and it turns out he had sprained his ankle on the landing.

That pain would bite Sinclair hard in the semi-finals and cause him to lay back a bit. He hit his third double backflip at the end of the run, but in doing so badly sprained the other ankle. He unanimously lost the round to Mat Rebeaud, and the crowd let the judges know that they were not happy.

Nate Adams was just plain on it every time he hit the track. Nate’s got serious skills on a bike, and he felt right at home on the technical course. He didn’t front flip or do a double, triple, or quadruple backflip, but he made the best use of the course and nailed everything in his bag of tricks. He capped each run with an off-axis backflip nac-nac combo. He won qualifying, beat Adam Jones in round one, Eigo Sato in round two, and got every judges vote for the overall victory against Mat Rebeaud. Adams missed round one of the tour in Mexico with an injury, lost in quarterfinals in Calgary to Robbie Maddison, and now sits 70 points out of the lead with two rounds to go. With several riders now practicing double backflips and body varials, this thing’s going down to the wire.

  • Adams was all smiles after taking his first win in a while
Red Bull X-Fighters Texas Final Results:
1. Nate Adams, 100 points
2. Mat Rebeaud, 80 points
3. Cameron Sinclair, 65 points
4. Eigo Sato, 55 points
5. Robbie Maddison, 45 points
6. Jeremy Stenberg, 35 points
7. Dany Torres, 30 points
8. Adam Jones, 25 points
9. Andre Villa, 20 points
10. Thomas Pages, 15 points
11. Jeff Kargola, 10 points

Red Bull X-Fighters Points Standings:
1. Eigo Sato, 215 points
2. Mat Rebeaud, 210 points
3. Robbie Maddison, 145 points
4. Nate Adams, 145 points
5. Levi Sherwood, 130 points
6. Cameron Sinclair, 120 points
7. Thomas Pages, 95 points
8. Jeremy Stenberg, 90 points
9. Andre Villa, 60 points
10. Adam Jones, 55 points