X-Fighters Mexico 2009 Jörg Mitter/Red Bull Photofiles

As we travel to Mexico City to begin the 10th edition of Red Bull X-Fighters, we flip 360 degrees through all the numbers involved in this spectacular FMX tour.

 

6...

Six countries welcome Red Bull X-Fighters this year. Last year it was five (Mexico, Canada, USA, Spain and the UK). This year we visit Mexico (for the sixth time in X-Fighters history), then Giza, Egypt on May 14, and the Russian capital, Moscow, on June 26, both for the first time. Madrid, Spain’s capital, hosts a double-header on July 22–23 before we travel on August 14 to London, scene of last year’s thrilling final showdown at the UK capital’s Battersea Power Station. The last-round honor goes to newcoming host nation Italy in the capital city of Rome on October 1.

 

2001...

The first Red Bull X-Fighters was in 2001 in Valencia, and the event was a Spain-only affair from 2001-4, with two in Valencia’s Plaza de Toros and three in Madrid’s Las Ventas bullring. The 43,000-capacity Monumental Plaza de Toros in Mexico City, the largest bullfighting arena in the world, joined the calendar with Madrid in 2004 and 2005, and both have remained on the roster ever since. In 2006, Red Bull X-Fighters went truly global, and a further seven venues have since played host: Slane Castle (Ireland), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Fort Worth, Texas (USA), Wuppertal (Germany), Warsaw (Poland), Calgary (Canada) and London. And now we welcome Giza and Rome, too. Phew.

 

325...

Nate Adams’ thrilling last-round win in London last year, his second from the five events, took his total points haul to 325, ahead of second-placed Robbie Maddison (265) and Eigo Sato in third (245). The scoring system includes points right down to 12th place. It’s 100 points for the win, then 80 for second and 65 for third place, followed by 55, 45, 35, 30, 25, 20, 15, 10 and five points, from fourth to 12th place, respectively.

 

13...

Thirteen riders make up the core of this year’s Red Bull X-Fighters field. Champ Nate Adams will once again be joined by seven 2009 regulars in Mexico City: Dany Torres (SPA), Robbie Maddison (AUS), Charles Pagès (FRA), Cam Sinclair (AUS), Adam Jones (USA), Eigo Sato (JPN) and Andrè Villa (NOR). Former champion Mat Rebeaud (SUI) will be absent from Mexico due to injury. There are also five new faces among the 2010 list: Johan Nungaray (MEX), Taka Higashino (JPN), Blake Williams (AUS), Libor Podmol (CZE) and Jim McNeil (USA).

 

26.5...

Red Bull X-Fighters boasts four different makes of bike – Honda, KTM, Suzuki and Yamaha – all with their own special characteristics. The rake of all the bikes (i.e. the angle of the steering forks) is 26.5º, with the exception of the Yamaha at 27.3º. All have a 249cc two-stroke engine and a fuel tank capacity of about two gallons. Ground clearance varies from 13.3in on the Honda CR250 to 15.2in on the KTM SX250. For much more detailed number-crunching on the bikes, go to ‘Extras’ and ‘Bikes’ at the redbullxfighters.com website!

 

12...

You don’t just turn up and start doing tricks at Red Bull X-Fighters. Though the six best riders of the 2009 season skip straight in for all tour events, four from the other seven in the series have been chosen by a selection committee for Mexico, and then four from the first event will bag themselves a place in the next in Egypt by their results. Two more invited wildcards make up the field of 12. They all have to qualify the day before in two 90-second runs to try to be one of the top six who’ll miss round one in front of the roaring crowds on the big night and go straight into round two.

 

1-100...

Five judges award points between one and 100, each on a specialist criterion. The five are Variety, Challenge & Execution, Style, Use of the Course and Spectator Reaction. One additional ‘head’ judge is also present to supervise. For qualifying, a straightforward total combined score out of 500 (i.e. 5 x 100) is used, but in the main event, whoever scores most from each criteria wins that particular category, eg 56/100 beats 40/100. Whoever wins the most of these five head-to-head categories takes the round 3–2, 4–1 or 5–0.

 

30...

The number of possible tricks is, in theory, infinite, but the X-Fighters ‘Trick Game’ lists 30, all with a points score out of 10 for five categories. Top scorers include Switchblade (10 for Style), Double Backflip (10 for Suicide Factor), Superflip (10 for Determination), Dead Body (nine for Flexibility) and Backflip (10 for Combo Factor).

 

Play the Trick Game by selecting ‘Trick ’N Play’ in the ‘Extras’ section of redbullxfighters.com


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