On Saturday, August 14, the penultimate round of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour hits London's Battersea Power Station and the title is up for grabs in the ultimate freestyle motocross competition.
We caught up with Australian FMX legend Robbie Maddison after his first training session on the London course to get his take on the championship situation following his win at the previous stop in Madrid to find out if he has any more tricks up his sleeve like the body varial.
Robbie, what are your first impressions, having just ridden the course?
It’s on the opposite side of Battersea Power Station from last year and it’s much bigger. There are a lot more rhythm lanes and I guess overall there are more jumps for us to do our tricks on, so you’re going to see a high level of riding. We actually have a longer period of time on the course to perform our stunts because there are so many different options out there. The course is put together with a unique flow of different jumps, different lengths and heights, so it’s going to be a hard job to win this event, but the fans are going to see the highest level of FMX action yet.
How special was it to grab the win in Madrid?
Madrid was a special event for me because it’s the first round that I’ve won this year and I pulled it off with a new trick that hadn’t been done before in a freestyle competition – a body varial – so it was a pretty special time for me, bringing a new trick to Red Bull X-Fighters. To get it into a run and do a smooth run and get the victory was awesome. I just hope I can repeat it again in London. I know plenty of people are coming to see that trick and it’s a dangerous trick to pull. Every time you go for it it’s a roll of the dice, it’s Russian Roulette, so hopefully there’s no bullet.
Do you have the right jumps here on this course to allow that trick?
It’s probably a bit of a dangerous course for that particular trick because the ramps are popping you really high. Some ramps have a lot of trajectory and a lot of the ramps here have a high trajectory, so if I was to spin round and miss the bike it’s pretty much a done deal for me as far as getting up and riding again goes. I’d probably go down with an injury, but I’m trying to stay positive on it. In practice here I’m just looking for the right jump that feels right and gives me the right pop and the right amount of airtime to perform the trick. I still haven’t made up my mind which jump it’s going to be so I’ll keep an open mind and hopefully I’ll get the vibe out there pretty soon.
"I need a win here and a win in Rome to take the title, that’s just the way it is." –Robbie Maddison
Do you ever think about the danger?
I’m definitely aware of it, but you can’t focus your attention on it because if you do you’re going to think about the worst-case scenario and then that’s going to be your destiny. I guess you want to stay positive and picture yourself having a perfect run to give yourself the best chance of creating that positive energy. It’s as simple as going for the trick and halfway up the ramp one negative thought pops into your head and everything’s gone wrong. You need to stay positive 100 percent of the time when you’re out there. The biggest part of the game is the mental part.
Will the impending new addition to your family mean that you'll miss the final round in Rome?
My wife is 6-8 weeks from adding a child to our family and we’re excited about it. It’s at a difficult time for me because it’s right in the middle of Red Bull X-Fighters and it’s probably going to clash with the final round in Rome so I’m hoping he either slides out early or sits in the oven a bit longer. Either way I’m going to make the best effort I can to get to Rome because I need the points. It’s vital for me because in the Red Bull X-Fighters championship you get to drop one round and I didn’t have good finishes at the start. I’m in second place overall, but I need a good finish here. I need a win here and a win in Rome to take the title, that’s just the way it is.
What advice would you give to youngsters wanting to take up FMX?
It’s a hard road. There are a lot of risks involved and you’ve got to put your dream first. Make every decision based upon where you want to get to in the end. I guess you’ve got to take a lot of risks and be smart about it. It’s not about being arrogant and going out there thinking you’re going to be able to achieve it first go, you’ve got to take the small steps to get to the top of the ladder. You can’t skip steps because you’ll stumble and fall, that’s the nature of the game.
For the latest on the event, visit our Red Bull X-Fighters London event page.