Taking the sport to the ultimate level and combining it with creative orchestration at iconic locations. That is the concept implemented in the worldwide series first in 2007 before the “Red Bull X-Fighters World Series“ climbed to new heights in 2008 with spectacular contests in the bull fighting arenas of Mexico City and Madrid, the stone quarry of Wuppertal in Germany, the Sambadrom parade ground in Rio de Janeiro, a rodeo arena in Texas and a gigantic historic stadium in Warsaw – which was brought back to life for a day before it was then brought down by the wrecking ball.
Despite the breathtaking staging and spectacular shows, the sporting battles remained at the centre of attention and the dazzling competition is what left behind the lasting memories around the world: The duels between eventual champion Mat Rebeaud of Switzerland against Americans Jeremy Stenberg and Jeremy Lusk; Rebeaud’s incredible round in Texas with 10 backward flips; the first 360 by Sweden’s Frederik Johansson in Madrid; Norwegian Andre Villa’s horrifying crash in Rio; and the thrilling come-from-behind challenge by young Spaniard Dany Torres, who crowned his strong season with a victory in Warsaw.
The third season kicks off with the start in what has become a tradition -- Mexico City -- on 27 March. After that the race packs up and wanders north to Canada for the first time with the second stop of the season in Calgary (30 May) before moving back south to Texas for a return to Dallas/Fort Worth (27 June). The European leg of the tour starts with a two-day event in Madrid (17-18 July) and concludes in London on 22 August.
The successful format last year Rookies against Heroes has been developed further this year, according to Tes Sewell, the series’ race director: “Instead of four top-seeded riders we’ll have eight this year who will duel it out with the local challengers.“
The top eight are: last year’s champion Mat Rebeaud (SUI), X-Games victor Jeremy Lusk, Jeremy Stenberg (both USA), world record jump holder Robbie Maddison (AUS), Dany Torres (ESP), Eigo Sato (JPN), Thomas Pagés (FRA) and Andre Villa (NOR).
The expectations of defending champion Mat Rebeaud are: “Breathtaking new jobs – it’s insane how fast the sport is growing.“ His greatest challenger in 2009: “We’ll know more after the first training session in Mexico, but I would think it’s going to be Dany Torres – no one improved as much as he did over the course of the last season!“