Just as the setting sun was calming the blazing daytime heat, eleven of the world’s best freestyle motocross riders turned it right back up at Red Bull X-Fighters Texas. Nate Adams defeated defending event winner and 2008 series champion, Mat Rebeaud before a capacity crowd of more than 22,000 fans in the Historic Fort Worth Stockyards. Speaking of historic, Australian rider Cam Sinclair nailed the first-ever double backflip in a competition run, sending the fans into a frenzy. Thomas Pagès of France suffered a hip injury in an unsuccessful attempt at the first front flip in a competition run.
“Red Bull X-Fighters is the very top of FMX,” said Adams. “There is nothing like winning against such world-class athletes, and in front of my fellow Americans. I’m really happy I am healthy and riding well. It was all-around a great weekend for me.”
“There has never been a double backflip in competition before,” said Sinclair, who suffered bruised ankles from the hard landings. “I don’t really care about the fact I was eliminated in the semis – I’m just happy I’m more or less healthy.”
Japan’s Eigo Sato now leads the overall standing of the international series with 215 points, closely followed by Rebeaud (210 points) and Robbie Maddison (145 points).
The scene was authentic Texas, replete with Rodeo Queens, bull riding and even the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, who many say contributed to the heat. Supercross legend and current TORC off-road truck driver Ricky Johnson got the evening started by tearing into the purpose-built venue with a special passenger – Fort Worth Mayor Michael Moncrief, who welcomed the fans to the second-straight Red Bull X-Fighters held in his town, followed by members of the Red Bull Air Force, who made a high-speed drop-in onto the course.
The course was a genuine challenge for the riders, presenting them with more than 15 different jump combinations, thanks to the 850 truckloads of dirt that were sculpted in the three weeks leading up to the event.