Josh Sheehan of Australia and Daice Suzuki of Japan warm up for the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour event in Osaka, Japan this weekend with a series of eye-popping jumps in front of the famous Tower of the Sun building, a 70-meter high landmark with three faces on its front and back sides that is known as the symbol of Expo ’70. Sheehan and Suzuki will be competing against 10 of the world’s best freestyle motocross riders on Saturday, June 1 with leaps of up to 30 meters in distance in front of Osaka Castle in the city’s famous Nishinomaru Garden when the Red Bull X-Fighters World tour makes its first-ever stop in Japan.
Paying tribute to the soaring popularity of FMX in eastern Asia, the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour will make its eagerly awaited debut in the land of the rising sun by staging the fourth stop of the 2013 season in the pulsating southern Japanese city of Osaka on June 1 at a stunning location in front of the Osaka Castle in the city’s famous Nishinomaru Garden. The FMX aces will be performing their mind-boggling tricks off their bikes while jumping distances of up to 30 meters in distance and 15 meters high in front of a sold-out crowd of 11,000 spectators..
Frenchman Thomas Pagès, the winner of the season opener in Mexico City, is back on top of the World Tour standings with 245 points following his second-place finish in Glen Helen, California while Dubai winner Dany Torres of Spain (210 points) and Glen Helen victor Rob Adelberg (210 points) are close behind. Defending champion Levi Sherwood of New Zealand (145 points) also remains in the thick of the battle while Osaka’s very own Taka Higashino got an impressive third place in Glen Helen, his first Red Bull X-Fighters appearance this year, and could still figure in the title hunt with three stops left.
“I’m really looking forward to the stop in Osaka even though I’m a little bit nervous about all this in my home town,” said Higashino, one of the world’s most exciting FMX riders with his big bag of tricks and his gold medal in the 2012 X Games. “I’m sure the crowd is going to love seeing this. It’s going to be a great event for Osaka and all of Japan.”
Startlist Riders: Levi Sherwoood (NZL), Tom Pagès (FRA), Dany Torres (ESP), Javier Villegas (CHL), Todd Potter (USA), Josh Sheehan (AUS), Rob Adelberg (AUS), Taka Higashinko (JPN), Adam Jones (USA), David Rinaldo (FRA), Mat Rebeaud (SUI), Japanese Wildcard
It’s unbelieveable to think that only a few months ago, Josh was undergoing surgery on his C7 Vertebra in his neck to shave out bone which was pressing on the nerve for his arms, and then at his first X-Fighters round, he would be back on the podium!
More unbelievable is the level of competition seen at the Sydney Red Bull competition, where Josh even had to pull out a Double Flip in qualifying to make the top 6, and to gaurantee his place in the Quarter-Finals.
Josh in the end placed 3rd against Levi Sherwood (1st) and Tom Pages (2nd) after he had a huge crash from a Ruler Flip in the Semi-Finals.
Sheeny’s run was looking very tough until he bobbled on his mini-flip off a berm and dropped the bike. The subsequent time to pick the bike up, get back on and ride again meant Josh had some ‘Arm-Pump’. Coming into the Ruler Flip, this was the worst possible timing, and that’s when things went pear-shaped.
Josh did get up, and is feeling healthy and happy to be leaving Sydney with a trophy and knowing he is almost back to his best!
Where does that leave competition? Well, it appears that for all riders to do well, they need to have a full bag of ‘Best Tricks’ to do well. 2013 will be an intense year if the end of 2012 has proven anything. If Josh has to land a Double Flip, Tom Pages (540 Flair, Volt, Special Flip), Jackson Strong (Front Flip combos) to do well.. then 2013 will be huge!
Local hero Josh Sheehan double-blackflipped his way to glory on home soil at Cockatoo Island in front of a sell-out crowd of 11,000.
Sydney will go down in the 11-year-history of the Red Bull X-Fighters as the most spectacular event ever. The winner Josh Sheehan as well as his compatriot Cameron Sinclair aced a total of three double backflips. “I was confident I could do it and just went out and did it,“ said Sheehan, who defeated New Zealand’s Levi Sherwood in the final. “It was what won it for me.“
For Dany Torres getting third place was enough to clinch the overall title at the finale stop of the year in front of Sydney’s impressive skyline, wrestling the title away from Nate Adams (USA) who had taken top honors in 2009 and 2010. Adams took part despite a broken shoulder but ended up in 11th place. The 24-year-old Spaniard, the newly crowned champion, won the season-opener in Dubai (UAE) and in the bullfighting ring casino deutschland of Madrid (ESP). Adams had the best tricks to win the events in Brasilia (BRA), Rome (ITA) and Poznan (POL).
The Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour enthralled more than 230,000 fans at six events on four continents in 2011 and proved to be quite literally a knock-out contest. Both Torres (Brasilia) and Adams (Madrid) were sidelined at events because of injuries. Top favorite Andre Villa, who ended up in third place overall, suffered a broken thigh in Poznan and was forced to put his FMX bike in the garage before the end of the season.