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Amanda’s moto overview of ESPN’s X Games 15

Published August 5th, 2009

The Supercross.com team headed to Los Angeles for the phenomenon that is ESPN’s X Games 15 this past week. I’m lucky, in that I have the freedom to run around and try to cover whatever I deem most important for Supercross.com’s fans. Was I able to cover everything? No – it’s just about impossible! It’s that big of an event! And it’s held at two different venues – The Home Depot Center, and The Staples Center – sometimes with events going on simultaneously!

Amanda's moto overview of ESPN's X Games 15 - Photo 1 of 2

Here is the the ‘track’ before the Freestyle Motocross at The Home Depot Center

Let me tell you – the X Games literally took over LA! It was amazing to see how many people this phenomenal media & entertainment adventure, along with all the competition & athletes, brings into the city!

And speaking of people, the amount of talent that is in one venue at one time is a crazy to thing about! Not only are the X Games competing athletes themselves in town, but so are lots of others, including surfers, snowboarders, wake boarders, motor sports guys, and all kinds of celebrities, stars, and other athletes. They all have a blast watching the X Games live, and are truly in awe of the competitors and what they do!

X Games disciplines this year focused on Skate, BMX, Rally, Freestyle, Step-up, Supercross, Supermoto, Best whip, and maybe a couple others. And every athlete involved focused on their chance at X Games GOLD!

The action kicked off on Thursday at the Staples Center. There we saw some of the top names in the Moto world compete in Step-up and Best Whip. It was great to see Jeremy MC McGrath, and the GOAT, Ricky Carmichael, along side each other competing yet again in Step-up. And seeing Josh Grant (Supercross winner in Anaheim earlier this year) compete in his first Best Whip competition.

Let me say right here, we have five pages of stuff you’ll want to look at too. On the photo pages, you’ll see all the name you love – McGrath, Carmichael, Stewart, Pastrana, Windham, Grant, Hansen, Fiolek, and more! 

Friday was a big day at X Games 15! “Best trick” is one of the most highly anticipated events for us moto enthusiasts. Athletes plan all year long to go into this competition with logic defying tricks, mixed with a little insanity.

Speaking of insanity, every year Mr. Travis Pastrana comes into X Games with the intent to push the envelope. And this year he was going to do it with a trick that no one has tried before: A Flip, spin variation. It was named (by Travis himself!) The 720 Corkscrew.

Unfortunately the trick wasn’t a success and Travis fell 40 ft from the air and required medical attention. It was not pretty. But it was Travis!

Quote from Travis “We are already flipping and spinning, so the next step is combining the two. The last six months I have put a huge focus on this. However, in the last 20 or 30 that I’ve tried to do I’ve just lost the trick. I over-rotated the flip. I had so much flip that when it came time to spin I had to stop because of the momentum and landed on my side.”

Maybe he will try it again next year?

Kyle Loza ended up taking the Gold with his incredible trick. On top of that, Kyle made X Games history by taking the first ever third straight Best Trick WIN!

Saturday brought a lot more Moto action to X Games with Supermoto, Super X and Freestyle, all taking place at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

The action started with the highly anticipated Supermoto final. Mark Burkhart (the 2007 Gold medalist) came into the event as the favorite, but ended up taking second to European Supermoto racer, Ivan Lazzarinini, who almost raced a flawless race.

Super X (Supercross) was next and after finding out James Stewart wasn’t going to be competing due to an injured shoulder during Supermoto practice, the rider everyone felt was the guy to beat was Josh Grant, of the Joe Gibbs Yamaha racing team.

In the first heat Josh had bike troubles and had to bail off his bike while it was in the air. He landed straight on his feet and collapsed like a rag doll. When he was able to move he crawled to the side of the track, … but it was clear to everyone something was severely wrong with his feet.

Right now, we know that JG is in two soft casts and seeing one of the best foot and ankle doctors available. He will be out for the rest of the Outdoor MX season and Motocross of Nations. Get Well soon JG!

As the gate dropped for the 20 lap Supercross Main Event, the 12 riders gave it all they had! Jeremy McGrath almost grabbed the hole shot and found himself in second place a few laps in! Kevin Windham was the early leader, and Josh Hansen in the top five.

Half way into the race Hansen looked like he had the track down like clockwork and was gaining time on everyone! After his second hard attempt attacking Kevin Windham, he passed Windham for the lead! Josh ended up winning by eight seconds, and he took home his second X Games Gold medal in a row in Supercrossl! What’s up Josh?!?!? : )

Josh said right after his victory “This is really just a dream come true. I can’t thank Mitch Payton enough for this.”

The last discipline of the day was Freestyle, The top four contestants all had a couple of slip ups, so whoever was going to take the win was going to earn it by doing something special. Fan favorite Nate Adams had an embarrassing spill on his first run by crashing right off the entrance ramp. It seemed all the competitors were pretty nervous. However “Twitch” felt confident about his chances. He started off fairly strong with a 43, but made a couple small mistakes in his second run and scored a 38. Luckily, Stenberg was the most consistent rider, which gathered him a Silver medal. But the ‘sickest’ guy out there and the Gold Medal winner for 2009? Blake Williams!

Sunday was Rally cars! And what a great competition to watch! Cars flying in the air, parts flying off, and Travis Pastrana! Travis is undoubtedly the crowd favorite – almost anywhere he goes! In the X Games Rally car 2009, he ended up taking second after a crash in the last turn. TP was still was a great sport and high-fived the winning driver – Kenny Brack from Sweden!

I sure hope you got a chance to watch some or all of the X Games live on ESPN!

And I’m already looking forward to X Games 16 in 2010!

A

p.s. Don’t forget – here’s five more sections of stuff from X Games you’ll want to see – especially the photos!

And you can follow major news on Supercros.com via Twitter – http://twitter.com/supercross.com

Amanda's moto overview of ESPN's X Games 15 - Photo 2 of 2

DC Shoes was nice enough to let me into their hospitality area to watch the Freestyle Motocross!


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