Red Bull X-Fighters 2009 World Series ready for take-off
The Red Bull X-Fighters World Series in 2008 marked a milestone in the history of freestyle motocross. Spanning six countries in three continents, the world’s best riders pulled off 1,130 jumps in front of more than 170,000 spectators as the series raised the level of FMX to new heights. In 2009, there will be new highlights: stops in Calgary and London, joining series staples Mexico City and Madrid, along with a return to the historic Stockyards in Fort Worth, Texas, where more than 20,000 fans cheered on the world’s best FMX riders last June, with another 20,000 fans watching from outside the venue.
Since its inception in Valencia, Spain in 2001, taking the sport to the ultimate level of competition and combining it with creative orchestration at iconic global locations has been at the heart of Red Bull X-Fighters. The 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 Sambodromo parade ground in Rio de Janeiro, a purpose-built rodeo arena in Texas and an historic stadium in Warsaw – which was brought back to life for a day before it was brought down by the wrecking ball.
Despite the breathtaking staging and spectacular shows, the sporting battles remained at the center 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 final round in Fort Worth with 10 backflips; 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 2009 season kicks off with the start of what has become a tradition – Mexico City – on March 27. After that the series packs up and wanders north to Canada for the first time with the second stop of the season in Calgary on May 30 before moving south to Fort Worth on June 27. The European leg of the tour starts with a two-day event in Madrid (July 16-17) and concludes in London on August 22.
The successful format last year of Rookies versus Heroes has been developed further this year, according to Tes Sewell, the series’ competition 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 riders are: last year’s champion Mat Rebeaud (SUI), Robbie Maddison (AUS), Jeremy Lusk (USA), Jeremy Stenberg (USA), Dany Torres (ESP), Eigo Sato (JPN), Thomas PagÃ©s (FRA) and Andre Villa (NOR).
The expectations of defending champion Rebeaud are high. “It’s breathtaking and insane how fast the sport is growing,” he said.
“Red Bull X-Fighters is an amazing series,” said Maddison, the series runner-up. “I’m excited to visit the new locations, and after coming so close to winning the championship last year, it’s on in 2009!”
For additional information, please visit www.redbullxfighters.com