Local hero Dany Torres of Spain was in the thick of an exciting Qualifying battle with Levi Sherwood of New Zealand and Japan’s Taka Higashino ahead of the eagerly awaited 2012 edition of the Madrid Red Bull X-Fighters.
There was a riveting three-way battle at the top of the Red Bull X-Fighters Qualifying session on Thursday ahead of the fourth stop of the $1 million World Tour on Friday in Madrid with New Zealand’s Levi Sherwood nipping Taka Higashino of Japan and local hero Dany Torres of Spain. Another Spaniard, Maikel Melero, was fourth in the warm-up for the 11th annual spectacle in Madrid.
Tuning up for the world’s most exciting Freestyle Motocross event of the year in the steamy atmosphere of Madrid’s Las Ventas bullfighting ring on Friday, Sherwood came out on top with a score of 87.50 after two Qualifying rounds while Higashino had a stellar performance in round 2 to get 86.80 and move in front of Torres, who was second after the first round but slipped to third overall with a score of 86.70.
“I’m happy with third place here tonight after I struggled a bit in Dubai and Glen Helen,” said Torres, the defending champion who won the seminal Madrid event in 2009 and 2011. “It’s a good result for me. I’ll try some other tricks in practice and see if that’ll work for the show. I know it’ll be difficult to win again here because a lot of guys are really hot and the levels are all so similar. But I’m going to do my best here and I’ll try to win it.”
Championship leader Todd Potter of the United States, who won the second stop on a massive track in Glen Helen, clearly struggled with the cramped confines of the Madrid bullfighting arena and finished a disappointing 10th in Qualifying.
“It’s just such a small arena,” said Potter. “The course is for people that ride ramps every single day. My elbow’s been hurting me after crashing twice recently. It’s no excuse but it’s what I’m up against. My goal is to be safe and break the top five….and hopefully the top 3.”
Thomas Pages gave the crowd of enthralled spectators the most exciting moment of the evening with a splendid body varial but the Frenchman struggled on a subsequent section of his run and ended up back in 9th place. He is planning to use his mega trick, the Special Flip, in Friday’s main event that begins at 9:30 p.m.
Red Bull X-Fighters Madrid 2012 - Qualifying Results
- Levi Sherwood (NZL)
- Takayuki Higashino (JAP)
- Dany Torres (ESP)
- Maikel Melero (ESP)
- Eigo Sato (JAP)
- Javier Villegas (CHL)
- Blake Williams (AUS)
- Mat Rebeaud (SUI)
- Thomas Pagès (FRA)
- Todd Potter (USA)
- Jeremy Rouanet (FRA)
- Wes Agee (USA)