Levi Sherwood triumphs in Mexico

New Zealand’s Levi Sherwood came out on top after an epic opening round at Red Bull X-Fighters.
By Diego Valenzuela

The opening round of the 2014 Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour featured an epic freestyle motocross battle that set up the rivalries for a season that will span four continents.

Levi Sherwood, of New Zealand, the 2012 World Tour champion, was the winner, with up-and-comer Josh Sheehan, of Australia, in second place and 2011 World Tour champion Dany Torres, of Spain, claiming third. In a shock to fans and riders alike, 2013 overall champion Thomas Pagès, of France, was eliminated in the quarter finals.

Facing a sold-out crowd of 38,000 in the Monumental Plaza de Toros bullring – and taking on the tightest course of the series decorated with murals of the snake god Quetzalcoatl – the best FMX riders on the planet threw down the tricks they’ve been working on all through the off-season, soaring 15 metres into the sky.

Watch a replay of Red Bull X-Fighters Live from Mexico

 

Dany Torres, tercero en el Red Bull X-Fighters de México 2014
Dany Torres, tercero en el X-Fighters de México © Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool

Sherwood came into the competition determined to ride his own way, and he executed tricks like the jaw-dropping Kiss of Death Backflip and the seldom-seen Turntable to perfection.

But the battle was close, with Josh Sheehan top in two of the five categories. “I was really trying not to focus on who I was riding against and to just do my best,” said Sherwood. “As the season goes on I’ll continue to push and take my own way.”

“The crowd in Mexico City makes you feel so good and so pumped up," added Sheehan. "This is epic – words can’t describe it.”

Crowd favourite Dany Torres gave a stellar performance despite a nagging ankle injury. Tom Pagès, meanwhile, finished fifth despite a slip in his usually perfect Flair 540 that put a hiccup in the flow of his run.

Josh Sheehan flies over the Monumental de México bullring at Red bull X-Fighters 2014
Josh Sheehan flying high over the Monumental © Sebastian Marko/Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull X-Fighters Mexico Results

1. Levi Sherwood (NZL)
2.
Josh Sheehan (AUS)
3.
Dany Torres (ESP)
4.
Adam Jones (USA)
5.
Thomas Pagès (FRA)
6.
Rob Adelberg (AUS)
7.
Javier Villegas (CHI)
8.
Maikel Melero (ESP)
9.
Libor Podmol (CZE)
10.
Remi Bizouard (FRA)
11.
Erick Ruiz (MEX)

The riders’ next chance to change their place in the standings will come on May 25, when the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour moves to Osaka, Japan.

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