What You Need to Know about Red Bull X-Fighters

Get the inside scoop on the world's premier freestyle motocross competition series.
An FMX rider with a red bull on his back at the Red Bull X-Fighters 2013 event in MexicoCity
Follow the Bull © Predrag Vuckovic /Red Bull Content Pool
By Eric Wright

There is no freestyle series as prolific as Red Bull X-Fighters. What started out as a standalone event in Spain has grown into the globe’s highest profile FMX series. 

Conceived in 2001 in a bullfighting coliseum in Valencia, Spain, Red Bull X-Fighters brought freestyle moto to the rest of the world (and where freestyle’s most lovable maniac Mad Mike Jones took the win in front of an electric crowd). The competition moved to Madrid in 2002, where hometown hero Edgar Torronteras stole the show from the Americans. Since then, X-Fighters has grown, adding tour stops in Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas.

Tricky Competition

What has made X-Fighters so exciting is the energy. Away from the tight confines of American freestyle venues and in packed crowds that could drown out the sound of 50 motorcycles, X-Fighters courses have been the canvas for many riders to show the world what an adventurous mind can do on a dirt bike. Tricks like the 540, Special Flip, the Volt, and some of the craziest whips have graced X-Fighters stadiums, all to the delight of fans who don’t see enough of it.

The event format isn’t the FMX cookie cutter that we have become used to. Riders in X-Fighters are seeded down to eight after the standard qualifying round of two runs. Afterwards, the competitors face off in head-to-head brackets, where five different judges individually rate the runs on variety, execution, form and flow, use of course, and the energy/entertainment factor. One rider moves on from each head-to-head matchup until a winner is crowned.

Tom Pages at the 2013 Red Bull X Fighters event in Madrid
Tom Pages in action in Madrid © Jörg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool

Global Stage

It’s the global appeal of X-Fighters that has attracted the most international crowd of any freestyle event, fans and riders alike. Spain’s Dany Torres has dominated the X-Fighters, standing on top of the box a record seven times. And his competition has spanned the planet. Riders come from Norway to New Zealand, making X-Fighters a veritable United Nations of FMX savages.

In 2014, the Red Bull X-Fighters tour will hit five different stops: Mexico City (MEX), Osaka (JPN), Madrid (ESP), Munich (GER), and Pretoria (ZA). The world’s elite freestyle moto athletes are poised to make an international assault on the realm of motorsports, where riders such as Tom Pages, Taka Higashino, Dany Torres, Levi Sherwood, and more will all look to wave their country's flag as champion.

Watch all of the freestyle motocross action from Mexico on FOX Sports 1 starting at 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT on Monday, March 17. For more info on Red Bull X-Fighters, visit redbullxfighters.com

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