Mike Mason winner of the ASA World Championships of Freestyle Motocross 2009
A capacity crowd of 10,000 fans was treated to a grand display of freestyle motocross’ most daring tricks when eight of the sports’ top athletes took to the course in the ASA World Championships of Freestyle Motocross on October third at the Fairplex in Pomona.
Initially thought of as a battle between defending and two-time World Champion Jeremy “Twitch” Stenberg(Santee, CA) and four-time World Champion Nate Adams (Glendale, AZ), the ASA World Championships of Freestyle Motocross 2009 competition proved to be a hard fought, surprisingly won by Mike Mason (Minden, NV).
During practice runs just days prior to the contest, Twitch sustained an ankle injury, causing him to withdraw from the competition. The door then seemed to open wide for Adams. In fact, he sailed through the quarterfinals when rear wheel problems on Beau Bamberg’s (Gresham, OR) bike left him unable to finish his run. Bamberg was the rider against whom Adams had been matched in the first round of this head-to-head competition. As such, Adams advanced to the semi-final round with relative ease.
Against Higashino in the semi-finals, Adams put down a near perfect run filled with huge whips, no-handers, seat grabs, and a crowd-pleasing sidewinder, which sent him to the finals.
On the top half of the draw, Mason was riding past his challengers as well, throwing a huge flip whip in his quarterfinal run that brought enthusiastic praise from the fans and the announcers. With it, he passed Myles Richmond (Cherry Valley, CA), and met Ronnie Faisst (Mays Landing, NJ), in the semis. Faisst had bested Adam Jones (Warrendale, PA), in the quarterfinals with a good run, but his loss of focus in the semis cleared the way for Mason to ride through to the finals with a more solid, quicker-paced run.
Mason rode first in the finals and turned out a great run with huge extensions, but wasn’t sure how it would fair against Adams. All he could do, was sit on the sidelines and watch Adams, hoping that what he had done was enough. Soon after Adams began he started to just sail through the air over each jump, riding out his time. It was later learned that a hiccup from his bike made it unsafe for him to perform any tricks; Mason had won.
“Atta-baby!” said Mason in celebration. “I always wanted to win this event, so I’ll take it. A win’s a win. This is my favorite event because it’s the most fun, the course is fun – it’s a ‘rider’s’ event, so I’m happy!”
Adams hoisted his second place trophy. “When I can mess up and still get second, it’s all good.”
Higashino and Faisst met in a run-off for third place, and Higashino was the victor.