Red Bull X-Fighters in Mexico City: Levi Sherwood Soars to Victory
A sell-out crowd of 43,000 FMX fans packed Mexico City’s famous Plaza de Toros on Friday night to experience a true sensation at the first stop of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour 2009.
Freestyle motocross riders from eleven nations did battle in the biggest bullfighting ring in the world, with the winner, 17 year-old debutant Levi Sherwood, completing a lap of honour around the stadium carried on the fans' shoulders. Second place went to a competitor almost twice his age, Japan’s Eigo Sato.
For the fifth time since 2005, the world’s best FMX riders defied gravity and clashed horns in the legendary Plaza de Toros in Mexico City. The bullfighting theme was present in all aspects of the event, with riders greeted to the arena with drums and fanfares as is the tradition at a corrida, and waving white handkerchiefs in the air to show their satisfaction at the spectacular jumps performed.
New Zealand rookie Levi Sherwood was most successful in taming the fearsome course comprising a range of kickers and huge landing hill. The 17-year-old, competing in his first ever event on the international FMX circuit, managed to come through the quarter and semi finals as well as the final itself without picking up any injuries and brought the capacity crowd in the Mexican capital to their feet with stunning tricks.
His opponent in the final, Eigo Sato from Japan, could do no more than admit defeat and pay tribute to his slayer. The remaining riders simply looked on with astonishment. “I’m better because, at my age, I am able to put my body through even more. Winning here is the best day of my life,” commented “Rubber Kid” after securing a famous victory. Third place went to Levi’s “mentor”, defending champion Mat Rebeaud, whom Sherwood, his “apprentice”, had beaten at the semi-final stage.
Final Result Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour Mexico City 2009
1. Levi Sherwood (NZL/100 points);
2. Eigo Sato (JPN/80 points);
3. Mat Rebeaud (SUI/65 points);
4. Cameron Sinclair (AUS),
5. Thomas Pages (FRA);
6. Andre Villa (NOR),
7. Adam Jones (USA),
8. Jeff Fehr (CAN),
9. Dany Torres (ESP),
10. Petr Pilat (CZE),
11. Johan Nungaray (MEX)
Facts Red Bull X-Fighters:
Red Bull X-Fighters is the biggest FMX series in the world, with the 2009 Tour taking in Mexico City (MEX), Calgary (CAN/May), Fort Worth (USA/June), Madrid (ESP/July) and LONDON (GBR/August). Freestyle motocross events are judged by a team of experts, with points awarded to the riders according to the degree of difficulty and execution of the tricks performed in the air.
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