The Challenges the Riders Face in Pretoria

Maikel Melero - Flair
Get a deep inside from the pit what it will take to win

Every Red Bull X-Fighters track is different. New stops are added every season, and to keep up with an all-time-high level of tricks, designers tweak the features even at familiar locations like Pretoria, where the World Tour makes its return on Saturday, September 12. A rider who wins the overall crown can truly claim to be an all-around master of freestyle motocross.

On Pretoria's vast track, the riders have plenty of features to play with – if their bikes can deliver enough power despite being oxygen-deprived at an altitude of 1,339 meters (4,393 feet). With a lineup including seven previous Red Bull X-Fighters event winners and a tight group in the hunt for the World Tour title, including Frenchmen Tom Pagès and David Rinaldo and Australia's Clinton Moore and Josh Sheehan, this event is pivotal.

Here, in their own words, are just some of the challenges the riders are facing.

Clinton Moore, Australia
It slopes on the downhill run, so there are step-ups and step-downs – and the elevation level is higher here, so our bikes are a bit more underpowered. The heat is on, but I like it.

Tom Pagès, France
The toughest thing for me in Pretoria is not to make a mistake, because last year I made a mistake and I was out of the event straightaway. I've got to go big for the win here. The good thing about this large track is that I'm going to be fast, and that will release all my power and energy for the big tricks.

David Rinaldo, France
Each jump here is different from the next, so you have to remember that this one is more pop-py than that one, and so on. But the more you ride it, the easier that gets.

Rob Adelberg, Australia
With the double-double jump line, you have to land in full control – you can't afford to be sideways or have a hand that's not solid. You've got to land ready on the gas.

Dany Torres, Spain
Here in Pretoria we have more options – the bigger track gives us a chance to take a different line than the other riders.

Josh Sheehan, Australia
It's similar to last year but there are different options – there are jumps that are at different angles and ramps changed around. The altitude plays with the bikes, and can play with the head as well, and my competitors are also much more consistent this year.

Adam Jones, USA
I think it's hotter than last year, also, which is adding some more issues to the bikes. Being on a hill out there kind of makes things difficult, too.

Rémi Bizouard, France
The dirt is different at every track, and the red dirt here is not really a problem. But it does stick to everything!

Javier Villegas, Chile
There are a lot of things going on – the track, the altitude, the ramps – but those are the same for everyone. So the biggest challenge is to stay in control of myself, in peace, while I'm risking it all.

Taka Higashino, Japan
For me the biggest challenge here is mental. I want to do all the tricks I have, and there's one that's new for me, the 540 Flair, that I'd really like to land.

Maikel Melero, Spain
The altitude for the bike is really tough, but every year the trick level gets harder, and today and tomorrow spectators are going to see the best runs of the world's best freestyle motocross riders.

Alastair Sayer, Botswana
My biggest challenge here is overcoming a dislocated index finger, but I stomped two new tricks in training, so I'm stoked.

 

Watch Red Bull X-Fighters South Africa LIVE!

Tickets: Computicket

Webcast: We will stream the entire competition LIVE on redbullxfighters.com and Red Bull TV will broadcast from the Quarter Finals on. Red Bull TV is available on connected TVs, gaming consoles, mobile devices and more. For a full list of supported devices visit about.redbull.tv.

Please note that the broadcast is geo-blocked in the USA, but will be shown exclusively on Fox Sports 1 on September 20th at 5pm EST.

Start Times: 01:30 pm SAST on redbullxfighters.com with exclusive Round 1 coverage | 02:00 pm SAST on Red Bull TV

Europe: 01:30pm (CET) | Canada: 04:30am (PST) | Mexico: 06:30am (CST) | Brasil: 08:30am (BRT) | Japan: 08:30pm (JST) | Australia: 09:30pm (AEST)
 | New Zealand: 11.30pm (NZST)

Video on Demand: The entire competition will be available as a VoD right after the event on redbullxfighters.com and Red Bull TV. In the US right after the event was aired on Fox Sport 1.

TV: The main event will also broadcast live on several TV stations around the globe. Please check local listings for details.

Live Results: For real-time results and standings visit redbullxfighters.com/results