Is David Rinaldo the Dark Horse in Pretoria?

David Rinaldo - Madrid Pit 2014
With two Semi-Finals in a row, the number four in the rankings is ready to strike

David Rinaldo is having a breakthrough season on the 2015 Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour, making the Semi Finals every time he's competed to put himself in close contention for the championship. As the series stops in Pretoria on September 12, the Frenchman is aiming for his first podium.

"It's a dream," says Red Bull X-Fighters contender David Rinaldo of his 2015 season leading up to the fourth stop in Pretoria, South Africa. "To be able to travel to cool locations, to ride in the world's best series for freestyle motocross with the best riders – it's a dream come true."

Ever since he got his first bike at age 4, Rinaldo has ridden for the sheer fun of it. After several years of racing junior motocross, at age 14 he tried a ramp for the first time and found a new passion: freestyle.

The 25-year-old from the Alsace region of northern France has always shown breakout potential in the world's most prestigious freestyle motocross series. In 2011, he made an eleventh-place Red Bull X-Fighters debut at Madrid's Las Ventas bullring, steadily working his way to fifth-place and sixth-place finishes by 2013 and earning roars of appreciation from spectators.

Then, in the process of winning the 2013 FIM FreeStyle Motocross World Championship, Rinaldo crashed, breaking bones in his left hand. He started his 2014 Red Bull X-Fighters season with the hand still so swollen that other contenders were surprised he could ride. His best result of 2014 was seventh place, but Rinaldo wasn't about to give up.

With the level of competition rising not just with every season, but with every Red Bull X-Fighters competition, Rinaldo knew that he'd need at least two body varials, as well as something spectacular off the quarterpipe, to break through to the top.

"I worked hard all winter, and it's paid off," states Rinaldo, whose soft-spoken manner in interviews contrasts with his crowd-pumping style on the track.

At his first event of the 2015 season in Athens, Greece, Rinaldo vaulted into the Semis with more extension and flow than ever before for fourth place, and he proved it wasn't a fluke by battling into the Semis again in Madrid. With a smile, the Frenchman known as "R'Dav" says, "That's an awesome feeling."

If Rinaldo can deliver his breathtaking Volt and California Roll body varials, an Transfer Flip on the quarterpipe and his jawdropping Double Grab Flip, he knows he could clinch the first Red Bull X-Fighters podium of his career on the technical Pretoria track – and maybe even leapfrog up from fourth in the championship standings:

"I just want to keep working, and pushing to the podium. At home you work on technics, but competition is 70 to 80 percent mental, so it's important to breathe, relax, and focus here."

 

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