It was an early start to the day for the riders of Red Bull X-Fighters in Madrid. Due to heavy rainfall, the practice sessions yesterday had to be cut short and qualification was postponed to this morning.
6:30 in the morning is an unusual time to see FMX riders jumping their bikes, but this is exactly what occurred today when riders had a short practice session prior to qualifying. The track crew groomed the course into perfect condition following overnight thunderstorms, so that the qualification session could commence at 8:00.
Levi Sherwood (NZL) took the top spot after qualification by being the first rider ever to pull two Double Backflip variations within one run (he did this in both of his qualification runs). He added his usual great extended tricks to a Nac-nac Double Backflip and a No-hand Double Backflip, earning 91.3 points from the judges.
Clinton Moore (AUS) added some spice into his already great run by landing his first ever Alley-Oop Flair in competition followed by another Flair immediately afterwards on the opposite quarter ramp. His unique Bundy body varial and a Volt off the biggest ramp on course were other highlights that scored him 90.8 points and second position.
Josh Sheehan (AUS) showed determination by landing double flips in early morning practice. He repeated the feat in his run and added more value to it with tricks such as a Double-grab Flip off the big ramp, Indy Flair and a Nac-nac 360. He rounded out the podium after qualification with 90.1 points. The top three are very close in points, so anything can happen in tonight's final competition.
Maikel Melero (ESP) is the top placed Spanish rider and he was the only rider to perform a Front-flip, the first ever landed in competition during a Red Bull X-Fighters event in Las Ventas. He was rewarded with a solid fourth place with his great extension, good use of course and great variety.
Never count an 'old (school) dog' out! Adam Jones (USA), being one of the most experienced of the riders, found himself in 5th position after qualification by focusing on great extensions, very clean execution and perfect landings of his technical tricks, including a No-handed Barhop to Mc Metz to No-hand Landing combo.
Novillero Christian Meyer (ESP) probably created the biggest thrill during the morning session by attempting a Double Backflip to start his first qualification run. He barely made the second rotation, causing him to make a hard impact and fall afterwards. But the Spanish wild child got up and came out again for his second run, this time riding out the Double Backflip, meaning that three different riders successfully performed this breath-taking trick in qualifying! Christian demonstrated great trick extension and FMX skills throughout the rest of his run, which included a California Roll off the biggest ramp on course.
Taka Higashino (JPN) was happy enough with his first run, which included a huge Rock Solid Backflip off the big ramp, a Flair, California Roll and other greatly executed tricks. He decided to skip his second run to save himself and focus on tonight's competition.
Rob Adelberg (AUS) demonstrated good form after recovering from a wrist operation. The highlight of his flawless run was a California Roll to No-hand Landing without touching the bars before getting the wheels back on Spanish dirt, perfectly executing this very technically difficult trick.
Last-minute invite Luc Ackermann (GER) proved he has good variety in his run by including a Surfer Take-off to Tsunami Flip combo, a 360 Nac-nac, Flair, and more impressive tricks in his qualifying run.
Harry Bink (AUS) performed great flip combos, such as a Hartattack Flip, Tsunami Flip and Double-grab Flip in his runs, but he lost points for lack of variety in his trick selection and use of the ramps on course.
Local hero Dany Torres (ESP) recovered from a mistake in his first run by landing tricks such as the Oxecutioner Flip, Lazyboy Flip and more in his second run. But just like Bink he will need to work on his variety and use of course to improve his run for the finals later tonight.
The second Novillero Fred Kyrillos (BRA) performed well, but unfortunately performed his biggest trick, an Indian Seatgrab Flip off the big ramp, after the time in his first run had expired. He showed that he has the tricks and skills to deserve his spot on the Red Bull X-Fighters rider list.
The competition is scheduled for 9:30 tonight, the live broadcast on Red Bull TV will start at 10:00 pm CEST.
1. LEVI SHERWOOD (NZL) 91.3
2. CLINTON MOORE (AUS) 90.8
3. JOSH SHEEHAN (AUS) 90.1
4. MAIKEL MELERO (ESP) 87.6
5. ADAM JONES (USA) 85.4
6. CHRISTIAN MEYER (ESP) 85.0
7. TAKA HIGASHINO (JPN) 83.5
8. ROB ADELBERG (AUS) 82.1
9. LUC ACKERMANN (GER) 80.5
10. HARRY BINK (AUS) 79.1
11. DANY TORRES (ESP) 78.3
12. FRED KYRILLOS (BRA) 75.6
Start list - CUADRILLAS ELIMINATION
3. JOSH SHEEHAN
4. MAIKEL MELERO
7. TAKA HIGASHINO
10. HARRY BINK
2. CLINTON MOORE
5. ADAM JONES
8. ROB ADELBERG
11. DANY TORRES
1. LEVI SHERWOOD
6. CHRISTIAN MEYER
9. LUC ACKERMANN
12. FRED KYRILLOS
Watch Red Bull X-Fighters Spain LIVE!
Broadcast: We will stream the entire competition LIVE on redbullxfighters.com and on Red Bull TV. Red Bull TV is available on connected TVs, gaming consoles, mobile devices and more. For a full list of supported devices visit redbull.tv/apps
Start Times: 10:00pm Local (CET)
July 07: Europe: 10:00pm (CET) | Canada: 01:00pm (PST) | Mexico: 03:00pm (CST) | Brasil: 05:00pm (BRT)
July 08: Japan: 05:00am (JST) | Australia: 06:00am (AEST) | New Zealand: 08.00am (NZST)
Video on Demand: The entire competition will be available as a VoD right after the event on redbullxfighters.com and Red Bull TV.
TV: For TV stations around the globe please check your local listings.