Qualifying Sets The Stage For Friday Finals

Levi Sherwood - Turntable
Levi Sherwood logged the best score

As the world's most prestigious freestyle motocross event series opened a new season with Qualifying runs in Mexico City, the riders brought their best. Old rivalries emerged as 2012 World Tour champion Levi Sherwood of New Zealand logged the best score of the night, ahead of Josh Sheehan and the defending champion Thomas Pagès of France.

After a disappointing 2013 season, New Zealand's Levi Sherwood came back as a force to be reckoned with at Qualifying for the 2014 season opener at the Monumental Plaza de Toros bullring. Close on his heels was another rider from Down Under, Josh Sheehan of Australia, while defending champion Thomas Pagès qualified in third.

With nine long months since the last Red Bull X-Fighters event, all the riders were eager to see what their competitors had in store, and each brought out his best. Sherwood returned to the form that first made him a star when, as a 17-year-old in 2009, he burst onto the scene to win the event in Mexico before progressing to World Tour champion three years later. "I really feel like I am back on my bike riding like I want to ride," he said.

Sheehan delivered on the promise he's been showing as one of the freshest talents to emerge from Australia, and Pagès looked relaxed and confident in launching tricks including his Flair 540, Special Flip and the Volt. Dany Torres of Spain, the 2011 World Tour champion and crowd favorite who is coming back from ankle injury, qualified a strong but conservative fifth after he elected to cut short his second run.

Mexico City's own Erick Ruiz, a relative newcomer on the scene at 18 years of age, finished eleventh among the more experienced contenders with a solid performance, and he has another chance to shine tomorrow night in front of an expected capacity crowd of 38,000. Clinton Moore of Australia had to miss Qualifying due to an injury incurred earlier in the day during training.

The competition will culminate on Friday night with the Finals, which will determine not only who is the victor in Mexico City, but who has the momentum as the season moves to Osaka, Japan for the second of five stops of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour 2014.

Qualifying Results Red Bull X-Fighters Mexico City 2014

1. Levi Sherwood (NZL)
2. Josh Sheehan (AUS)
3. Thomas Pagès (FRA)
4. Rob Adelberg (AUS)
5. Dany Torres (ESP)
6. Adam Jones (USA)
7. Javier Villegas (CHI)
8. Maikel Melero (ESP)
9. Libor Podmol (CZE)
10. Remi Bizouard (FRA)
11. Erick Ruiz (MEX)

The Event is SOLD OUT

Watch Red Bull X-Fighters Season Opener LIVE!
Catch all the action from Red Bull X-Fighters Mexico:

Webcast: We will stream the entire competition live right here on redbullxfighters.com/mexico-live and on Red Bull TV on Apple TV & Xbox 360.
Please note that the live webcast is geo-blocked in the US, but will be available as a Video on Demand from 9:30 pm ET on Monday, March 17.

Webcast Times:
March 14
Canada: 08:00pm (PST) | Mexico: 09:00pm (CST)
March 15
Brasil: 12:00am (BRT) | Europe: 04:00am (CET) | Japan: 12:00pm (JST) |
Australia: 02:00pm (AEST) | New Zealand: 04.00pm (NZST)

TV: The event will broadcast for the US fans on Fox Sports 1 on Monday, March 17, at 7.00pm (ET) / 4.00pm (PT). For more TV stations around the globe please check local listings.

Mexican Fans can watch the event on TV Azteca Siete from 9:30 - 11:30 PM

Live Results: To get results and standings in real-time, hit redbullxfighters.com/results.