- Levi Sherwood
- Resides in:
- Palmerston North, New Zealand
- KTM SX 250
- FMX since:
Levi Sherwood grew up on two wheels and has spent the last 18 years following the footsteps of his father, Dave Sherwood, a professional speedway racer. Levi has established himself as one of the shooting stars of the international FMX scene. Initially set on a path in MX racing, it didn't take long for Levi to realize that he loved jumping and learning new tricks. Even though he is still racing the occasional MX and SX event for fun, FMX is where the 22-year-old's heart and soul is.
Having competed on the Crusty Tour and battled in national events in his native New Zealand and Australia for several years, Sherwood used his international debut at the Red Bull X-Fighters in Mexico City to showcase that he is yet another wonder from Down Under by rocking up with a wildcard and winning the main event! A starting place for the following Red Bull X-Fighters event in Calgary followed, and the rest is history. Despite not being able to repeat his debut win, Sherwood established himself as one of the top riders on the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour with solid performances and outrageous tricks. In 2009, his sixth place in the overall standings qualified him for the 2010 season, and Sherwood was one of the five guys to battle for the title that year. Everything seemed to work in Sherwood's favour with a win in Moscow, a silver medal at X-Games and another victory in London. Unfortunately, he crashed badly at the ASA World Championships of FMX in Pomona, California.
The injuries forced him out of the final battle in Rome and Sherwood watched the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour finale on television. After a few months of recovery, Sherwood got back on his bike at the end of 2010 to train for the upcoming 2011 Nitro Circus Tour in New Zealand, and that was a good practice for him to get serious again in Dubai for the Red Bull X-Fighters season opener. Winning the Swatch Best Move that night, Sherwood got a strong fifth place, which demonstrated that he was riding back into good shape. The most impressive performance was a fourth place in Brazil without an upside-down trick in his runs.
Sherwood was unable to ride all the stops of the 2011 tour due to injury, but the strong-willed Kiwi came back for the Sydney finale and finished second. After a few ups and downs in the previous two years, Sherwood had the best season of his career in 2012 with three Red Bull X-Fighters wins and the overall World Tour which he sealed with his victory in Sydney.
Sherwood kicked-off the 2013 season with an impressive third place in Mexico City and then stepped up his game in Dubai, just missing out on the win in the final against Dany Torres. The stops in Japan and Spain returned mid-field results, and the young Kiwi ended up fifth overall, allowing him to ride any of the 2014 stops and try to do better.
With a better than solid performance in Mexico, Sherwood returned to the top step after winning there in 2009. His rivals were shocked to see that Levi then carried the momentum to Japan where he stepped up his game in Osaka on the biggest track of the season. Tricks performed to perfection from the first training session right through to the final round was what the KTM rider offered the crowd, making him a well-deserved winner. Remembering the mid-season win in Madrid 2012 (the year when he became World Tour Champion) Sherwood gave his all for the hat-trick but had to surrender against a double-flipping Sheehan who had one of the best runs of his career. Travelling to Munich, the young Kiwi had that feeling of déjà vu and ended up third again but was ready to give it all for the championship at the final stop in South Africa. It all looked promising and he demonstrated in training that he was still in the race for the championship. Going into the first qualifier round, Sherwood under-rotated a flip combo and went down hard, taking away all hopes to ride the main event. Overall, the New Zealander ended up second on the World Tour in 2014.
Levi opened up the 2015 season with a bang. The judges in Mexico City must have had one of the toughest decisions in the history of the biggest bullfighting arena in the world where Sherwood ending up disappointed in second place. Unfortunately, it didn't get easier for the KTM rider at the second stop in Athens, even though he was in top form. After a crash in his run, he lost his head-to-head clash and went home with his worst result of the year. From the eighth place in Greece, Levi stepped it up and came second in Madrid before bad luck struck again, ending his season early due to old injuries and the need to remove some metal hardware from his body. Having shown up at just three of the five World Tour events, the Kiwi ended up with an impressive fifth place overall.
At the 2016 event in Las Ventas Sherwood missed the podium by one spot and for the upcoming edition he will once again be one of the contenders for the title. Like every year, the Spanish crowd will go nuts when Sherwood sends his tricks to the next level and they see his style and extension that you can't buy anywhere, no matter how much cash you want to put down for it.