MORE COWBELL: MAT REBEAUD RIDES TO RODEO-STYLE WIN AT RED BULL X-FIGHTERS TEXAS IN FRONT OF MORE THAN 40,000 FANS
Fort Worth, Tex. (June 15, 2008): Swiss superstar Mat Rebeaud flew to victory at Red Bull X-Fighters Texas on Saturday night. Twelve of the world’s best freestyle motocross riders turned the historic Stockyards district into their own personal playground, and the action was as hot as Texas baked beans. The combination of freestyle motocross and rodeo was witnessed by more than 20,000 fans, plus an additional 20,000-plus people outside of the venue, turning the area into a standstill, marking the first-ever Red Bull X-Fighters in America. The event featured rodeo queens, cowboys, and a rodeo chute, where the riders blasted out of to start their runs. Rounding out the top-three finishers were Americans Jeremy “Twitch” Stenberg and Jeremy Lusk, who claimed second and third place respectively.
Rebeaud, who won the season opener in Mexico City, could barely believe his victory. “This is my first win in America,” he said. “I gave it everything on my last jump and if anything had gone wrong, I would have paid heavily.”
The Swiss star knew he had to go big and pulled a Backflip Superman Indie over the 20-foot-high quarterpipe on his last run of the evening. “That was absolutely decisive for the win. I was under massive pressure, but the feeling of relief now is indescribable,” said Rebeaud.
After being forced to concede defeat in the final, Stenberg paid respect to his Swiss colleague. “I am disappointed because I made a mistake, but I have to congratulate Mat,” Stenberg said. “He risked everything and deserved to win. The motto ‘Everything’s bigger in Texas’ was omnipresent here and this hard course has left its marks on all the riders.”
The riders competed on a Texas-sized course created by esteemed designer Dane Herron, which featured 13,000 cubic yards of dirt sculpted onto a 300-foot by 400-foot pad of land. Among the features were seven competition ramps with gaps ranging from 75-feet to 120-feet, two custom metal quarterpipes and several multi-directional dirt hits for the riders to choose from in their 90-second runs. The centerpiece of the course was the dirt quarterpipe, where the riders went for big air.
Robbie Maddison of Australia had to learn the dangers of extreme rodeo riding the hard way in his semifinal against Stenberg. The Australian star fell heavily during his second run. “I landed hard after pulling a Backflip Cordova and my kneecap popped out,” said Maddo. “I couldn’t bend the joint anymore so I was forced to quit the competition straight away. On the way back to the riders’ camp it popped back in on its own. Now I’m really going to go for it at the next Red Bull X-Fighters event.”
Freestyle legend and multi-time Red Bull X-Fighters winner Travis Pastrana made a grand entrance in his rally car, much to the delight of the crowd. Pastrana is focusing on his burgeoning rally career this year and served as the event’s grand marshal.
Following the event in Texas, Rebeaud now leads the riders’ overall series classification with 280 points, followed by Stenberg (235) and Maddison (165). This was the third of five global Red Bull X-Fighters competitions in 2008. The series began in 2001, and this year, in addition to Ft. Worth, has visited Mexico City and Rio, with stops in Germany and Spain to follow.
Final Result – Red Bull X-Fighters Texas
1. Mat Rebeaud (SUI)
2. Jeremy Stenberg (USA)
3. Jeremy Lusk (USA)
4. Robbie Maddison (AUS)
5. Thomas Pages (FRA)
6. Taka Higashino (JAP)
7. Andre Villa (NOR)
8. Myles Richmond (USA)
9. Chuck Carothers (USA)
10. Charles Pages (FRA)
11. Ronnie Renner (USA)
12. Todd Potter (USA)
Red Bull X-Fighters Texas will be aired on ABC next Sunday, June 22 at 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT, immediately following the IndyCar Series race.