Don’t Try This At Home: World-Class Freestlye Motocross At The Red Bull X-Fighters 2007 In Mexico City!

Nate Adams makes his entry into the Plaza de Toros. Click any images in the article for a larger version.

Ten of the world’s most renowned and respected freestyle motocross riders covering eight different nationalities had followed the call of the Red Bull X-Fighters and traveled all the way to Mexico to be part of this year’s first of four stops. 42,000 spectators on site and more than 10 million TV and internet viewers witnessed a once-in-a-lifetime freestyle motocross fiesta in the world’s biggest bullfighting arena—the Monumental Plaza de Toros in Mexico City. Packed with elements of traditional bullfighting, flamenco performances and music acts, the contest format had ten top riders compete in a testosterone-loaded head-to-head battle. 19-year-old young gun Dany “DT” Torres (ESP) pulled the most powerful tricks with ultimate style and creativity, which earned him victory. Nate Adams (USA) came in second, followed by Robbie “Maddo” Maddison (AUS) who finished third.

The participating riders of Red Bull X-Fighters 2007.
© Ray Demski/Red Bull Photofiles


One of the riders soaring up into the Mexican skies.
Photo Credit: © Ray Demski/Red Bull Photofiles

The Mexico edition of the 2007 tour (including stops in Slane Castle/Ireland, Moscow and Madrid) is the first big challenge for strength and skills after a winter’s training season. Training and qualification already gave an impression of who might be breaking the limits in the contest with all-time technical ruler Nate Adams (USA) as well as Robbie Maddison (AUS), Eigo Sato (JAP), Ronnie Renner (USA) and Mat Rebeaud (SUI) flexing their muscles and showing some breakneck tricks: Super Can to Hart Attack, Lazy Boy Backflip, Cordova Backflip, Cliffhanger, Kiss of Death, Backflip One-Handed Can Can, Dead Body, Heelclicker Backflip and Nothing to Double Seat Grab, … – what sounds like some weird alien babble is actually the order of business of these hardy souls.

 Plaza de Toros is ready for some action.
Photo Credit: © floha
gena.com/Red Bull Photofiles

Wrestler Hijo de Santo wowing the Mexican fans.
Photo Credit: © flohagena.com/Red Bull Photofiles

At 9:00 pm local time the show was about to begin: 42,000 enthusiastic spectators had come to witness the Red Bull X-Fighters in Mexico City with 42.000 waving white bandanas covering the ranks of the Monumental Plaza de Toros. The FMX setup in Mexico City’s bullfighting arena was small and narrow, bringing the audience extremely close to their FMX heroes. Kicking off the show was a spectacular display of music, and the thunderous appearance of “Hijo de Santo”, son and successor of Mexico’s most famous wrestling star “Santo”. Also, the audience was enthused by an impressive imitation of Pamplona’s (ESP) traditional running of the bulls - except that the San Fermines (runners) were running from the furious FMX riders on their motocross bikes instead of wild bulls. “Viva México!” the speaker shouted out loudly. “Viva!” was the answer of 42.000 spectators.

Mathieu Rebeaud and Gilmar 'Joaninha' Flores ready to compete.
Photo Credit: © alexschelbert.de/Red Bull

Dany Torres ripping the Mexican night sky.
Photo Credit: © flohagena.com/Red Bull Photofiles

Shooting up into the night sky above Mexico as high as 20 meters with their 250ccm bikes, the bold motoreros radiated speed, style and power. Among the judging criteria were difficulty and execution of tricks, variety of tricks and usage of course, style and show aspects, and overall impression. At the Red Bull X-Fighters, the crowd also has a big say in the judging of a rider’s presentation, so Mexico’s most famous TV host Facundo acted as the judge of the spectators’ voice.

Mathieu Rebeaud working on his trick list.
Photo Credit: © Ray Demski/Red Bull Photofiles

Gabriel Villegas from Chile with his version of a dead body.
Photo Credit: © alexschelbert.de/Red Bull Photofiles

The first head-to-head round saw Japan’s Eigo Sato compete against showman and all-time favorite of the Mexican audience Ronnie Renner (USA). Sato impressed with a super solid run, which sent him off to the next round. Australia’s FMX star Robbie “Maddo” Maddison used the whole setup with style and power, leaving no option to his opponent Gabriel Villegas (CHI). Although last year’s triumphant Mat Rebeaud (SUI) was a little handicapped due to a recent femur injury, he excelled in the first round and won against Gilmar “Joaninha” Flores from Brazil.

Ronnie Renner stretching a cliffhanger.
Photo Credit: © flohagena.com/Red Bull Photofiles

Dany Torres from Spain pulling off a heelclicker backflip.
Photo Credit: © alexschelbert.de/Red Bull Photofiles

Although local hero Johan Nungaray was enthusiastically supported by the cheering crowd, it was unbeatable Nate Adams (USA) who rocked the arena and scored with some extremely difficult tricks and perfect execution. Californian "all or nothing" wild boy Brian Deegan was sort of lost in his own performance while shooting star Dany Torres (ESP) performed with some incredible technique, style and airtime. His passion and skills paved the way for him to enter the next head-to-head round.

Ronnie Renner.
Photo Credit: © flohagena.com/Red Bull Photofiles

 Photo Credit: © flohagena.com/Red Bull Photofiles

While the riders and judges prepared for the next head-to-head challenge, the audience came to witness a one-of-a-kind flamenco performance on one of the stages along the arena – an exquisite expression of grace and elegance. The arena was up in excitement and cheers, ready for the next FMX delicacy.

Mathieu Rebeaud.
Photo Credit: © flohagena.com/Red Bull Photofiles

Nate Adams, Cordova backflip.
Photo Credit: © flohagena.com/Red Bull Photofiles

Spotlight back on FMX: In the second head-to-head round, the winners of the first round plus one so-called “lucky loser” (chosen by the judges) continued to compete in pairs. Quite obviously, the lucky loser in Mexico City was Ronnie Renner. The crowd just would not let go of him without having seen some more of his riding, breakdancing and striptease performances.

Dany Torres of Spain performs the tsunami.
Photo Credit: © alexschelbert.de/Red Bull Photofiles

When Robbie Maddison (AUS) and Mat Rebeaud (SUI) then pushed their bikes into the arena, the Plaza was literally boiling. Maddo unleashed a powerful Supercan, Superman Seat Grab, Whip and Off-Axis Nac Nac Backflip; he also did a nice wallride and a wild wheelie on the X-shaped funbox. His level of tricks, execution and usage of the whole setup earned him supremacy over Mat Rebeaud who showed some solid tricks but repeated one, which lead to a lower ranking of his performance. Then Nate Adams practically exploded as he pulled one perfect technical trick after another. Faced with such a run, style master Eigo Sato failed to withstand. Riding against Dany Torres, Ronnie Renner then threw some massive Superwhips but no Flips, which is one of the reasons why Dany Torres won the battle. A ride on the funbox, a massive Superwhip, perfect Heelclicker Backflip and Kiss of Death were among Torres’ statements to the judges and the crowd.

Mexican rock band Fobia ruling the stage.
Photo Credit: © flohagena.com/Red Bull Photofiles

Just before the super final - a battle of the three winners of the second head-to-head round - Mexico’s famous rock band Fobia performed on stage with electric guitars, drums and some loud rock ‘n’ roll. This was to give an impression of what the spectators could expect from the FMX fireworks to come.

The final: First entering the final was Robbie Maddison with a strong and versatile run. Smooth and progressive with Flips and Whips, he hit all the ramps and obstacles on course riding faster than anyone else. A class of his own when it comes to a large trick repertoire, technique and confidence, Nate Adams (USA) splashed out and pulled some super clean Catwalks, Cordova Backflips and Lazy Boys.

Robbie Maddison during an interview with Mike Jones.
Photo Credit: © rutgerpauw.com/Red Bull Photofiles

However, neither Maddison nor Adams could stop 19-year-old Latino young gun Dany ”DT“ Torres (ESP). When Torres pushed into the super final, the crowd jumped off their seats waving their bandanas and screaming and cheering like crazy. After all, Torres was one of them, a passionate Latino, representing pride, power and charm. Fiercely attacking his former heroes, Torres threw some super high Cliffhangers, Turndowns, Superflips and Heelclicker Backflips with a breathtaking Turndown Whip as the winning jump. A combination of sophisticated riding, variety of tricks and interaction with the crowd earned him victory.

Red Bull X-Fighters 2007 sends Plaza de Toros into a frenzy.
Photo Credit: © rutgerpauw.com/Red Bull Photofiles

“I watched Maddo and Nate ride really well so I knew I had to push it to the very limit to beat them. It worked out and I am super happy!”, said Torres completely out of breath. No doubt, the Red Bull X-Fighters in Mexico City will be something to remember for young Torres. At the huge aftershow party in downtown Mexico City, the riders partied until daylight. No competition this time - just fun!

Dany Torres, Nate Adams and Robbie Maddison celebrating their victory.
Photo Credit: © flohagena.com/Red Bull Photofiles

The Red Bull X-Fighters are going on tour for the first time in 2007, hosted by three more venues after Mexico City. On May 26th, world-class motocross freestyle will conquer famous Slane Castle, Ireland. On June 30th, the Red Bull X-Fighters will take place in Moscow, followed by the final tour event on July 27th in Madrid.

RESULTS:

Final:

  1. Dany Torres (ESP) – 100 points
  2. Nate Adamy(USA) – 93.9 points
  3. Robbie Maddison (AUS) - 84 points
  4. Mat Rebeaud (SUI) - 40 points
  5. Eigo Sato (JPN) - 30 points

Head-to-Head / First Round:

Eigo Sato (JPN) beat Ronnie Renner (USA)
Robbie Maddison (AUS) beat Gabriel Villegas (CHI)
Mat Rebeaud (SUI) beat Gilmar Flores (BRA)
Nate Adamy (USA) beat Johan Nungaray (MEX)
Dany Torres (ESP) beat Brian Deegan (USA)

Head-to-Head / Second Round:

All 5 winners of the first round plus one "lucky loser" (Ronnie Renner) / lucky loser was nominated by judges

Robbie Maddison beat Mat Rebeaud
Nate Adams beat Eigo Sato
Dany Torres beat Ronnie Renner

Winners of previous Red Bull X-Fighters:

2001 Valencia (ESP): Mike Jones (USA)
2002 Madrid (ESP): Edgar Torronteras (ESP)
2003 Madrid (ESP): Kenny Bartram (USA)
2003 Valencia (ESP): Kenny Bartram (USA)
2004 Madrid (ESP): Travis Pastrana (USA)
2005 Mexico City (MEX): Ronnie Renner (USA)
2005 Madrid (ESP): Nate Adams (USA)
2006 Mexico City (MEX): Mat Rebeaud (SUI)
2006 Madrid (ESP): Travis Pastrana (USA)
2007 Mexico City (MEX): Dany Torres (ESP)

 

FMX Rocket Dany Torres (ESP) Rules The Night!

Pushing the limits and coming up with an explosive combination of technical tricks, style, airtime and audience interaction, young gun Dany Torres, coming from the beautiful Andalusian city of Sevilla (ESP), was the triumphant winner of the Red Bull X-Fighters 2007 in Mexico City. Despite his young age of 19 years, Dany already is an old hand when it comes to rocketing through a bullfighting arena on a motorbike. The Red Bull X-Fighters have been part of his FMX schedule for more than three years.

Dany, you have just won the Red Bull X-Fighters here in Mexico City – what does that mean to you?

I am totally overwhelmed! I watched Maddo (Robbie Maddison) and Nate (Adams) ride really well so I knew I had to push it to the very limit to be able to beat them. It worked out and I am super happy. Last year I was fourth and this year I won. This is something I will never forget! Viva Mexico!

You have taken part in the Red Bull X-Fighters for the third time this year but how did you actually get to ride with the world’s top FMX athletes when you were only 16 or 17?

It all started with Red Bull X-Ray, a program that pushes and promotes FMX newcomers and promising FMX rookie talents. An international top FMX rider trains the rookies on site, at a special location on their home turf. The fastest progressing rider receives the trophy of the day, an X-Ray cap, from his trainer. Back then I got the cap from FMX star Nick Franklin and hardly ever took it off afterwards. When I first participated in the Red Bull X-Fighters in Madrid in 2004 it was my lucky charm and I even reached 7th place.

Dany Torres.

© Ray Demski/Red Bull Photofiles

 

Why are the Red Bull X-Fighters so special for you?

The atmosphere at this event is always really special and the crowd is going crazy. The level of riding is extremely high, which inspires and pushes me a lot. Also the organization is just perfect and the athletes are treated very well. I just love competitions, and competing against such top-level riders like Robbie Maddison, Mat Rebeaud and Nate Adams is super fun.

Red Bull X-Fighters will go on tour this year for the first time. What are your expectations of the new locations in Ireland and Russia?

I am very much looking forward to the next three events. Slane Castle in May and Moscow in June are definitely going to be very interesting but actually for me Mexico City and Madrid are the real highlights. As a Latino you just need your local crowd in the background to be able to excel. It’s great in Mexico City and of course it’s the best to ride back home in Madrid!

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