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Images from the FMX event at the 2018 Aus X Games
NEWS

Josh Sheehan Takes Silver in Moto X Freestyle at X Games Sydney 2018

Oct 202018

What a final! The world’s best freestyle motocross riders battled it out at X Games Sydney for medals today. The highly contested Moto X Freestyle event saw riders tackle the challenging dirt track in front of a high-energy crowd at Spotless Stadium inside Sydney Olympic Park.

When all was said and done, Monster Energy team rider and Australian motocross icon Josh Sheehan from Donnybrook took home silver in Moto X Freestyle with a standout performance in the first-ever X Games event on the Australian continent. Sheehan and Monster Energy teammate Taka Higashino were also slated to compete in Moto X Doubles tonight, but the event had to be postponed due to inclement weather.

Today’s Moto X action at the first X Games Sydney attracted massive crowds, as Australia is one of the hotbeds of the global motocross scene. After a difficult start on Friday when the Moto X Step Up event had to be cancelled due to torrential rainfall, Saturday finally got the motocross action rolling with nine of the sport’s biggest names looking for podium spots in Moto X Freestyle.

The weather held throughout the entire event, but the rain had left its mark. The course could only be finished at the last moment before the event, leaving riders only minimal time to practice and get used to the jumps and quarter pipes.

No stranger to difficult situations, Monster Energy’s Higashino put on a master class in style during his twelfth X Games appearance: The five-time X Game medalist looked like a sure contender for the podium when he landed his first-ever double backflip in competition(!) followed by a huge Shaolin flip, extended Cordova flip, seat grab Hart Attack Indy flip and his signature Cali Roll body varial for 93.33 points for a brief stint in second place. But as the competition intensified on final attempts, the Japanese motocross trailblazer found himself barely missing a medal spot with a strong fourth place finish.

Facing heat from Rob Adelberg who nailed a perfect front flip to climb to the top of the leaderboard, Josh Sheehan rose to the challenge on his second and final run. The six-time X Games medalist had the crowd on its feet with a perfect routine featuring a huge Indy air, extended double grab backflip, a highly technical Hart Attack flip, 360 Hart Attack and one of the few double backflips under today’s conditions, followed by an even more difficult no-handed double backflip for a 95.33-point score that looked like the win – until France’s Tom Pages claimed the top spot on the last attempt of the finals.

 

Tonight’s Moto X Freestyle silver brings Sheehan’s X Games medal count to seven (one gold, four silver, and two bronze). The first rider to land a triple backflip on a dirt bike, he is a legend in and outside the contest arena. After winning the Moto X Freestyle event at X Games Austin in 2016 and taking silver the following year, the 32-year-old closely missed the podium at X Games Minneapolis this summer. He is officially back on track at X Games Sydney, and will be gunning for more podium spots in tomorrow’s Moto X Doubles›, Moto X Best Trick, and Moto X Best Whip events.

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