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.