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Images of Jose Vitor Leme at the 2020 Guthrie Cooper Tires Invitational Unleash The Beast.


May 152020

Jose Vitor Leme is synonymous with winning and, yet, he said last weekend’s PBR event-win was “very special for me.”

In a season of uncertainty, Leme is ranked No. 1 in the world title race and extended his lead to 235 points over fellow Monster Energy teammate and two-time PBR World Champion Jess Lockwood. However, after this coming weekend’s event in Guthrie, Oklahoma, there is not another regular-season event scheduled until mid-July.

In the meantime, Leme is simply nodding his head and racking up qualified rides whenever the opportunity presents itself.

He was 3-for-3 this past weekend, including an event-winning 90 points on I’m Legit Too for his fourth elite televised event-win of 2020.

“He bucked me off a few weeks ago,” Leme said, “and I waited for another opportunity to ride him — for another chance — and today was the other chance.

“It’s amazing for me. Another 90 for my career and another great ride.”

CBS broadcaster Craig Hummer noted that Leme is now a perfect 8-for-8 in the Championship Round and that six of those qualified rides have been for 90 points or more.

In the final round, Leme did get out of shape but was able to work himself back over the front of his bull and fight his way to the 8-second whistle.


Two-time PBR World Champion turned television broadcaster Justin McBride described the ride as an impressive effort by Leme.


“Every time I see him, I think he gets better,” told McBride, told the now-rare television audience. “And he was an outstanding bull rider a year ago. That shows you how much better he is today.”


Fellow Monster Energy rider Marco Eguchi was splitting second and third in event average with Leme after two of three rounds but missed out on the Championship Round with what has since been diagnosed as a partially torn groin. 


Eguchi will miss this weekend’s return to Guthrie for the third event in four weeks without fans present. 


Two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney and Chase Outlaw have both missed this start of the 2020 season following should surgeries and will miss Guthrie as well, but are hoping to return to competition in Cheyenne, Wyoming, if organizers go ahead with the historic 100-plus year-old event.


Another two-time World Champion, Jess Lockwood, is out until September after undergoing surgery to repair a torn hamstring. 


Last year, when Lockwood missed several events, Leme wished his teammate and rival a speedy recovery saying that Lockwood’s presence in the event makes him all that much better of a bull rider. 


Last weekend, Leme was focused and determined despite half of the Top 10 riders in the world being absent from the draw for various reasons including injuries and others being forbidden from reentering the United States during the ongoing pandemic.


“In my humble opinion, he is the best bull rider in the world, bar none,” McBride said. “He is in a league of his own right now.”


Leme will be in Guthrie along with Derek Kolbaba and Cannon Cravens.