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Jose Vitor Leme wins the Salt Lake City Unleash the Beast PBR.


Aug 292020

There’s one reason Jose Vitor Leme is not already a PBR World Champion. 

Bulls that spin away from his riding hand.

This season he’s been focused on fixing that issue and after last weekend’s event in Salt Lake City, Utah, that is clearly no longer an issue. 

The Brazilian-born Monster Energy bull rider not only won his fifth elite televised PBR event of the 2020 season, but he did so on a bull, Chiseled, spinning away from his hand. 

Chiseled went to the right, going away from Leme’s left hand and 8-seconds later, judges marked him 94 points. 

It was not only Leme’s best ride away from or into his riding hand, but it was the best ride of anyone competing in 2020. So, with a 365.75-point lead atop the PBR world standings and a riding average of 69 percent, Leme is virtually unstoppable and poised to collect his first otherwise elusive gold buckle. 

“I just love watching that little guy ride,” said two-time PBR World Champion turned CBS Sports Network broadcaster Justin McBride, “and he does it for the right reason—to win.” 


McBride added, “That’s it. All he wants to do is win and I love it.”


While not every rider in the Top 35 can successfully make the 8-second whistle on a bull like Chiseled, McBride said they cannot leave a bull like that for Leme to pick and expect to beat him at his own game.


McBride said, “If they keep doing that. He’ll beat them every time.” 


The 24-year-old soon-to-be father from Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil, is so uber confident at this point, he will undoubtedly select whichever bull gives him the best opportunity to win in the Championship Round. And that’s exactly what he did Saturday in Salt Lake at the Days of ’47 Arena. 


Though he’s currently the third-ranked bull rider in the world and 450.5 points off the pace, two-time defending PBR World Champion and fellow Monster Energy bull rider Jess Lockwood is arguably the only rider standing between Leme and his first-ever PBR world title. 




Because Lockwood came from behind a year ago, in 2019, to win the World Finals average and in the process claim his second world title in three years. 


After missing significant time recovering and rehabbing from a torn left hamstring muscle, Lockwood announced he will return to competition September 11, 12 and 13 in Billings, Montana. 


“I am so gosh damn happy,” Lockwood told the PBR after leaving Dr. Tandy Freeman’s office in Dallas, Texas. Freeman, who performed the surgery, cleared Lockwood’s return. 


“I was confident and everything,” Lockwood continued, “but, at the same time, I was like, ‘What if stuff ain’t right and ain’t ready? I don’t know if I can go any longer (without competing).”


A day earlier, Lockwood used his Instagram account to hint at his return before making it official. 


Prior to his appointment with Freeman, he wrote, “Really have enjoyed being a part of @ridepass with @colbyyates but it’s just about time to get back to riding instead of talking about it!”


Lockwood will be part of the RidePass broadcast online for one more elite televised event this weekend when Leme, Marco Eguchi, Derek Kolbaba, Cannon Cravens and J.B. Mauney are in Fort Worth, Texas, to compete at the new Dickies Arena.