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Day Two at Slayground | Summer X Games 2022

Jul 222022

Moto X Athletes Clinch Medals in Every Event on Day 2 of X Games 2022

All motocross, all day! The roar of engines reverberated over the 40-acre “Slayground” compound created by Moto X icon Axell Hodges for Day 2 of X Games 2022. And when the dust settled, Monster Energy athletes claimed medals in every single Moto X discipline: Six medals in total included Moto X 110’s gold for Hodges and Belgian team rider Julien Vanstippen taking gold in Moto X Best Whip.

Slayground's medal haul brought the Monster Energy team’s X Games 2022 medal count to Nine Medals: 3 gold, 5 silver, and 1 bronze. Strong record for Day 2!

On Thursday, Axell Hodges hosted BMX Dirt as well as five Moto X competitions at his legendary “Slayground” compound: Moto X Freestyle, Best Whip, Best Trick, QuarterPipe High Air and the Moto X 110s event.

Here’s how Day 2 unfolded for team Monster Energy at the Slayground:

Moto X Freestyle: Josh Sheehan Takes Bronze

The Monster Energy team’s medal run started early in the Moto X Freestyle final. Just in time for X Games 2022, the freestyle course at the Slayground had received crucial updates. The course doubled in size to 80,000 square feet, stacked with 13 features including super kickers, quarterpipes, and gap jumps up to 120 feet long.

 

With 90 seconds to go per run, Monster Energy’s Josh Sheehan wasted no time. On Run 1, the 36-year-old from Donnybrook, Australia put down a perfect routine and even managed to up the ante on Run 2.

 

On his second run, Sheehan covered the course with a heart attack, seat grab Indy flip, flair off the quarterpipe to bank, 360 over the centerpiece, ruler backflip, huge no-hander double backflip, massive turndown whip, and a double grab for 88.33 points and the bronze medal.

 

What’s more, Sheehan still had a chance to make another podium run in Moto X Best Trick.

Moto X Best Whip: Julien Vanstippen Swipes Gold, Axell Hodges Claims Silver

One of the most classic disciplines in motocross, the Moto X Best Whip is all about style and maximum airtime. In a twelve-minute jam session, riders send the most contorted “Whip” aerials – leaning their bikes sideways in the air. This time, riders were hitting two huge jumps in the discipline instead of just one: a 75-foot jump followed by a 120-foot jump.

 

As the session got underway, Slayground host Axell Hodges looked like a shoe-in for the win. Out the gate, the 25-year-old motocross icon from Encinitas, California, was sending it the highest and most stylish across both jumps. Hodges demonstrated his dominance on the 120-foot jump by sending fully backward whips in signature “Slay” style.

 

But then a major upset happened on the last round: Fresh off a Best Whip bronze from X Games Chiba 2022, 25-year-old Monster Energy rider Julien Vanstippen came to the Slayground to claim the top spot.

 

And he did! After Vanstippen held second place right behind Hodges for the entire session, he managed to up the ante at the last second. On the last run of the contest, the Belgian sent the day’s biggest turndown whip across the 120-foot jump to clinch the gold medal in what was only his second appearance in an X Games contest.

 

“I gave my best in the last run. I was focused to go upside down and I did it. It's Belgium’s National Day today, thanks to all my sponsors, friends, and team. I got it!” said Vanstippen upon winning gold at X Games 2022.

 

This left Hodges walking away with the silver medal after a strong showing on his home turf. But he would ultimately get his taste of gold…

Moto X 110’s: Axell Hodges Takes Gold

The Moto X 110 is all about riders taking on a smaller-scale dirt track peppered with jumps and obstacles on pit bikes. It was pioneered by Axell Hodges and Monster BMX rider Pat Casey to celebrate creativity and innovative moves.

Similar to the innovative Knuckle Huck event at Winter X Games, the discipline showcases fun at the highest level of performance. And no other rider can flex his bike control like last year’s gold medalist Axell Hodges. Taking on the smaller-scale dirt track peppered with jumps and obstacles, Hodges put on a masterclass in pushing 110-class bikes to the limit.

 

Highlights of Hodges’ runs included footplant seat bounce, backflip no-footer over the centerpiece, superman, massive 360 aerial over the dirt gap and huge can-can off the quarterpipe. Hodges also demonstrated his finesse by pushing a manual seat stand across the rainbow box. And just like that, Hodges defended his gold medal and claimed the win in the discipline’s second edition.

 

“We ride 110's all the time for fun. And now it's an event! Maybe not the most serious event but it's good to loosen up, go out, and have some fun,” said Axell Hodges upon winning the Moto X 110’s event at X Games 2022, his fourth gold medal.

Moto X Best Trick: Josh Sheehan Takes Silver

Innovative freestyle moves featured front and center in the Moto X Best Trick final. Riders were free to send tricks anywhere on the thirteen-feature course at Slayground. But they needed to choose wisely: Each rider only received two runs to post a top score, so there was little room for error.

 

Known for his deep bag of tricks and the ability to bring it when it counts, Josh Sheehan had the right move to get to the podium.

 

On Run 1, the decorated Australian Moto X icon posted his highest-scoring trick: A fully extended no-hander double backflip earned Sheehan 89.00 points and the silver medal at the Slayground.

 

Adding to Sheehan’s impressive career count, the silver medal from Moto X Freestyle puts his record at 14 Medals: 1 gold, 7 silver, 6 bronze.

Moto X QuarterPipe High Air: Axell Hodges Claims Silver

As the grand finale for a big day at the Slayground, spectators witnessed X Games history in the Moto X QuarterPipe High Air final. The medal event was contested on Slayground’s 18-feet tall quarterpipe as the takeoff, with riders looking to hoist the highest possible 180-degree air into the landing for one of three medals.

 

Right from the start, the big rivalry saw competition host Hodges revisiting his rivalry with last year’s QuarterPipe High Air gold medalist Colby Raha. The results were nothing short of history-making, as both riders pushed each other to the limit.

 

During the battle, Hodges set a new record in the discipline: Extending the previous record of 40-feet, 9-inches, Hodges soared all the way to 48 feet. But Raha ended up having the last word. On the very last attempt of the contest, he pushed the record to 49 feet for the gold medal, as Hodges walked away with silver.

 

Hodges’ busy schedule at X Games 2022 was worth the effort: “Slay” came to the event with Nine Medals and walked away with 12 X Games Medals under his belt: 4 gold, 6 silver, 2 bronze.

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