At the season opener in Mexico City, Australia’s Clinton Moore stunned the field to claim his first Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour win. New Zealand’s Levi Sherwood finished second and Thomas Pagès of France completed the podium in front of a sold-out crowd of 38,000.

QUALIFYING

At a wind-whipped qualifying for Friday’s Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour season opener in Mexico City, New Zealand’s Levi Sherwood scored highest in a fierce fight for the top placement.

In Thursday’s Qualifying for the opener of the 2015 Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour at the Monumental Plaza de Toros, the season’s tightest track was host to an equally tight battle. In a 12-man freestyle motocross field that included four former World Tour champions, it was 2012 titleholder Levi Sherwood of New Zealand who took best advantage of the ramps and quarterpipes, nailing his new ramp-to-dirt Transfer Flip and earning the night’s highest score.

Despite winds that whipped into the bowl of the world’s largest bullring, Sherwood wasn’t the only one daring to go huge. The surprise second-place finisher for the night was Australia’s Clinton Moore, whose massive tricks narrowly edged out 2013 titleholder Thomas Pagès of France by a mere one-tenth of a point. Spaniard Dany Torres, the 2011 World Tour champion, was hot on their heels in fourth.

The evening saw two mishaps. Mexico City’s own Erick Ruiz landed off the bike on his body varial, but got up quickly and will be ready to compete in Round 1 on Friday. After crashing on his new California Roll trick, Switzerland’s Mat Rebeaud was transported to the hospital. He is conscious and stable, but must stay under observation and therefore will not take part in the competition.

The Qualifying results determine the starting order for Friday’s Finals in the world’s most prestigious freestyle motocross series, where as always a capacity crowd of 38,000 will go wild for their favorites.

Qualifying Results:

1. Levi Sherwood – 88.1
2. Clinton Moore – 86.7
3. Thomas Pagès – 86,6
4. Dany Torres – 84,7
5. Rémi Bizouard – 84.4

FINALS

Clinton Moore was on the hunt for his first Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour podium, and in Mexico on Friday night he got that and more. A sold-out crowd of 38,000 gave the Australian the ovation of a lifetime as he stood on top of the podium ahead of three former World Tour champions, New Zealand’s Levi Sherwood in second, Frenchman Thomas Pagès in third, and Dany Torres of Spain in fourth.

In six previous starts in the world’s most prestigious freestyle motocross series, the inked Aussie had always shown potential, but he’d never made it past the Quarter Finals. This year, he put all his big tricks, like the Bundy body varial and a Flair off the quarter pipe, into the same run – and that made the difference. He beat Sherwood, who wrote history by landing the first Transfer Flip ever done in competition, by the narrowest of margins.

The event marked the ten-year anniversary of Red Bull X-Fighters in Mexico City, and the level of the tricks exceeded anything ever seen in the Monumental Plaza de Toros. Moore, 26, said, “I knew I finally made it when I saw the confetti coming down. I’m in heaven.”

The 2015 Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour continues in Athens, Greece (12 June), Madrid, Spain (10 July), Pretoria, South Africa (12 September), and the United Arab Emirates (30 October).

The replay of Red Bull X-Fighters Mexico City is available on redbullxfighters.com and Red Bull TV. Red Bull TV is available on connected TVs, gaming consoles, mobile devices and more. For a full list of supported devices visit about.redbull.tv.

FINALS

1. Clinton Moore (Australia)
2. Levi Sherwood (New Zealand)
3. Thomas Pagès (France)
4. Dany Torres (Spain)
5. Rémi Bizouard (France)