ESPN X Games IX: Freestyle Motocross

Once again ESPN’s X Games proved to be the epitome of motocross progression. Yes, a new trick has been born and it all happened at the LA Coliseum. About 40,000 fans witnessed both Brian Deegan and Travis Pastrana pull what we’re calling an “inverted 360”.

Last summer’s backflip phenomenon proved that anything is possible. Saturday night the 360 was landed first by Deegan during the final run. He hit the landing sideways and somehow muscled it back around and rode away.

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Pastrana, feeling the tremendous pressure, knew he had to step it up and go for it. Travis came out during his final run and went for the 360. He landed on the back tire and fell over, but he quickly got up and did it again. That time he rode away, and grabbed yet another X Games gold.

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There was and still is a controversy stirring that both Deegan and Pastrana’s (second) runs were completed after the buzzer. Many thought the trick was factored into the scores and therefore was too high. No matter what your opinion may be, it was one of the most amazing nights of freestyle motocross. The media was overwhelming. It was a scene straight off the red carpet.

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On the flipside, Nate Adams was more disappointed than I’ve ever seen. It’s no secret that he’s been robbed multiple times at the X Games. Nate qualified first during prelims, scoring three points higher than Pastrana. During his final run, he put together the same exact run and ended up with the silver medal behind the still-unbeaten Pastrana (yes, Mike Metzger won the gold last year, but Travis didn’t compete due to injury). Although it is Nate’s first-ever X Games medal, he said it was the wrong color and thought it should be the gold. It was a tough night for Nate, but a huge night for Freestyle motocross.

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Notes: Kenny Bartram pulled a solid run with backflips but finished 4th. Beau Bamburg, who also brought the backflip, finished 5th. The course was unlike any other. It featured nine ramps and about 13 different jumps.

This was the first event Travis has completed in the last year and it was the last for at least six months. Travis reinjured his knee two weeks ago practicing for the 360.

He came to X Games with one ligament holding his knee together. The doctor basically said that if Travis injured it while riding this weekend, he would be crippled forever. Travis will undergo a knee reconstruction this week and will be sidelined for six months.

That’s it from L.A. for freestyle. Be sure to check it out all week on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2. Talk to you tomorrow night with coverage from the final event of X Games, Big Air! See ya!

Results: Moto X – Freestyle Finals

Rank
Athlete
Points
1.
Travis Pastrana
94.67
2.
Nate Adams
93.33
3.
Brian Deegan
93.00
4.
Kenny Bartram
91.00
5.
Beau Bamburg
89.67
6.
Myles Richmond
88.00
7.
Dustin Miller
88.00
8.
Drake McElroy
87.00