X GAMES, Los Angeles — Motorcycle Hall Of Fame rider Jeff Ward etched his name into the X Games record books Sunday with a SuperMoto win. The 45-year-old is the oldest male gold medalist and the oldest Moto X medalist in X Games history. In a dramatic finish, Ward edged silver medalist Mark Burkhart by 0.572 second. Doug Henry took bronze.
Ward, whose trophy case features awards from nearly all motorcycle racing disciplines, was missing an X Games medal until today. He had entered the last two X Games as a favorite in SuperMoto, only to crash early in both competitions. This year’s race would have a better ending for the Newport Beach, Calif. native.
“I’m glad to have my family and crew here supporting me for this,” said Ward. “I’m really happy with the race.”
Ward, who began the race in the third position behind Henry and Burkhart, overtook and held off both riders. Burkhart, who finished 11th last year in his X Games SuperMoto, pushed Ward to the very end.
“I paced myself, and tried to catch Ward,” said Burkhart. “But there was nothing I could do. I did everything that I could do.”
Henry, last year’s gold medalist, finished 24.161seconds behind Ward.
“I’m just psyched to be on the medal podium again,” said Henry.
Multi-sport star Travis Pastrana fell short in a bid for a third gold medal of X Games 12. He got the holeshot, but fell early in the race and couldn’t recover. He will have another chance at his third gold medal Sunday afternoon in Moto X Freestyle.
About X Games 12:
The X Games is the definitive annual action sports competition featuring more than 150 of the world’s best athletes competing in: BMX Freestyle, Moto X, Skateboard, Surfing and new to this year’s lineup, Rally Car Racing. ESPN and ABC will provide 14 hours of original LIVE X Games 12 programming from August 3-6. ESPN will also present four late-night highlight programs starting August 4, resulting in a total of 18 hours of original programming for X Games 12. SportsCenter, ESPN’s flagship news program, will report LIVE from X Games 12, with the 11 p.m. ET SportsCenter featuring daily event coverage.
X games 12 venues include STAPLES Center, The Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.), Puerto Escondido, Mexico for Surfing and Gorman, Calif. for parts of the Rally Car competition. X Games will remain in Los Angeles through 2009.