The most important week of the year for freestyle motocross is upon us, as the 2012 X Games kick off this Thursday in downtown Los Angeles at the Staples Center. The event enters its 18th year, and the 14th that motocross has been apart of the schedule. Since its inclusion in 1999, the year that Travis Pastrana dominated the competition and launched his Suzuki 125 into the San Francisco Harbor, motocross has become the most popular portion of the weekend. The contest has been the stage for countless breakthroughs and revelations, including Pastrana’s double backflip, the resurgence of Josh Hansen’s career, and the duel for Step-Up gold between Matt Buyten and Jeremy McGrath in 2004. So, with that being said, we have complied a preview of what to expect this coming weekend as you sit on a couch covered in Doritos dust and Mountain Dew cans.
Thursday, June 28thOn ESPN2 at 6:30PM, Pacific Standard Time
The weekend kicks of with the traditional freestyle motocross event, which has been moved from the end of the weekend. This seems like a logical decision, as it allows a rider competing in both the timed session and Best Trick, without the risk of wadding up in the jump show. 10 riders have made the list to battle inside the Staples Center, and for the first time in years, we can say there does not appear to be a heavy favorite.
Multiple time and defending champion Nate Adams has spent the better part of the past year nursing a shoulder injury, and the X Games will be his first contest since last summer’s X-Fighters in Australia. His competitors for 2012 include Todd Potter, who is coming off his first major win at X-Fighters at Glen Helen, last year’s runner up Adam Jones, and Blake “Bilko” Williams, a former gold medalist at X. Levi Sherwood may be the dark horse for the event, as the New Zealander is one of the most talented riders in the world, but as never preformed well in the US.