CORONA, California – August 27, 2018 – Monster Energy congratulates freestyle motocross team rider Axell Hodges on claiming X Games gold in the 2018 edition of X Games Real Moto, and for winning the Fan Favorite by 56.2% of the vote. In the annual motocross video competition, six of the world's best motocross riders each produced a spectacular 90-second video segment, judged by an expert jury. In a heavy-hitting roster of videos, 21-year-old Axell from Encinitas, California, took first place for his segment together with filmer and older brother Ash Hodges. Last year's Real Moto winner and Monster Energy teammate Kris Foster from Kamloops, Canada, claimed silver for his entry with filmer Anthony Vitale.
Since its inception in 2010, the X Games Real series has been dedicated to showcasing the essence of a rider's unique talent in a 90-second video. The competition series also includes Real BMX, Snowboarding and Skateboarding events. Teaming up with a filmer of their choosing, Real Moto riders are in full control of choosing their tricks, spots, and music – thereby providing a "real" experience of freestyle motocross captured on high-definition video under authentic conditions.
This year's line-up of six X Games Real Moto videos were released on August 15, 2018. A panel of industry experts and motocross insiders were tasked with deciding which of the athlete-and-filmer teams received the coveted X Games medals. The final results were announced on today's World of X Games episode on ABC television, supplemented by behind-the-scenes footage from this year's video shoots.
Axell's highly technical segment had been making waves on the Internet since its release. The elaborate shoot on motocross icon Jeremy McGrath's ranch east of San Diego, involved high-tech cameras mounted on drones, dune buggies and helicopters. But ultimately, it all boiled down to Axell's dirt bike skills: The video accompanied by a The Cold Stares song shows him attacking the freestyle motocross compound with creative high-speed lines, snowboard-inspired wheel "bonks" on obstacles, and transfer aerials across huge distances. Standouts include an ultra-contorted Whip across a dirt chasm, several skateboard-inspired one-footed airs, and a no-handed aerial over a gap into a highly technical nose wheelie landing. The trick that sealed the deal – and blew up Internet comment sections – was a never-seen-before nose wheelie into a front flip off a launch ramp. Make sure to watch Axell Hodges' gold medal video in HD here.
Defending Real Moto champion Foster filmed his silver-winning segment with Anthony Vitale on Sugarloaf Ranch near his hometown of Kamloops, British Columbia. The 30-year-old has been making FMX videos since the age of 12, and uses the medium to push the progression of the sport. For this year's entry, Foster and Vitale hit the backcountry true to the motto 'all killer, no filler' and emerged with jaw-dropping shots.
Highlights include high-flying Dead Body and Kiss of Death aerial across expansive gaps in the backcountry landscape, an uphill backflip unto a natural step-up, and a gnarly drop into a steep downhill as the ender. You can watch Kris Foster's X Games Real Moto silver medal video here.
Today's Real Moto gold rounds out a strong X Games summer for Axell: At X Games Minneapolis in July, Axell claimed gold as the youngest competitor in Moto X Quarterpipe High Air with a massive 34 feet and 3 inches aerial. The rookie pro also took bronze with one of his signature contorted aerials in the Best Whip event, bringing his total X Games medal count to five (counting today's Real Moto gold).
Considered one of the most progressive riders in modern-day freestyle motocross, Axell was born into a family of motocross enthusiasts. Inspired by his father Phillip and older brothers, he began cutting his teeth on FMX bikes at the age of 4. He initially started out as a racer and won the Amateur National Champion title, but found his true calling in freestyle motocross, where he has been raising the bar by blending technical control and a talent for blasting huge airs. The star of Monster Energy's "Slayground" video, Axell commands a massive social media presence – over 250,000 followers on Instagram – and appeared in 2017's documentary "Slay – The Axell Hodges Story" by TransWorld Motocross.