Freestyle made its place years ago as the staple of Moto X competition at the X Games, but for 2010 ESPN brought back one of its greatest competitors and Travis Pastrana literally stole the show with flip variations off of ramps that no one else was willing to hit and wall rides that had more amplitude than the skateboard big air riders who were practicing during the final.
But not all of the X Games usuals enjoyed such an exciting day of moto. With 16 riders competing for the final eight spots in the evening portion of Moto X, the road ended early for some of X Games past medalists.
Robbie Maddison, Mike Mason, Jeremy Stemberg and Todd Potter enjoyed the action from the sidelines as not one of them were able to qualify for the night portion. Also joining them was Jackson Strong, who suffered a bad crash in the morning practice session and was not able to continue with his run. Strong is scheduled to compete Friday night at Best Trick, but no word on his condition was given during the evening portion. He did leave the field under his own power, however.
With the top four riders transferring to the main, it was a battle for second and third as Pastrana was able to wrap up the gold in his first two runs. Rookie Levi Sherwood looked strong all night with some of the biggest extensions and longest held tricks. His Dead Flip variations were some of the biggest of the night and he was easily able to bring home the silver medal. After three runs the rookie took a moment to salute the crowd atop the landing in the middle of the big landing ramp.
Taking bronze on the day was Arizona native and X Games regular Nate Adams. No stranger to X Games, Adams had a relatively quiet run at X Games 16 and actually opted out of utilizing the wall ride. Wall Ride or not, he just didn’t have enough to catch the rookie or Mr. X Games himself.
Travis Pastrana, one of the most decorated X Games athletes of all time brought the house down. Taking home the gold medal after only two runs, Pastrana did not disappoint when it came to a third and final Free-For-All run. With huge back flips, enormous wall rides and an unexpected double backflip, Pastrana wasted little time to acknowledge the fans and people in the crowd. Finishing his 90-second run with a perfect dismount-backflip, Pastrana left the bike running atop the ramp and ran straight into the crowd. Stopping only to hug his mother, TP proceeded to throw his entire gear bag into the crowd.
Mat Rebeaud was the fourth and final rider to make it to the main, but despite being his birthday just wasn’t able to put a run together like the other three. With a crash on his third and final run, Rebeaud left yet another X Games without a medal.
Freestyle action isn’t finished for the weekend, however, with Best Trick and Step Up on Friday night in the Staples Center expecting to draw a big crowd. X Games 16 finishes up with its final event Sunday night as the best in Freestyle and the best in Supercross match up for the Speed and Style Competition.