Red-hot Levi Sherwood of New Zealand will be looking for his third straight victory in 2014 when Red Bull X-Fighters returns to the Las Ventas bullfighting ring in the Spanish capital city for the most eagerly awaited stop of the season and the 2012 champion could equal a six-year-old record if he can make it three in a row. But defending champion Thomas Pagès of France, who won the iconic stop in Madrid with a scintillating performance here a year ago, and 2011 champion Dany Torres, who has won in Madrid twice, will do everything they can to beat Sherwood.
Sherwood has been unbeatable this season with emphatic victories in the season opener in Mexico City and a spectacular triumph in Osaka, Japan in May, where France's Rémi Bizouard took a strong second place to move into second overall ahead of Josh Sheehan of Australia in third in this year's world tour with five stops on four continents. At Red Bull X-Fighters, riders jump up to 30 meters in distance and 15 meters high while performing gravity-defying tricks off their motorcycles.
The New Zealander's smooth and confident style this season has taken him to the top and he will be trying to equal the record of three straight wins that was set by Mat Rebeaud of Switzerland in 2008 when he won in Wuppertal (GER), Madrid (ESP), and Fort Worth (USA) en route to the overall championship. Sherwood, who won three of five rounds in 2012 on the way to the title that year, won in Madrid in 2012 as well.
The riders will face new challenges and features on the compact Madrid track this year with six different kickers and two quarter pipes introduced. A total of 3,200 cubic meters of dirt will be brought in to build the course in just three days and will then be removed from the arena in just 16 hours after the event.
Las Ventas is Spain's biggest and most important bullfighting arena - it holds 23,000 spectators and the stops in Madrid that have been held every year since 2002 have turned into Europe's greatest and most prestigious FMX events. The remaining stops are in Munich, Germany, and Pretoria, South Africa.
2014 World Tour Standings: 1. Levi Sherwood (NZL) 100 points, 2. Rémi Bizouard (FRA) 80, 3. Josh Sheehan (AUS) 80, 4. Dany Torres (ESP) 65, 5. Rob Adelberg (AUS) 55, 6. Adam Jones (USA) 55, 7. Thomas Pagès (FRA) 45, 8. Mat Rebeaud (SUI) 45, 9. Wes Agee (USA) 35, 10. David Rinaldo (FRA) 30