RAMONA, Calif., July 16, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Monster Energy’s Motocross Athletes Claim Podium Spots in Every Moto X Medal Event Contested on Day Two of X Games 2021
- Legendary Slayground Facility in Ramona Hosts Five Medal Disciplines for World Elite of Motocross
- Axell Hodges Takes Gold in New Moto X 110s Discipline
- Australian Rider Josh Sheehan Claims Silver in Moto X Freestyle
- Best Whip Competition Concludes with Genki Watanabe in Silver Position
- Axell Hodges Clears 39 Feet, 2 Inches for Silver Medal in Moto X QuarterPipe High Air
- Harry Bink Claims Career-First X Games Medal with Moto X Best Trick Bronze
X Games once again makes motocross history! Monster Energy congratulates its team of Moto X athletes on a strong performance on day two of X Games 2021 on Thursday. In five medal disciplines contested at the private Slayground facility in Ramona, California, Monster team riders claimed podium spots in every single event.
The brand-new Moto X 110s discipline saw Monster Energy’s Axell Hodges claim X Games gold, bringing the team’s total X Games medal haul on Thursday to five medals (1 gold, 3 silver, and 1 bronze). At the end of day two of X Games 2021, the team had claimed a whopping 13 overall medals – including five gold – from BMX and Moto X events in what has already been a history-making edition of the world’s premium action sports showcase.
In response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, X Games 2021 is contested as a closed-to-the-public event at three unique athlete training facilities across Southern California. On day two, the world elite of Moto X battled for X Games gold at the legendary Slayground facility created by Monster Energy team rider Hodges. Medals were awarded in five disciplines: Moto X Freestyle, Best Whip, Best Trick, QuarterPipe High Air and the new Moto X 110s event.
Here’s how the action unfolded for Monster Energy riders at Hodges’ Slayground on day two:
Moto X 110s: Monster Energy’s Axell Hodges Finishes in First Place
For a historic first at X Games, this year’s edition introduced a brand-new discipline. The new Moto X 110s medal event revolves around riders taking on a smaller-scale dirt track peppered with jumps and obstacles on pit bikes. Similar to the Knuckle Huck event in ski and snowboarding, the discipline is focused on fun and creative tricks. It was pioneered by Monster Energy riders Hodges and Pat Casey (BMX) as a way to go big on small bikes.
As the 20-minute jam session unfolded, Hodges put his own vision of the new Moto X 110s event on full display. Drawing on his deep bag of tricks and penchant for popping freestyle moves on pit bikes, the 24-year-old FMX icon, whose ‘Slayground’ video trilogy has garnered more than 12.3 million views on Monster Energy’s YouTube channel, soared above the competition on his home turf.
Highlights of Hodges’s four runs included cliffhangers, extended suicide no-handers and cancan landings sideways on the saddle. ‘Slay’ also flexed his freestyle skills with precise manuals across the rainbow box, perfect backflips across the center jump, and a burly transfer air that cleared the entire quarterpipe landing to earn gold in the first-ever Moto X 110s event at X Games.
“We started out one year ago when we bought the property and experimented with building small jumps. Now for X Games we got a legit 110 course and to be able to win is pretty special. We spend so much time riding pit bikes and having fun. It’s a little less pressure and more fun,” said Hodges upon winning the 110s event at X Games 2021.
Moto X Freestyle: Monster Energy’s Josh Sheehan Claims Silver Medal on Huge Outdoor Course
For this year’s edition of Moto X Freestyle, riders had plenty of space to get creative. The Slayground Freestyle course measured nearly double the size of the indoor courses used at X Games over the past years. Decked out with competition-sized ramps, kickers, a 110-feet long super jump as well as wallrides and manual boxes, the first Moto X outdoor course since 2016 was a test of strategy and versatility.
In a battle between the world’s best FMX riders, Monster Energy’s Josh Sheehan brought the right formula to his 75-second runs in the 20-minute jam session. Hitting the Slayground with a fluid line, the 35-year-old from Donnybrook, Australia, put down a perfect first run including a no-handed superman into a 360 over the gap, huge kiss of death flip and double backflip, as well as a big flair on the quarterpipe for 89.66 points and the silver medal.
On the strength of Thursday’s silver medal, Sheehan now owns twelve X Games medals (1 gold, 6 silver, 5 bronze) with the gold medal earned in Moto X Freestyle at X Games Austin 2016.
Moto X Best Whip: Monster Energy’s Genki Watanabe Earns Silver with Spectacular Aerials
Next up, viewers were treated to a spectacular air show in the Moto X Best Whip event. In an eight-minute jam session, riders attempted the most contorted “Whip” aerials – throwing their bikes sideways in the air – over the massive dirt chasm at Slayground.
After initial attempts, the field of eight riders was cut down to four finalists who put down their own signature renditions of the stylish aerial move. Emerging from the qualifier round in the top spot, Japanese ripper Watanabe from Osaka came in as a top contender after having earned silver at X Games Norway 2019.
Going head-to-head against Monster Energy teammate Hodges, Tyler Bereman, and Florida’s Tom Parsons, Watanabe impressed the judges with his signature turndown whips, flying through the air backwards before pulling the bike back around, in effortless style. When the dust settled, Watanabe walked away from the Best Whip final with a silver medal finish.
Today’s silver medal brings Watanabe’s X Games medal count to a total of three silver medals, all earned in Best Whip. Initially known as a motocross racer, the 31-year-old unfolded his freestyle motocross skills mentored by FMX icon and Monster Energy rider Taka Higashino.
Moto X QuarterPipe High Air: Monster Energy’s Axell Hodges Clears 39 Feet, 2 Inches for Silver
For the next event, the focus shifted from stylish airs to big airs in the Moto X QuarterPipe High Air final. The medal event was contested on Slayground’s 18-feet tall quarterpipe as the takeoff, leading into a 26-feet high landing at a 60-degree angle.
In the controlled jam session, riders took turns throwing their best airs, turning 180 degrees in the air, measured at the highest point. As the final heated up, the main rivalry unfolded between competition host Hodges and three-time QuarterPipe High Air medalist Colby Raha.
When all was said and done, Hodges cleared 39 feet, 2 inches on his sixth and final run for the silver medal on his home turf. Raha ended up taking the win – and setting a new height record – with an aerial measuring 40 feet, 9 inches at Slayground to improve on Corey Creed’s record height of 40 feet, 8 inches from X Games Norway 2019.
After earning Moto X 110s gold and QuarterPipe High Air silver at X Games 2021, Hodges now owns nine X Games medals (3 gold, 4 silver, 2 bronze).
Moto X Best Trick: Monster Energy’s Harry Bink Takes Bronze as Career-First X Games Medal
The motocross action at X Games 2021 concluded with the Moto X Best Trick event as the grand finale. Saving the best for last, the event was judged on the single most creative and difficult tricks landed anywhere on the twelve-feature course at Slayground. With only two runs per rider, competitors had to bring their A-game for a chance to clinch a podium spot.
A podium spot was exactly what Bink was looking for. After coming close with a fifth place in Freestyle at X Games Minneapolis 2019, the 27-year-old from Canberra, Australia had yet to medal at an X Game event.
That was about to change at Slayground. Right off the bat, Bink posted a perfect double backflip one-handed nac over the gap for 90.33 points and the bronze medal in Best Trick. Bink breaking the X Games medal spell provided a spectacular ending to a history-making day of Moto X competitions at Slayground.
View X Games 2021 Video Highlights from Moto X Events Day 2 here.
Stay tuned for more action from X Games 2021! Starting on Friday, all Skateboard Street and Park events are contested at the California Training Facility (CATF) in Vista from July 16–18, alongside BMX Street on July 16. The big news: Monster Energy’s Nyjah Huston, initially slated to miss this year’s X Games because of the Tokyo Olympics, will be gunning for the podium in Men’s Skateboard Street.
X Games 2021 is closed to the public and produced with comprehensive COVID-19 risk mitigation protocols in place for participants and staff. But even without spectators and musical performances on-site, viewers across the globe get to witness X Games history written by the world elite in all three sports. More than 80 athletes from eleven countries are competing for a total of 43 medals across 17 medal disciplines.
Over the course of five action-packed days, a total of 15.5 hours of competitions will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN2, ABC and the ESPN App. For the full tune-in schedule, visit the official X Games website. Plus, all competitions will stream live on @XGames digital and social media platforms, supplemented by behind-the-scenes, athlete-curated and complementary content.
Rounding out the experience, the virtual X Fest returns to give fans at home a chance to win prizes, play games, and interact with X Games content. Fans can customize their own avatar, shred the interactive skate and BMX course, complete missions in the all-new ‘Story Mode’ and interact with sponsors such as Monster Energy.
Visit http://www.monsterenergy.com for exclusive updates from X Games 2021 including photos, videos, and contest results as they happen. Follow Monster Energy on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok.
About Monster Energy
Based in Corona, California, Monster Energy is the leading marketer of energy drinks and alternative beverages. Refusing to acknowledge the traditional, Monster Energy supports the scene and sport. Whether motocross, off-road, NASCAR, MMA, BMX, surf, snowboard, ski, skateboard, or the rock and roll lifestyle, Monster Energy is a brand that believes in authenticity and the core of what its sports, athletes and musicians represent. More than a drink, it’s the way of life lived by athletes, sports, bands, believers and fans. See more about Monster Energy including all of its drinks at http://www.monsterenergy.com.
Kimberly Paige Dresser, Indie Agency, Inc., (949) 300-5546, [email protected]
SOURCE Monster Energy