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Nate the Great

Nate Adams traveled the world competing in the 2009 Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour, and even after multiple surprise wins from international riders like New Zealand's Levi Sherwood, Spain's Dany Torres and Australia's Robbie Maddison, Nate remained consistent enough to walk away with the points lead and his first Red Bull X-Fighters championship. I linked up with Nate to find out exactly what this championship win means to him, how he pulled it off against such a stacked field of riders and how he plans on spending the rest of his year.

First off, congrats on winning X-Fighters. How does it feel to know that you consistently rode better than the rest of the competitors?
Thanks, man! It's huge to have another winning season and to make it though the entire season this year without being hurt. That's never been a problem of mine, but the last year and a half, it has been, so that's a big accomplishment. I was actually hurt at the beginning of this year and missed the first round of Red Bull X-Fighters in Mexico City, so I came into the series with this attitude of basically assuming I couldn't win and was just going to try to get individual wins at the contests. But going into the last round in London, they tallied the points and Jane from Red Bull said, "You can win! You have a 10-point lead!" So taking that event-by-event attitude gave me the chance to win the overall series, so it was a huge surprise. I mean, I went into it expecting nothing out of it and I won the whole thing, so it's kind of funny how it worked out.

X Games is bigger in the United States, but throughout the rest of the world, Red Bull X-Fighters is the biggest thing right now.

-- Nate Adams

Obviously the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour isn't X Games, but it seems to be getting a lot bigger and a lot more legit. How does this series win stack up for you?
I'd say since there's not a Dew Tour FMX series anymore, the Red Bull X-Fighters and X Games is it. In the states, X Games is bigger for us, but throughout the rest of the world Red Bull X-Fighters is the biggest thing right now, so it's a huge thing for me. You know, I don't want to just be winning contests here in the States — I want to be going all over the world and winning. I've definitely realized that I'm becoming a lot more noticed in Europe and gaining more fans and that's because of how big Red Bull X-Fighters is on a worldwide level. I think the events are on TV in like over 60 countries in Europe, so it's a big deal for sure.

Wow, that's insane. I didn't know that. So how do your sponsors view your X-Fighters championship win?
They love it! [laughs] I mean, anytime I win something they're loving it, but I would say they see X-Fighters as second to the X Games. But you still have to give Red Bull X-Fighters credit — they've only had two events in the United States so far — X Games has had 15, so I think the series is a big deal already and it's only getting bigger.

What do you think contributed to your win? Obviously you rode solid and pulled 360s consistently, but how did you pull it all together?
360s are something I worked on because I knew I needed a little something extra in my run to win, but I'd say what got me the win was treating every event like I couldn't win the championship and having the mind state of like "I'm just here to screw everyone else's championship points up, get in the mix and have fun." I honestly think that's what got me the championship, because once I figured out that I could win in London, I kind of locked up and rode tight and hit neutral in a couple corners and I pulled a two-footed can, which is basically a dead sailor these days. [laughs] So, after that event, I noticed that when I'm just out there to ride and have fun, I ride twice as good and that relaxed attitude is what got me the championship.

What was your favorite stop of the tour?
My favorite stop was definitely Texas because the course was just awesome. I think it had like twice as much dirt as any X Games course — it was just the hugest course I've ever ridden, it had the tallest dirt lips I've ever seen and I won, so that made it good.

Who was your biggest competition throughout X-Fighters?
Well, Mat Rebeaud was riding really well, but I'd say my main competition was Robbie Maddison, Jeremy Stenberg and Dany Torres. Everyone was riding so well — I mean Levi Sherwood won a round, and he almost beat me in the finals in London. That's one good thing that I saw about the sport this year — in the past, freestyle's gone through phases where Kenny Bartram will win a bunch, Pastrana will win a bunch, I'll win a bunch, Twitch will win a bunch — it was always one guy dominating all the time, but this year there were four different winners at X-Fighters, Bilko won X Games — there was a new winner at every contest, and we haven't seen that in a long time. It shows that a lot of the riders are stepping up and there's not as much of a gap between the top finishers and the rest of the field.

Now that contest season is pretty much over, what do you plan on doing for the remainder of the year? Will you be taking a break or are you keeping with your strict riding regimen, continuing to learn new tricks and whatnot?
I'm definitely going to take some time off and I'll probably just fix up the course and chill. I've got the LG Action Sports contest coming up at the beginning of October, but before that I'll probably take a couple of weeks off to relax and then after LG I'll start training for Supercross.

That was my next question. So we'll see Nate Adams on the gate come Anaheim 1?
Yeah, I'm probably going to do the first two or three rounds and just see how it goes.

Rad. Will you be getting any special motors or suspension from Yamaha for Supercross?
I don't know as of now. I didn't get anything last year — I paid for both my bikes and all my equipment out of pocket last year, but I know that Yamaha has a completely new 250F this year, so I'm really excited to ride that. My Yamaha deal is actually up in the air right now and my contract ends in November, so I don't know what will happen with that, but this Red Bull X-Fighters championship should help out. I love Yamahas — I've been on them for six years, so I want to stay there for sure.

When's the last time you rode a Supercross track and what do you plan on doing differently going into it this year?
I haven't ridden Supercross since I broke my wrist — I mean I've hopped on a few tracks here and there and done a lap or two, but I haven't really trained or anything. I think that this year I won't ride as much and be such a hammerhead about training — I'll probably ride a little less, but maybe ride for longer periods of time. Ryan Hughes will be helping me with the training aspect, so I know that he's got endless amounts of inside information and advice, so I'm just soaking up everything he has to offer and go from there.