Commentary

Maddison's Moto and Rally Ambitions

Updated: July 30, 2011, 5:35 PM ET
By Nicole Dreon, with Jen Horsey | ESPN.com

Markus Paulsen/Shazamm/ESPN ImagesRobbie Maddison throws a varial in the 1st round of Moto X Freestle finals at X Games 16.

Robbie Maddison, perhaps best known for his mega motorcycle leaps and bounds, is the latest action sports star to jump on the rally racing bandwagon. The Australian will have a packed schedule at X Games in 2011: Not only did Maddo receive his first Rally Car invite (for both RallyCross and Rally Car Racing), he hopes to unveil a new body varial during Moto X Best Trick. Oh, and he has a good shot at a Freestyle invite, too.

Yes, the 30-year-old will be busy. And while he has the potential to excel behind the wheel further down the road, his chances of earning a Rally Car medal in 2011 are slim. But Best Trick? That's another story. After netting silver in the discipline in 2010 with the Volt, Maddo plans to up the ante with a double Volt in 2011. Yes, a double Volt: His body will spin two 360s off to the side of the bike before getting back on. Two.

With just under a month until X Games 17, Maddison will split his time between cars and bikes. Dedicating time to two sports might hinder Maddison's chances of learning the double, but he has a game plan. "I want to keep doing the Volt [single] until it becomes second nature, and then I'll think about the double," says Maddo, who has yet to attempt the double into the foam pit as of late June. "The hardest part is staying confident with a trick like that because you are putting everything on the line." Maddo stuck 12 Volts to dirt during a two-day period in June, a sign that he has it on lock. He also landed it at the Rome X-Fighters comp on June 24.

So how will the Volt and double Volt stack up at this year's X? If Maddo receives a Freestyle invite, the Volt will help separate him from a pack of strong competitors. At X-Fighters Brazil in May, Maddo finished second without the trick, which means the rest of his run is on par. If he adds it to his Freestyle run at X, the judges will reward him; he is one of a handful of riders ever to land a body varial (Chuck Carothers, Kyle Loza, Thomas Pages and Clinton Moore), and the only rider currently on the Freestyle roster who has one.

In Best Trick, a mere Volt or version of the trick is unlikely to be medal worthy. Remember, Kyle Loza already earned gold with the trick back in 2007, and Maddison medaled with a variation of it in 2010. To successfully complete a double Volt, Maddison likely would need to complete both rotations before he hits the apex of the jump or the bike will float away from him. But if he can pull it off, it could be golden.

Maddo has a long history of rising to the occasion with one-off stunts. And car racing poses a refreshing change of pace for the Aussie, who first put some miles under his belt at the DirtFish Rally School in the middle of June before appearing at the last round of the Global RallyCross Championship near Colorado Springs, Colo.

"I think when I put the boots and helmet on for motocross it's more stressful than it is for rally," says Maddo. "Rally doesn't have the same high adrenaline that I'm used to. It's more of a fun event, and it takes a different skill-set. It is challenging, and I am excited about it, but for me right now, I'm basically still in school as a driver."

Yes, Maddison is still in the infant stages of racing, but he will be in good hands at X -- he'll be guided by fellow competitor and racing vet Rhys Millen. The two got cozy in 2008 when they were paired up to perform a pair of epic stunts at Red Bull's New Year's No Limits (Dec. 31, 2008). When Millen offered Maddison a chance to join the Hyundai Rallycross team in 2011, Maddison jumped at the chance.

Maddo will make motocross history if he lands the double Volt at X Games. But will he have a clear mind with four events vying for his attention? One distraction that he's embracing these days is an additional family member: His first child, Kruz King Maddison, was born Oct. 21, 2010. "I look at the little guy's face and I want to give him the world," says Maddo, "and to do that I have to give it my all."