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Thursday, July 30, 2009
Updated: August 2, 7:27 PM ET
X Games Moto X Blog - Friday

By Ryan Leyba
ESPN Action Sports

10:32 p.m. PST: And that's it for Best Trick. Honestly, I'm a bit disappointed. Newcomer Willy Watts didn't even attempt his trick... twice! You get invited to X Games and don't pull your trick? Don't get me started. Paris Rosen at least went for it and he nearly landed it. Props to Paris, even though he couldn't go for it again due to a busted up bike. Travis Pastrana is a bad dude and I don't blame him for not taking his second run. Pastrana is a legend, trick landed or not. I would have loved to see Charles Pages land his decade air, or at least make it back out for his second attempt, but unfortunately his bike was toasted. I was really looking forward to seeing him pull his front flip, but hopefully his brother Thomas pulls it out in his Freestyle Moto X run tomorrow.

Loza, I'm stoked he landed his trick, but like most, I would've liked to see more. We all know that he was working on a bike flip, but apparently it hurt his wrist too bad so he had to revert back to what he knew — the Electric Doom. In my opinion (and the rest of the world it seems), Blake "Bilko' Williams should've taken gold with his massive 360 indian air and PERFECT cliffhanger flip to no handed lander. Poor guy, I feel for him. Let's hope that he finally gets what he deserves and wins Freestyle Moto X gold tomorrow. Congrats to Potter for pulling two massive flip combos and playing it safe. He's a smart dude and he knows that tomorrow's the day he's been training for. Nice work Todd.

Now, who am I forgetting? Oh yes, Scott Murray. I hope that his spot gets handed to someone who actually deserves to be in Best Trick. Props on what you've done, but puff puff pass.

Till tomorrow, Ryan Leyba signing off. Let's hope Freestyle Moto X goes a bit smoother. -RL



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Your XG15 Best Trick podium.

8:36 p.m. PST: And your 2009 gold medalist, Kyle Loza!-RL


8:10 p.m. PST: Loza took it! Bilko silver and Potter bronze! No TP.-RL


8:04 p.m. PST: Please don't invite Scott Murray back. Another double backflip unlanded. It's over man. Like I said, we miss Cam Sinclair.-RL


7:56 p.m. PST: We just got word that Pastrana will be back for his second run! They're propping his ramp back up! Oh man, one more chance to make history.-RL


7:54 p.m. PST: Huge cliff hanger flip to no handed lander. Man, Todd and Bilko are killing it!!!-RL


7:51 p.m. PST: Travis is up and now it's Loza's chance to see if he can make it three gold medals in a row. Wow, this event is turning out just like I expected. This sport is insane ... Too insane.

Willy watts is a dud! Two dead sailors. And he's out. Man, I'm guessing this will be his last X Games.

Todd Potter just threw down a huge laid back no handed flip. He got sideways and hit the barrier, but he's up! Sick!-RL


7:48 p.m. PST: Kyle Loza's attempt is a dud. Man, dead sailor. What a weird Best Trick. Looks like Bilko and Potter are playing it safe and smart. Guaranteed medals for those guys! Gnarly!-RL


7:40 p.m. PST: Oh crap, here comes Paris Rosen! So scared! Here he goes! Oh and he under rotates! He's down now. Can't get up. Stay tuned. Looks like his dirt attempt to dirt just didn't quite get it.

Paris is up and moving. Now for Pastrana! Oh man. Oh man. I'm literally shaking.

Here he goes and ... He's down! So. Lise! He got the rotation but came back down on his back and side. He just threw a thumbs up! He's still down, let's hope he gets up. This isn't looking good.-RL


7:35 p.m. PST: Now Charles Pages! He just went for a HUGE decade air! But he's down, but he's up now! Hopefully he'll be back to pull his front flip next run. Insane already!

Oh man, here goes Murray! So nervous. And he's down! He still can't pull it! We need Cam Sinclair back!-RL


7:29 p.m. PST: Next up Scott Murray! I have to tell you, I'm freaking scared. He's got his own custom ramp. Will it be a double backflip?-RL


7:25 p.m. PST: First up, Willy Watts with a dead sailor!

Now Todd Potter! Huge and perfect cliff Hanger flip.

And next, Bilko! Huge 360 Indy! Sick!!!!-RL


7:20 p.m. PST: I was somehow able to weasle myself atop the big air ramp. I have an insane view so I'll be bringing you guys all the latest as it happened. Like I said before, this is nuts!!!-RL


7:15 p.m. PST: BMX Big Air is wrapping up and the moto puts are complete madness. The Stapes Center is packed and the excitement in the air is like none other.

Every person I've talked to is nervous beyond belief. "I don't want to watch, but I have to. I'm so nervous man. I don't like how far our sport has come" says Renner.-RL


6:35 p.m. PST: From Todd via email: Are there going to be heat races on Saturday for SuperMoto? What is the format? All 20 racing together?

Straight 20 lap final with a staggered start positions in rows of three—ala a classic "starting grid" famliar to racing aficionados—based on today's qualifying.

Says SuperMoto race director Don Canet: "Huge advatange to be in the front row because the first turn is tighter here than a normal road course. Certainly pole position is the place to be."

Capiche? Thanks for the question. Keep 'em coming... Supermoto final is tomorrow at 1:30. -TM


5:18 p.m. PST: Moto X Super qualifying just wrapped up with Mike Sleeter taking the No. 1 slot. We missed much of it chasing down the story on James Stewart's X Games-ending shoulder injury, but photog Josh Duplechian stuck around for the entirety and assures us it all went in an orderly fashion (ie. no major disturbances of the wrecking ball kind).

Sleeter's fastest lap was 35.688 seconds. He was chased by Josh Hansen (35.9), Christian Craig (43.1), Jason Lawrence (46.3), Justin Brayton (46.8), Kevin Windham (47.0), Josh Grant (47.1), Chris Blose (47.5), Matt Boni (47.8) and, in 10th position, Jeremy McGrath (48.0) and on down the line.-TM


4:10 p.m. PST: Beat Trick practice is over, but as usual, the big tricks are being saved for the event. What big tricks? Pastrana's toilet paper roll 360-ish 720 thingy, Paris Rosen's 75' front flip, Charles pages front flip, willy watts body varial dealyo and whatever everyone else is keeping in the low.-RL

Kyle Loza opted to skip practice and watch from the stands. I'm heading to the floor to catch up with him right now.

Stay tuned for some quick hit Flip Mino HD video from practice! -RL


3:59 p.m. PST: David Press via email: How did Carey Hart look in SuperMoto? Up to speed?

Hart was 20th in qualifying this morning -- slow compared to the leaders. His fastest lap was 1:30.750, more than six seconds off the pace of Lazzarini. We tried to catch up with him in the pits after the checkered, but he sped away before we could reach him. -TM


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Pastrana's ramp for Best Trick

3:27 p.m. PST: The first practice sesh is over, but the man himself just rode onto the course. Travis Pastrana. As I posted yesterday, he is indeed on a 125. He hasn't had a chance to hit the ramp yet, but it looks like he may be pulling a few straight airs to feel out the ramp.

Which ramp is his? Your guess is good as mine.

Oh wait, this just in! The crew is putting a two foot high wedge under the super kicker ramp. He's going to soar so high it'll be ridiculous. -RL


3:05 p.m. PST: James Stewart is out. Word at the supercross track at the Home Depot Center is that Stewart injured his shoulder during Supermoto seeding this morning and is done at X Games.

"He hit a hydro barrier, causing a deep contusion—no damage, no surgery needed," an XG15 moto official reports.

The collision with the hydro barrier—plastic, water filled walls used to delineate the course—occured late in the hour-long super moto seeding, or qualifying, session this morning. (In fact, Stewart, who had never raced Supermoto until these games, posted the third fastest qualifying time.)

"He just caught it with his shoulder. He never went down, but it was just enough to give him that pop," the moto official said.-TM


2:58 p.m. PST: The first practice has been underway for ten minutes or so and Bilko is by far looking the best. On top of some of the biggest and flattest 360's I've ever seen, he's just threw down a massive no footed can 360. Sick!

Pages and willy watts out now. Back to filming. Stay tuned!!!-RL


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Willy Watts, for your information.

2:41 p.m. PST: On location here at the Staples Center. Bikes are getting fired up and the boys are set to get the first Best Trick practice rolling. Newcomers Paris Rosen is sporting some new Alpinestars gear and Willy Watts is quiet and confident.

Bilko's pissed because he ended up getting picked as the first rider to throw down in the contest and as we've seen in the past, the first rider usually gets the short end of the stick when it comes to scoring.

Let's get it on!!!-RL


1:48 p.m. PST: Charlie Pagès talks about the common misconception that the front flip is hard: "You do the same as a backflip, but in the front... It's not so hard, actually," he says. Charlie expands on this great notion in a little video shorty. -TM


1:17 p.m. PST: Day two is upon us and in my opinion, it's one of the most anticipated days of the entire event. In one hour, the first Best Trick practice will take place at Staples Center and then it's radio silence until 7 p.m. tonight, when the finals are set to go down. As usual, the hype is growing as every second passes leading up to Best Trick as Pastrana's trick has finally started to leak into the public.

I'm off to Staples, but for now, feast your eyes on two freakin' radical and hilarious videos that ESPN FMX's Cliff Talley put together during yesterday's games.

James Stewart breaks down the Super X course, gives props to the FMX dudes and talks about his obsession with jumping.

Adam Jones deals with his hosiery while calling ESPN FMX out for being So-Cal centric. -RL

11:47 a.m. PST: SuperMoto seeding results, top-10 only: 1. Ivan Lazzarini (1:24.535); 2. Jeff Ward (1:24.970); 3. James Stewart (1:25.466); 4. Adrien Chareyre (1:25.598); 5. Mark Burkhart (1:25.689); 6. Sylvain Bidart (1:25.994); 7. Cassidy Anderson (1:26.387); 8. David Pingree (1:26.587); 9. Brandon Currie (1:26.588); 10. Micky Dymond (1:26.615).


11:20 a.m. PST: Italian SuperMoto rider Ivan Lazzarini is your No. 1 seed for tomorrow's Final. Lazzarini posted the fastest lap during seeding this morning -- 84.5 seconds, about a half-second faster than the second qualifier. (Results to follow.)

"X Games is a strange race," Lazzarini said from the pit area after the hour-long seeding session. "The track is a little dangerous, but everybody knows this. It is different from last year and the American guys and supercross guys have a little less advantage."

How so? "Because last year it was like a supercross track. This year, it's more like a European race -- more pavement, easy off road. ... Normally we have 20 percent off road, sometimes less, and that's about what it is here now."

Lazzarini continued: "84 seconds, that's a long track. But during seeding, the track was becoming better and better -- as we clean our line. I put on new tires with 10 minutes to go, and that was a good strategy, I think. Tomorrow morning we have our short practice and then we go for the final."-TM

10:38 a.m. PST: The SuperMoto track is hot. Actually it's overcast here at the moment so the tarmac track outside the Home Depot Center could be hotter. Nonetheless, the SuperMoto specialists are spinning hot laps for seeding. Riders basically get to keep turning laps and their best times get recorded for seeding purposes. Occassionally riders are pulling into the pits to swap out tires (some crews have form fitting electric blankets on tires to keep them nice and hot), pull off their helmets and get a drink of water. Practice went much the same earlier and to date the French delicacy carnáge has not been served... -TM


8:30 a.m. PST: Lay a patch first thing. This is a SuperMoto way to start a day—and they will, aplenty, beginning at the un X-ly hour of 8 a.m. local. For today is a big day—also a Best Trick sorta day. SuperMoto kicks off all things festivus Friday at X Games with practice followed by seeding from 9 to 10. But all eyes, hearts and minds are—and will be—beating Best Trick style, with the big final table of Best Trick no-limit hold 'em going down tonight at the Staples Center. Front flip? The Pastrana dealio dubbed the Toilet Paper Roll may also be wiping minds as well ... Either way, take a deep breath, say a prayer to your resident Bro-seph, because today danger exceeds all available barometers as incredulity meets execution, do or die style. Stay tuned. Meantime, we will be patching together all the brap haps right here. -TM