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Friday, March 16, 2012
Jacko Strong and the "Bulletproof Tiger"


"I'm getting ready to head to the Crusty Cup tomorrow and I'm starting to get chills running down my spine thinking about what the 'Best trick' category is going to hold," Strong said.

This week Australian rider Jackson "Jacko" Strong announced he's bringing a top secret new trick to the inaugural Crusty Demons Cup in Melbourne on Sunday, a winner-takes-all Best Trick/Best Whip/Best Combo contest with a $50,000 prize purse, held in conjunction with the 2012 Formula 1 Qantas Australian Grand Prix. Strong won Moto X Best Trick gold at X Games 17 after becoming the first rider to land a front flip in competition, so when word went out that he has something new to let out of the bag -- he's calling it the "Bulletproof Tiger" -- and that he's already landed it to dirt, we figured we were past due for a check-in with him.

ESPN.com: Are you ready to spill some secrets? What's the Bulletproof Tiger?
Strong: I don't want to reveal too much, but let's go.

What can you tell us about your new trick?
Let's leave it at this: I've already done the hard yards. I've already done it to dirt at my house, and now I'm looking forward to showing everybody. Come Sunday night, the whole world will know what it is. I'm not going to say it's going to win, because who knows what Kyle Loza or any of the other guys might be bringing, but it should be totally different from anything else I've ever done. There's not too much more I can say without saying what it is!

Come Sunday night, the whole world will know what it is.

--Jacko Strong

Okay then, here's a more general question: We saw you come out huge at X Games last year, where you pretty much took everybody by storm. Maybe you could tell us, more generally, where your head is at coming into the 2012 competition season?
Coming into 2012 I know I want to put a whole lot of energy into Moto X Best Trick again at X Games and bring something big. I'd also like to compete in Moto X Freestyle at X Games -- I'm a freestyle rider, and that's what I practice for every day --- and put together a run with a whole lot of gnarly tricks in it. I'm aiming for the sky this year and I'd just like to roll up to freestyle and do what I can do, do what's within my ability, and try as hard as I can. I think if I can put together the run I want there's no reason I shouldn't do really well.

What does your competition schedule look like for the next few months and what other events are you looking forward to competing in?
After this event this weekend I'm pretty much taking the whole time off up until X Games, just so I can really feel comfortable on my bike, be riding every day, and be working out over the foam pit, just working on the new stuff I want to try to do.

We've seen some of the videos coming out of your home training compound down there in Lockhart. How much has it helped you to have your own foam pit and be able to push some dirt around down there? Your setup looks pretty sick.
It's helped me out a lot and, really, has put me where I am today. Komatsu Earth Moving Equipment just gave me a whole bunch of machines that I have at my compound at home in Australia, so now I've got a whole lot of big dirt jumps and some double-double sections... I've pretty much replicated all the freestyle competition tracks I've ever ridden on! I figure if I'm going out and riding that stuff every day, tricking through the double-doubles and doing all that kind of stuff you might see in a competition, that's definitely going to me help me out this year for freestyle. That's for sure.

Jacko Strong emerges from his foam pit are his Australian compound. Strong will debut a new trick this weekend, but he's not telling anyone what it is.

How about just a hint. What can we look forward to on Sunday?
It's totally new, so I don't really want to throw it out there. I'm just really looking forward to it: In my eyes it's the coolest thing I've done, just because it's new. I think freestyle is all about bringing something new to the table: We could just go out and do the same thing every day, but that wouldn't really be cool.

How about the competition itself? What's the setup for the Crusty Demons Cup?
It's going to be Kyle Loza, a lot of Aussie riders -- including myself -- and Tom Pages from Europe, and pretty much the riders are all going head-to-head for Best Combo, Best Whip, and Best Trick. There's 50 grand on the line, so it should be good: Someone's going to go home with some money, that's for sure.

What else are you looking forward to this season?
My schedule last year was kind of tight and I missed a lot of the freeride filming trips that Metal Mulisha did together. After seeing "Black Friday" and seeing what I missed by not being there, the sections of the film I missed out on being a part of, I'm going to make damn sure that 2012 really puts me in a place to get out there with them for the next film.

Anything else you want to throw out there?
Follow me on Twitter and Facebook, mate! I'm putting in work.