X Games Minneapolis 2018 Moto X Freestyle Preview
Training for X Games Moto X
We traveled to a variety of training spots Southern California to catch up with many of the X Games Minneapolis 2018 favorites as they prepare for Moto X Freestyle and Best Trick. Here, Rob Adelberg practices throwing a cliffhanger flip at Fox Raceway in Palm, CA. Adelberg finished second in Austin 2016 Moto X Freestyle. If he wants to win his first gold here in Minneapolis he will have to take down nine other riders, including gold medalists Taka Higashino, Adam Jones and Josh Sheehan.
Double backflipping the QuarterPipe last year in X Games Moto X Best Trick earned Jackson Strong a silver medal. With defending gold medalist Levi Sherwood out of the competition, what does Strong have up his sleeve to try to claim gold for the fourth time? Winning certainly won't get any easier since Tom Pages is returning to the competition this year.
Jackson Strong has been known to shock the crowd. In Austin 2016, he was life-flighted to a hospital during Moto X QuarterPipe Best Trick, but emerged on course moments before his Moto X Best Trick run to land a front flip for the gold.
Earlier this year, at X Games Aspen 2018, Rob Adelberg won the inaugural Snow Bike Best Trick competition. Putting hours into the foam pit, he has the potential to win Moto X Best Trick here in Minneapolis and at X Games Sydney in October.
Foam pits, like the one Rob Adelberg is flying by here, have been responsible for trick progression in Moto X. Sure, it's better than trying it to dirt the first time, but it isn't exactly "safe." Many riders have incurred injuries from landing on the bike or the bike landing on them in foam pits.
Two-time gold medalist Taka Higashino will be making his eleventh X Games appearance in Minneapolis, competing in Moto X Freestyle and Best Trick. The veteran is still improving, learning new tricks to battle for gold.
Last year's Moto X Freestyle gold medalist Levi Sherwood is not competing in Freestyle Moto X. This leaves the door open for a new winner, like, perhaps, FMX new comer Luc Ackermann. The rest of the field won't make it easy on him, as Taka Higashino demonstrates here with a Dead Body flip.
Jarryd McNeil has a variety of whips and is a heavy favorite to win Moto X Best Whip gold. He is coming to Minneapolis with two golds to his name, and has finished no worse than bronze in previous competitions.
Moto X Best Whip has always been a fan favorite competition, with the victor decided by fan voting. Things are changing this year, however. The event will now be decided by a judging panel. Nine-time medalist Jarryd McNeil is ready to impress with upside-down whips.
Like Taka Higashino, Japan's Genki Watanabe has always dreamed of competing in X Games. Genki, or as his friends call him, Wanky, will follow in Taka's foot steps to become the second Japanese Moto X rider to compete at the X Games.
Training at the 774 Compound in Japan has done Genki Watanabe well. His style rivals the best in the world.
Sit back and relax. The best in Moto X is yet to come.