Since its launch in 2001, Red Bull X Fighters has grown into one of the biggest freestyle motocross tours on the planet, featuring many of the world’s best riders. Originally, all rounds took place at bullrings, but in 2007 the tour visited its first non-bullring venue, Dublin’s Slane Castle, and the 2014 tour will visit Osaka, Munich and Pretoria, as well the bullrings of Mexico City and Madrid.
The winner of the inaugural edition (a one-off contest in Valencia) was American Mike Jones. The following year in Madrid, Jones slipped to second as local boy Edgar Torronteras took top spot, and winners over the next three years included Americans Kenny Bartram, Travis Pastrana (twice), Nate Adams and Ronnie Renner, plus Swiss star Mat Rebeaud.
Since the competition expanded to a world tour in 2007, overall tour champions have been Pastrana, Rebeaud, Adams (twice), Spaniard Dany Torres, New Zealander Levi Sherwood and Frenchman Thomas Pagès. In total, 84 riders have now taken part in Red Bull X Fighters at 20 locations around the world – the most successful rider to date has been Sherwood with eight wins, closely followed by Torres and Adams.
One of the most memorable moments in the history of the competition came in 2009 when Aussie Cam Sinclair landed the first ever double backflip in a freestyle run, while competing in the qualifiers at the third round of the series in Fort Worth, Texas. He went on to land another backflip in the quarter final and rode off with third position overall.