The Red Bull X-Fighters will celebrate the 11th year of FMX in Madrid’s Las Ventas bullring on July 20 at what has become Europe’s greatest FMX event. Defending champion Dany Torres hopes to tap into the energy swirling around Spain over their soccer team’s winning the Euro 2012 championship as well as the big home crowd of some 25,000 to get his title chase back on track. American Todd Potter aims to stay in front of Levi Sherwood atop the standings.
MADRID – Spain is in a state of frenzy over the nation’s winning the Euro soccer championship for the second straight time and local FMX hero Dany Torres hopes that buzz will give him a boost at the Madrid stop of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour on July 20. Torres was triumphant in Madrid in two of the last three years and the 2011 champion will need to make it three out of four if he wants to have any chance of defending his title. Torres, whose stirring victory on a magical evening under the stars here a year ago was his last triumph, celebrated Spain’s 2008 Euro soccer win just before the 2008 Madrid Red Bull X-Fighters event by wearing the jersey of his namesake, top scorer Fernando Torres. The 2012 competition marks the 11th year the world famous Las Ventas bullring will host Red Bull X-Fighters for what has become Europe’s greatest FMX event.
Dany Torres, plagued by an ankle injury early this season, is now fit but 85 points behind first place Todd Potter (USA) in ninth place. That does not worry him too much because a year ago going into the Madrid stop he was 120 points behind another American, Nate Adams, and back in third place before winning at home in Madrid en route to taking the overall World Tour. Torres has always done well in Europe, recording four of his six Red Bull X-Fighters career victories on European soil. Victories in Madrid and in August in Munich could quickly put him back on top.
“Madrid is the best event for me, it’s the best country, and the best location in the bullring,” said Torres, 25, who hopes to introduce some new tricks at home after winning the event in the ring that is 62 meters in diameter in 2009 and 2011. “The crowd is crazy in Madrid. It’s great to see the crowd there. It’s my crowd.” The Red Bull X-Fighters series began in 2001 in Valencia but the Spanish stop has been in Madrid at the famed Las Ventas bullring since 2002, becoming the most looked-forward stop on the calendar each year.
Potter, who won the second stop in Glen Helen, California, is also confident about his chances in Madrid after the third stop of the season, in Istanbul, was cancelled at the last minute due to heavy winds. Potter, who only has four Red Bull X-Fighters events under his belt, holds a narrow five-point lead over New Zealand’s Levi Sherwood, the winner of the 2012 season opener in Dubai. “I’m looking forward to Madrid,” said Potter, who has never experienced the hot Spanish crowd. “Hopefully I’ll have some more tricks in my back to come out and win it.”
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Pictures: Andreas Schaad, Joerg Mitter