One year ago London cheered on the best freestyle motocross riders in the world as the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour hit British soil for the first time in its history.
This year sees the Red Bull X-Fighters return once again to the legendary Battersea Power Station on the banks of the River Thames to take things to the next level. After four stops of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour 2010 no fewer than six riders are in with a chance of claiming the overall title.
Back in 2009 it was America’s Nate Adams who did his bit for the famous transatlantic special relationship by winning the event in London to secure the overall title on the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour 2009.
Twelve months later Adams is again one of the favourites to take victory in the former coal power station in the south of London, but the man from Arizona has not been able to win any of this season’s four stops in Mexico, Egypt, Russia and Spain and, as reigning champion, is under pressure to step it up in the British capital.
Among his main rivals will be the winner of the classic event in Madrid’s Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas, Robbie Maddison. The Australian, who holds a host of world records and even jumped over the iconic London Tower Bridge in 2009, will be looking to continue his good form to topple long-standing leader Andrè Villa (NOR) from the top of the standings and claim his first ever Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour title.
In 2009 the Red Bull X-Fighters rocked the enormous disused power station to the south of the Thames, but this year the circus heads to the north side of the building to offer riders and fans alike more space. Joining the world FMX elite once again will be local hero Chris Birch (GBR).
Since competing in the 2009 event, the Briton has left his base in Belgium for the sunnier climes of Spain, where he has been training with current overall points leader Andrè Villa and the legendary Pagès brothers.
The third-largest plant of its kind in Britain, Battersea Power Station played a key role in supplying several generations of Londoners with electricity from 1933 right through to 1989.
Indeed, the towering 110-metre towers of the red brick building are today still among the most iconic landmarks of the British capital city.
Since its closure as a power plant at the end of the 1980s, Battersea Power Station has played host to exhibitions, events, concerts … and the Red Bull X-Fighters!
Going into the fifth stop of the season, the situation at the top of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour 2010 is incredibly close, with four different riders having claimed victory at the four events of the season in Mexico City (MEX), Giza (EGY), Moscow (RUS) and Madrid (ESP).
In London any one of the top six riders could take a huge step towards securing the 2010 overall title.
X-Fighters Results (Mexico Egypt Russia Spain UK Italy - – Overall)
01) Andre Villa NOR Yam YZ250 100 80 65 65 - - 310
02) Robbie Maddison AUS Yam YZ250 65 55 45 100 - - 265
03) Nate Adams USA Yam YZ250 80 65 80 - - - 225
04) Levi Sherwood NZL Yam YZ250 30 45 100 45 - - 220
05) Adam Jones USA Yam YZ250 25 100 30 35 - - 190
06) Dany Torres ESP KTM SX250 55 - 35 55 - - 145
07) Eigo Sato JAP Yam YZ250 35 35 55 5 - - 130
08) Mat Rebeaud SUI KTM SX 250 - - 15 80 - - 95
09) Jim McNeil USA Suz RM250 45 30 20 - - - 95
10) Cameron Sinclair AUS Yam YZ250 10 - 25 15 - - 50
11) Mike Mason USA Yam YZ250 - - - 30 - - 30
12) Maikel Melero ESP KTM SX250 - - - 25 - - 25
12) Libor Podmol CZ Suz RM250 - 25 - - - - 25
13) Jackson Strong AUS KTM SX250 - - - 20 - - 20
14) Blake Williams AUS Hon CR250R 15 - 5 - - - 20
14) Lance Coury USA Hon CR250 - 20 - - - - 20
14) Charles Pagès FRA Suz RM250 20 - - - - - 20
17) Daice Suzuki JAP Yam YZ250 - 15 - - - - 15
18) Remi Bizouard FRA Yam YZ250 - - - 10 - - 10
18) Alex Kolesnikov RUS KTM SX250 - - 10 - - - 10
18) Petr Pilat CZE KTM SX250 - 10 - - - - 10
22) Jeremy Stenberg USA Kaw KX450F - - - 5 - - 5
23) Nick de Wit RSA KTM SX250 - 5 - - - - 5
24) Johan Nungaray MEX Yam YZ250 5 - - - - - 5