X Games 17: Thursday Moto Recap

2011 X Games 17

Tommy Clowers started the moto mayhem on Thursday at STAPLES Center, stepping up to easily clear the opening 28ft mark on his first attempt. The bar would continue to rise quickly as Clowers roosted towards his X Games record of 35 feet, which he set 11 years ago.

As the riders reached 34 feet 6 inches most of the field had to rely on their second attempt to clear the bar. It would take a new X Games record of 37 feet to knock Clowers out of contention as all three medalists raised the bar above Clowers former record.

The Best Whip competition was full of panic revving action as six riders went at it in a 6-minute jam session. Monster Energy had three riders repping the claw in the fan-judged event that was full of fast-paced action.

Throughout Best Whip, Jarryd McNeil continually tossed his bike around like a rag doll. His most memorable whip brought the crowd to their feet as he twisted his bike past 180 degrees while also throwing down some crazy style. As the session wrapped up, McNeil’s whips had fans rushing to their phones to vote for him and when the polls closed, he earned the Bronze medal with 22% of the votes.

Josh Hansen represented motocross racers entering the field of freestyle sharks, and hoping his fans could carry him onto the medal stand. The racing fans pushed hard for Hanny but it wasn’t enough as he finished fourth with 11% of the text votes.

Looking to steal some votes from their competitors, Hansen and Nate Adams pulled out all of the stops. As the clock was running out the riders hit the ramp wheel-to-wheel whipping in sequence. With the STAPLES Center going wild the duo hoped the fans at home were just as excited.

With Step Up and Best Whip in the books all eyes turned towards one of the most anticipated events of X Games. Best Trick started out on a down note as Kyle Loza, who was going to wow the crowd with a trick that had never been attempted before, was a late scratch due to a hand injury.

Kyle Loza says: “Every couple of jumps I would land a little sideways. I probably landed 120 times and sometimes they were a little awkward. On the day before X Games, on my last attempt, of course, my hip knocked my hand off the bars when I landed and I cut my thumb up. I had to get stitches and I’m bummed because I feel like I have mastered the trick. I know I could ride it out if I could have competed.”

Filling in for Loza was Adam Jones who was an alternate coming into the event. Despite the little time he had to prepare, Jones still stepped up and threw down a massive double-grab backflip.

Mark Monea was a favorite for X Games gold as he was bringing his front-flip 360 to competition for the first time. As his wheels hit the ground he was just a bit off-balance and he hit the dirt hard. The big hit, forced him to cancel his second run and we’ll have to wait another year to see the front-flip 360 at X.

X Games 17 – Thursday Final Results (July 28, 2011)

Moto X Step Up Final

Rank / Name / Max Height Cleared
1. Matt Buyten 37′ 0″
2. Ronnie Renner 35′ 6″
3. Myles Richmond 35′ 6″
3. Brian Deegan 35′ 6″
5. Tommy Clowers 34′ 6″
6. Todd Potter 33′ 0″

Moto X Best Whip Final

Rank / Name / Vote
1. Jeremy Stenberg 27%
2. Todd Potter 24%
3. Jarryd McNeil 22%
4. Josh Hansen 11%
5. Thomas Pages 9%
6. Nate Adams 7%

Moto X Best Trick Final

Rank / Name / Run 1 / Run 2 / Best
1. Jackson Strong 95.66 77.33 95.66
2. Cam Sinclair 94.66 46.66 94.66
3. Josh Sheehan 93.33 72.66 93.33
4. Taka Higashino 87.66 88.33 88.33
5. Todd Potter 75.00 87.66 87.66
6. Adam Jones 86.33 85.66 86.33
7. Travis Pastrana 74.00 – 74.00
8. Mark Monea 63.00 – 63.00