by Charles Owens on 04/16/2013
TSM Editor and long-time follower Paul Savage previews the Moto X events for the upcoming ESPN X-Games.
Fans of the annual ESPN X-Games and the mighty two-stroke engine are in for a real treat this year.
Not only will the competition be held in four different countries in three separate continents throughout the year, but the action commences months earlier than the usual August start date.
Republica Federativa do Brasil has produced scores of world-famous action sports athletes. If ever there was a place that deserves a turn to host the mayhem, Brazil is it.
Taka Higashino, the exuberant Japanese rider based in California, is the X-Games website poll’s favorite to win the Moto X Freestyle Event. Site visitors clearly haven’t forgotten that the two-wheeled Samurai is the defending champion in that event.
Australian Jackson ‘Jacko’ Strong will also be flying in from New South Wales to have a shot at the gold medal.
Last year’s Step-Up winner Ronnie Renner is down for another go, when he’ll go up against Josh Hansen and Brian Foster amongst others.
It simply wouldn’t be a proper outing at the X-Games without the Best Whip comp.
Taka Higashino is set to battle it out against other freestylers such as Jeremy Stenburg, Edgar Torronteras and veteran Ronnie Renner, who’s also competing in Speed & Style.
The big names in the women’s event such as Jolene Van Vugt, Maria Forsberg and Tarah Geiger have signed up for the Women’s Endurocross spectacular – expect big things.
In the Men’s equivalent, local rider Antonio Balbi will be pitted against Mike Brown, Cody Webb and a handful of other tough competitors.
Almost 20 years on from the first X-Games event, the two-stroke engine continues to rule the Moto X events with an iron fist.
In an era of increasingly lightweight and efficient four-stroke engines and big budget teams, X-Games athletes continue to choose the engine that’s more robust, lighter, faster and better – the two-stroke.
What? X-Games XIX
Where? Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil
When? April 18 – 21, 2013
Visit xgames.espn.go.com for event schedules, athletes bios and more.