Courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool
ABU DHABI (United Arab Emirates) Clinton Moore soared into Freestyle Motocross immortality on Friday by winning the 2015 Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour and sweeping to a dramatic victory in the season finale. The Australian kept his nerves in the winner-take-all showdown against 2013 World Tour champion Thomas Pagès, beating the Frenchman in their head-to-head battle in the Quarter Finals on a technical track set up on Abu Dhabi’s famous Corniche waterfront just off the turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf.
Hungry for the win even though he had already clinched the World Tour title, Moore then went on to defeat Maikel Melero of Spain in the semi-finals and Australia’s Rob Adelberg in the final with a dazzling assortment of tricks of up to 15 meters high and 30 meters in distance, including his big tricks like the Volt as well as a first-ever Bundy with a no-handed landing. Josh Sheehan completed an all-Australian sweep on the podium by taking third.
“This feels like all the hard work and determination has finally paid off,” said Moore. “This was always a dream and the dream has come true for me now.”
With his victory amid the bright lights of Abu Dhabi’s glittering skyline on a warm October evening, Moore finished the season with 380 points and wins in three stops — including triumphs in Mexico City and Athens. Pagès, who pushed the sport to new heights with his innovations, took first place in Madrid and Pretoria and ended up second overall with 305 points after taking 8th in Abu Dhabi while Adelberg climbed to third overall, adding a new Cordova Transfer Flip to his arsenal.
Pagès had to fight from behind after two crashes in Qualifying and came out on top in Round 1 with a flawless run to the cheers of the enthusiastic crowd to earn the right to square off against Moore in the Quarter Finals. Against Moore, Pagès crash-landed on the Alley-Oop Flair, destroying his dream of becoming only the second rider to win the World Tour twice.
“It went really well in the first round but there was a lot of pressure and everything – I don’t know, I made the mistake again, I guess I should have tried a new trick,” said Pagès, who said he was unable to train properly for Abu Dhabi due to a training injury that sidelined him for two weeks.
Even though Pagès lost the title on the final stop of the season for the second time since 2012, Moore paid tribute to Pagès, saying: “Tom is the legend of this sport – he’s the biggest innovator and always pushing us to new boundaries. He’s unlucky he went down.”
Results Abu Dhabi: 1. Clinton Moore (AUS), 2. Rob Adelberg (AUS), 3. Josh Sheehan (AUS), 4. Maikel Melero (ESP), 5. Rémi Bizouard (FRA), 6. Dany Torres (ESP), 7. Taka Higashino (JPN), 8. Tom Pagès (FRA), 9. Javier Villegas (CHI), 10. Luc Ackermann (GER)
World Tour Results: 1. Clinton Moore (AUS), 2. Thomas Pagès (FRA), 3. Rob Adelberg (AUS), 4. Josh Sheehan (AUS) 5. Levi Sherwood (NZL), 6. David Rinaldo (FRA), 7. Dany Torres (ESP), 8. Rémi Bizouard (FRA), 9. Taka Highashino (JPN), 10. Maikel Melero (ESP)
Pictures free for editorial usage: Joerg Mitter, Predrag Vuckovic, Daniel Grund, Naim Chidiac