Matt Buyten took a stunning victory at X Games 17 in the Moto X Step Up, setting a new World Record on the way to his fourth X Games Gold (and second in a row).
“It’s everything,” Buyten said. “This is everything. Everything is on the line right here. This is the X Games, there’s no backing down. You can’t explain the pressure. The bar just keeps climbing and climbing and the pressure keeps building.”
Todd Potter became the first to be eliminated at a height of 33 feet, almost crashing as he came back down to the side of the ramp.
The previous record for the event was set at 35 feet by Tommy Clowers and has stood since 2000, unfortunately for Clowers he would be the second rider to exit the event at a height of 34 feet 6 inches. As he started his second run his front wheel lifted as he hit the ramp and couldn’t get the air needed to clear the bar.
The first rider to clear the previous record would be Brian Deegan who cleared the bar on his second run followed by Myles Richmond who made it look easy on his first attempt. Ronnie Renner would continue the run of riders to clear the height after his previous struggle at 34 feet 6 inches. Buyten struggled on his first attempt at 35 feet and clipped the bar, his second run would be more successful clearing it, bringing the back-end of his bike up and over the bar.
36 feet 6 inches would see the exit of 2 riders, Deegan being the first rider not to make it followed by Richmond who had made it through the event being the only rider not to hit the bar. Renner would clear it easily making it a head to head as long as Buyten made it to the next height. Buyten clipped the bar on the way back down on his first run but would clear it with ease on his second attempt.
Renner pushed all the way but couldn’t make over the 37 feet mark, Buyten would whip the crowd in to a frenzy before starting his final run, clearing the bar with plenty of space to spare.
“The last five years I’ve had some great battles with Renner,” Buyten added. “He’s definitely my biggest competitor.”
|1.||Matt Buyten||2||Minden, Nev.||37.00|
|2.||Ronnie Renner||5||Tampa, Fla.||36.50|
|3.||Brian Deegan||38||Bellevue, Nebr.||35.50|
|3.||Myles Richmond||6||Cherry Valley, Calif.||35.50|
|5.||Tommy Clowers||4||Ramona, Calif.||34.50|
|6.||Todd Potter||3||Temecula, Calif.||33.00|
Moto X Step Up overview
Moto X Step Up features six riders lining up 30 feet from a near vertical wall of dirt in an attempt to jump over a horizontal bar positioned between two vertical bars at a height determined at the competition director’s discretion, above the lip of the jump.
If a rider knocks the bar to the ground, that rider has one additional chance to clear the bar at a height or else is eliminated. After each round, the bar is raised in increments determined by the competition director and the entire process is repeated until one winner is determined.