Matt Buyten battled it out with X Games 15 Gold Medalist Ronnie Renner to claim top spot in the Moto X Step Up Final Friday night.
“There is so much pressure every year at X Games,” said Buyten. “What’s great is that everyone respects this competition, and it means so much to win the gold again.”
Renner was in search of a back-to-back win entering the event but despite looking good throughout the competition failed at the final hurdle.
The Final kicked off at 26 feet with the first round looking like practice rather than competition as all rider quickly cleared the bar. This wasn’t to last long though after Jeff Kargola and Beau Bamburg could only manage 28ft.
With the bar raised to 32 feet 6 inches Myles Richmond and Todd Potter became the next victims, leaving Buyten and Renner to go head-to-head for the top step of the podium.
“Every year, Step Up is a dog fight, and I knew it was going to come down to me and Renner,” Buyten said. “It’s much harder than it looks to do, and the landings are rough. I have a massage already scheduled for Monday.”
Buyten would improve on his Bronze medal of 2009 by taking the top spot with a height of 33 feet 5 inches as Renner could only manage 32 feet 5 inches.
Richmond claimed his first X Games medal as he took Bronze spot.
1. Matt Buyten Minden, Nev. 33.50 2. Ronnie Renner Tampa, Fla. 32.50 3. Myles Richmond Cherry Valley, Calif. 30.50 4. Todd Potter Temecula, Calif. 30.50 5. Jeff Kargola San Clemente, Calif. 28.00 6. Beau Bamburg Gresham, Ore. 28.00