Circuit of the Americas
Courtesy of GEICO
Photos by Drew Ruiz
AUSTIN, TX, JUNE 5, 2015
The ageless Mike Brown won his third X Games Enduro X gold medal in Austin, Texas, on Friday, June 5. The Rockstar Husqvarna rider overtook Cody Webb near the midway point of the race and never looked back. FMF KTM’s Taylor Robert had a great first race back after taking five months off (to recover from a wrist injury) to take the silver medal with a late-race pass on Webb as well. Webb held on for third on his team FMF/ RPM/ Team Maxxis KTM.
Brown served notice in the afternoon’s hot laps that he would be tough to beat by setting the fast time. His 58.5-second lap was 1.5 seconds faster than Colton Haaker, on the Rockstar/ Lucas Oil Husqvarna. Webb was third, just a fraction of a second behind Haaker.
During practice, it appeared that the track favored the riders with a motocross background as it featured several large jumps and rhythm sections, as well as a Freestyle-ramp step-up jump. But the track still included several log obstacles, a tricky rock section, tractor tires, a wood pit, and a double water pond, all of which were certainly challenging. Then a quick rain shower less than an hour before the event made the surface extremely slick and, arguably, turned the race back into the favor of the riders with great technical skills.
Haaker initially took the holeshot, but Brown made an aggressive pass going into the rock pile on the first lap, only to have Webb immediately pass him to come out with the lead. Webb opened a small gap, but then Brown started to close in, mostly by jumping a log-to-tire double that Webb was not able to clear all day.
Then, just before the halfway point, Webb went down in the rocks, which allowed Brown and Robert to close in, and Brown ultimately took the lead. From that point on, Brown slowly pulled away from Webb, who was now under heavy pressure from Robert. Robert made a pass for second with just three laps remaining to try to close the gap on Brown. He did close in, but Brown was able to hold on to take the gold.
Haaker took fourth, despite getting stuck in the rocks on lap one and crashing twice on lap three. Geoff Aaron rode a great race to take fifth on his Gas Gas. Kyle Redmond finished sixth on his Beta. Nick Thompson was seventh on a KTM. Ty Tremaine, Cory Graffunder and Jamie Lanza finished eighth, ninth and 10th, respectively, all on KTMs.
The Women’s main event featured 13 of the best female riders in the world. Spain’s Laia Sanz took the gold medal after a race-long battle with Tarah Gieger. A former Women’s Moto X Moto gold-medal winner, Gieger was faster in the jump sections, and she found her way past Sanz briefly but could not make it stick and had to settle for the silver. Kacy Martinez, the defending gold medalist, took the bronze.
Maria Forsberg, a multitime Women’s Enduro X gold-medal winner, returned after taking over a year off to start a family, and she finished sixth.
The Women’s class was an international affair, with five different countries represented in the top 10.
For more information about the 2015 Austin X Games, please visitxgames.espn.go.com/xgames/.
Points garnered during the X Games count toward the 2015 GEICO AMA EnduroCross Championship, and Cody Webb and Colton Haaker are again tied, with 90 points apiece. Mike Brown is just 10 points back. The riders will have a summer break before the series resumes in Sacramento, California, on September 26.
For more information on EnduroCross, please visit www.EnduroCross.com.
Circuit of the Americas
Results: June 5, 2015
X GAMES ENDUROCROSS MEN’S MAIN (Provisional): 1. Mike Brown (Hsq); 2. Taylor Robert (KTM); 3. Cody Webb (KTM); 4. Colton Haaker (Hsq); 5. Geoff Aaron (GG); 6. Kyle Redmond (Bet); 7. Nick Thompson (KTM); 8. Ty Tremaine (KTM); 9. Cory Graffunder (KTM); 10. Jamie Lanza (KTM); 11. Kornel Nemeth (Hsq); 12. Mas Gerston (Bet).
X GAMES ENDUROCROSS WOMEN’S MAIN (Provisional): 1. Laia Sanz (KTM); 2. Tarah Gieger (Hon); 3. Kacy Martinez (KTM).