After two days of historical moments in X Games Austin, Day 3 got rolling with hundreds of the world’s best in skateboarding, BMX, and Moto X going to battle. Saturday was the weekend’s longest day of action featuring all of the sports represented in the games. International stars Higashino, Finland’s Heikkinen and Joni put it all on the line before thousands of fans attending the events in the sweltering hot city of Austin, Texas. The highlight of the day was Colton Satterfield taking home BMX Big Air gold, while Scott Speed dominated the field in Ford RallyCross.
The day's action began with RallyCross Lite. Lite, as opposed to ordinary RallyCross, levels the playing field by forcing drivers to compete in identical cars with 310 horsepower. After a second place finish at last year's games in LA, the 16 year old Mitchell DeJong took home gold after beating out teammate Kevin Eriksson. The course took no prisoners and saw former NASCAR driver Nelson Piquet Jr. wreck out of the final. Also involved in the fray were Austin Cindric and Atila Abreu, who both crashed trying to avoid Piquet. Cindric returned to take the bronze.
Decorated Australia BMX Rider Kyle Baldock won gold in the Dirt competition Saturday afternoon. Baldock also won gold in the same event in Brazil a year ago. No one could touch the Aussie who pulled off a corked 720 followed by a front flip over the angled hip to berm to double tailwhip, ending his runs on the downhill slope with an opposite double tailwhip and a backflip barspin. Baldock initially scored a 92.33 before improving upon it in his third run earning a 95.00 after dazzling the judges with a flip whip to late barspin, 360 barspin step-up, downside whip, double opposite tailwhip and a slowly rotated front flip. Ben Wallace and Brandon Dosch came in second and third respectively.
After a series of heats the day before, it came down to the RallyCross finals on Saturday and the drivers didn't disappoint. American Scott Speed won back-to-back gold medals yesterday, after winning gold in Brazil a year ago in the same event. Speed outlasted Bucky Lasek and Piquet Jr. Heikkinen, who came in second a year ago, and Tanner Foust both crashed in the quarterfinals. Accomplished driver Ken Block also failed to make it into the finals. Emma Gilmour, the first female RallyCross driver to compete at the X Games, advanced to the semifinals where she finished sixth but missed the cut for the main event.
Skateboard Park saw some familiar faces battle it out for the top spot. The highly-touted Pedro Barros, who placed second in last year's event in Munich, Germany, added to his collection of gold with a fifth yesterday. The crafty Brazilian landed a stalefish gap transfer and a Smith grind through the corner before landing a melon 540 to post the event's only score above 90 points. The competition wasn't close with six points separating Barros from second place Grant Taylor. Aaron Homoki finished in third. Curren Caples, who finished first last year, came in fifth.
Moto X Speed & Style
Moto X Speed and Style was without champion Mike Adams, but that didn't stop it from being one of the most exciting contests of the afternoon. Mike Mason won the gold by narrowly defeating Blake Williams, who was the runner up last year in LA. It was Mason's fourth Speed and Style gold and his seventh X Games medal. Heavy wind conditions impacted the course which saw Javier Villegas crash in practice, breaking his right femur and Lance Coury suffering a mild concussion in his quarterfinal race with Foster. The Moto X Freestyle will be postponed until tomorrow afternoon because of windy conditions.
GoPro BMX Big Air
In a hard-fought contest, Colton Satterfield claimed the gold in BMX Big Air. The winner of last year's installments in Spain and Brazil, Zack Warden, was unable to compete at X Games Austin because of an injury to his right knee in April. Three points is all that separated Satterfield, Morgan Wade and James Foster. Other notables Vince Byron and Chad Kagy finished sixth and seventh respectively. Satterfield began his winning run with a no-handed cork seven to late barspin and finished it off with a triple tailwhip. Wade's performance shouldn't be understated; posting a superman backflip and a double tailwhip on the way to his silver medal.
Skateboard Street Amateurs
Skateboard Street Amateurs took the spotlight late afternoon yesterday. Tyson Bowerbank took home top honors for the second year in a row after surpassing Chase Webb and Nassim Guammaz. In what was a mediocre performance, Bowerbank came up with a blazing 85 in his second run which stood the tide.
After a wild day of action on Saturday, the X Games will roll on today when both Women's and Men’s Skateboard Street finals, BMX Park final, and the Stadium SUPER Trucks final take center stage. Kyle Baldock, Huston and Leticia Bufoni will try to retain their top spots against rising contenders Lacey Baker, Ryan Decenzo and Scotty Cranmer. Robby Gordon's Stadium SUPER Trucks series is a new addition to the X Games. The series debuted last year and is similar to the RallyCross and EnduroCross events.