Expect non-stop action as Monster Energy athletes hit events across Moto, BMX, Skate and Rally at X Games 16, beginning this Thursday, July 29 through Sunday, August 1. It's all going down center stage in the L.A. Memorial Coliseum and in and around STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA.
A total of eight Monster riders are competing in Moto events. In Best Trick, Kyle Loza will be defending as the three-time Moto X Best Trick Gold medalist--after a recent wrist surgery, could we see the bike flip and the first-ever four-peat in the event? He'll face Monster Energy Teammate Blake "Bilko" Williams, an always-exciting rider with loads of swagger.
Hitting the track as defending 2008-2009 Super X Gold Medalist will be Josh Hansen, who's playing triple duty as a competitor in Super X, Speed & Style, and Best Whip--it should be a great show. Also lining up in Super X is Nick Wey, a rider with speed and perseverance that's always a force on the track.
A methodical trick machine, Nate Adams will hit the Speed & Style course as the event returns to the X line-up. He'll also do work in Freestyle Motocross, joined by the defending gold-medalist "Bilko" and serious threat Adam Jones, who's already won at X Fighters this year.
Sara Price will battle as she combines speed and rhythm on July 29 in Super X Women, a semi-new event that's gaining more interest, fans, and excitement constantly--these girls are powerhouses!
In BMX Vert the number one threat will be Monster's Jamie Bestwick, who's often called the best BMX Vert rider ever and is a five-time X Games Vert gold medalist.
In BMX Park two time X Games gold medalist and four-time medalist Scotty Cranmer will be back for more hardware, but he'll have to contend with the legendary Dave Mirra, a medal-collector who's been practicing hard lately and contest-mainstay Ryan Guettler. Andy Buckworth, a young buck from Australia with loads of flip variations like the double front, will battle in BMX Big Air.
Mirra and Ken Block are playing double duty behind the wheel as they both compete in Rally Racing and the all-new Super Rally, which sees four cars on the track at the same time. Mirra, known for his legendary BMX career, has become a threat as he pushed a different pedal to the metal. And Block, now a WRC driver, will be hot off the line and nimble through the turns as he seeks redemption and his first-ever Gold in the event he's medaled in every single year.
Expect more major action as Skate Big Air and Skate Big Air Rail Jam competitors take to the MegaRamp inside the iconic Coliseum. Jake Brown will come in with big plans after the memorable gold medal last year and perhaps more-memorable slam two years ago, while his Monster teammate Pierre Luc Gagnon (PLG) will translate his vert skills and smoothness to the Big Air ramp. The Quebec tech-wizard will also compete in Skate Vert Trick (as the defending Gold medalist) and also Skate vert alongside Alex Perelson, a young force on the ramp with a proven 900. Perelson will also look to make a big impression as he competes in Skate Park.
There's never been a better time to be a girl interested in pursuing a career in racing motorcycles. Five years ago there were no factory rides for the ladies, they were lucky to get a good support role on a team. Today, the factory teams are getting behind the WMA effort in a big way. The second in what will prove to be a long line of factory WMA riders is Sara Price.
After taking a number of amateur titles, plus Rookie of the Year in her freshman season as a pro, Kawasaki decided to throw her under the factory tent with the likes of Chad Reed. Her dramatic rise through the ranks is a testament to the growth of WMA racing and her dedication to the sport. We had a chance to catch up with young Price for a quick interview. Here's what she had to say.
First, give our readers a little background info. Where are you from and how'd you get started riding?
I'm originally from Riverside, Calif., but moved when I was seven. We moved about thirty minutes away to a really awesome community called Canyon Lake. I was really into showing horses at the time, I still have my horse Garnet today. My dad and brother saw my talent and fearlessness on a horse and wanted to get me on a bike. So that Christmas they picked me up a Honda XR50, I haven't looked back since. I started going to the track every Tuesday with my older brother Dean and he noticed that I was doing really well. Family and friends kept saying that I need to go to an amateur national to see how I'd do. I ended up winning my first national championship my first time out of state in Texas and since I've won 19 national amateur championships before I started my professional career with Kawasaki.
Tell us a little bit about your situation leading into this season, how did the factory ride with Kawasaki come about?
It's really been a dream come true. I've been riding Kawasaki since I was on 65's. I rode for Team Green through the end of my amateur career. The economy this past season made it tough to find a ride, but I've always been loyal to Kawasaki and they've always been loyal to me; they're like a second family. Coming in to this season we were a little late to get on the boat as we had a lot of details to work out but eventually we got the news that I'd be riding out of the factory rig for the year.
You're pitting in the same rig as Chad Reed now, how rad is that!?!
Ya, it's very cool to be under the same tent as such an accomplished rider like Reed. He is an awesome guy and he always makes fun of me because I always seem to get myself into little mishaps on media days. When I was at Hangtown I fell off the drop off and broke my shoulder the day before the race. Then when we were out at Red Bud I was cruising on the side of the track, looking out ahead of me and ran into a wire fence, that thing close lined me off the bike. That's a little embarrassing to tell you guys, but hey, that's what goes on behind the scenes.
Does he give you any riding tips or help you with stuff throughout the weekend?
Yea his practice is usually before my first practice on the weekends. When he goes out he usually tells me what he thinks of the track or where the good lines are. He always answers the questions I've got, he's a pretty outgoing guy and it's great having a teammate like that.
How does this new setup -- traveling around pitting out of the big rig -- compare to your previous support?
It's by far a lot easier. It's a lot less taxing on your body as before I would be stuck in a motorhome for months traveling from race to race. Now I can fly there and back each weekend and continue my program back home with my trainer Randy Lawrence. It is nice to get to the track and have my bike staring at me all shiny and ready to ride.
Tell me about your training. How do you prepare physically for racing aside from riding?
I'm a bit of a busy body. I'm always doing something because I can't stand being bored. Sometimes I just have to be bored though as I'm so tired, but I feel like that soreness and feeling of tiredness is my body telling me I did a good job. I ride a lot during the week, Randy and I go to the track almost every day. If I'm not racing I'm usually resting hoping to recover before the next training session. Randy has me on the road bike for quite a few miles each week to improve my cardio and for recovery. We get in to the gym two times a week for strength training as well. We train mostly on the bike though which is where I get most of my training from.
You hit the podium for the first time in 2010 in Lakewood, how'd that feel? And how long until you're up there again?
Getting on the podium was such a relief; I was coming in to this season faster than ever and I felt really good and was ready to win then the day before the first race I hurt my shoulder. I've finally recovered from that injury and able to give it my best effort while training at home and at the races. Getting up on the podium meant a lot to me because of the circumstances. I'm a hard worker and I'm only improving so you better see me on the podium every race from here on out.
My bet is that you're not going to be chasing around Patterson and Fiolek much longer. How many rounds until you're standing on top of the podium?
It's my sophomore year in the pro class and being a rookie last year I thought of it as a learning experience. This year I'm ready to win. I've battled a few obstacles coming in to the season but you better bet I'm not ever going to give up until I win that championship.
Aside from putting the hurt to your competition, what do you like to do? Rumor has it you're a shopper. Is this true?
I'm not going to lie, I have a weakness for shopping. When we go out of town for a race I usually get my parents to go with me to the local mall. It's always fun to see the different culture of clothing and I can't pass up a badass set of heels; if I see some, I buy them. Other than shopping, as I mentioned before, I still have Garnet my horse. I spend most of my time with her when I'm not racing. I also like to hang out with my friends on the lake or go on the boat.
Great. Thanks for your time, Sara.