News 20 Sep 2011

Red Bull X-Fighters win caps off defining year for Sheehan in Sydney

Australia's Josh Sheehan was the star of Sydney's Red Bull X-Fighters finale.

Australia's Josh Sheehan was the star of Sydney's Red Bull X-Fighters finale.

Victory on home soil at the Sydney Red Bull X-Fighters on Saturday capped 2011 as a career-defining year for young freestyle motocross talent Josh Sheehan.

The Carlton Dry Honda Thor rider took on and topped the world’s best on the weekend, executing a perfect double backflip on the course set against the iconic harbour backdrop to notch up his first X-Fighters win and third consecutive series podium.

Nerves threatened to get the best of the West Australian in the lead-up to the event, and he admitted he felt relief when he was finally able to climb aboard the bike.

“It was the first time for X-Fighters in Australia and I felt pretty nervous going into the weekend,” said Sheehan. “I’d had two third places already and felt like I really had to go for the win.

“I spent a week with Cameron Sinclair getting as much practice in as I could with the double backflip as I knew I’d need it to win.

“Once things got underway the hardest part was deciding when to use it – the course was tight and some of the landings went straight into take-offs,” he said.

“I qualified fourth and had my first run against Adam Jones which I got through. Next up was Dany Torres, I knew I’d need the double to take him down and managed to time it perfectly.

“It took a lot of stress and pressure off in the final against Levi Sherwood and I held on for the home win which felt incredible with such a huge Aussie crowd and an awesome location.”

The Sydney Red Bull X-Fighters victory sits alongside two previous podiums, plus six consecutive IFMXF wins and a bronze medal at X Games.

“It’s been a busy but rewarding year,” continued Sheehan. “I started off with a few months of touring before a really successful run in the European IFMXF competitions and two X-Fighters podiums.

“The bronze at X Games was a bonus, I was on the alternate rider list so was called in at the last minute.

“I’m heading home for a few weeks now but will keep up the practice as I’ve got a few more Night of the Jumps events and demo’s locked in to round out the year.”

Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing Team Principal Yarrive Konsky, who has supported Sheehan for the past four years, praised the young West Australian’s tenacity and drive.

“It’s been a long time coming for Josh,” said Konsky. “Unfortunately injuries have held back his accomplishments, but they never detoured his desire and discipline.

“Josh has been with us since our inception with Honda in 2008, we took him on as our sole factory freestyle rider following a push by some his friends telling me how great he was as a person and a rider.

“They couldn’t have been more right. Josh has worked hard to achieve his goals and that’s why we continue to support him. Honda, the team and Carlton Dry are proud to be involved with such a dedicated young athlete.”