What dizzying craziness did Australia's Josh Sheehan muster to win Saturday's Red Bull X-Fighters final in Munich, Germany? Not one, two, or even three but four perfectly executed double backflips. Sheehan's dramatic victory took place on a unique freestyle motocross track built on 260 pontoons floating on a lake next to Olympic Stadium.
“Doing that double backflip was really scary,” admitted Sheehan, who performed the same move in qualifying on Friday as well as in Saturday’s quarter-final, and in his semi-final victory over Levi Sherwood before doing it again in the final.
Travis Pastrana landed the first double backflip in competition in 2006 at X Games 12. “The problem is,” the action-sports icon said at the time, “if you crash, you die. Well, not die, but you’re not going to be happy about it.”
Japan’s Taka Higashino placed second in Germany with an equally spectacular performance. Americans Adam Jones and Brody Wilson finished ninth and 11th, respectively. Sherwood leads the World Tour with 265 points, five more than second-place Sheehan.
How did Sheehan celebrate his dramatic win? With a backflip dive (minus his motorcycle) off a dirt ramp into Olympia Lake. The Red Bull X-Fighters season finale is scheduled for August 23 in Pretoria, South Africa.