American Todd Potter will be looking to extend his lead ahead of New Zealand’s Levi Sherwood at the top of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour standings at the third stop of the 2012 season at the Yedikule Dungeons in Istanbul, the first-ever stop in Turkey that has for years been eagerly waiting to host a stage of the world’s most prestigious freestyle motocross tour. Warming up for the event, more than 20,000 people watched a Red Bull X-Fighters jam on May 30 in Istanbul.
Potter was the surprise winner of the second stop in Glen Helen, California, picking up his first-ever victory with a stunning performance on the biggest course in the history of this sport. But Sherwood and defending champion Dany Torres of Spain, who struggled on the big Californian hills and finished seventh and eighth respectively, are confident they can get their title hopes back on track on the more compact track in Turkey.
Potter – who chided Sherwood and Torres in California for not tackling the biggest jump, a 60-foot step-up – leads the overall standings with 135 points to 130 for Sherwood with Chile’s Javier Villegas, Mr. Consistent this year with third in the season opener in Dubai and fourth in Glen Helen, is close behind in third with 120 points. Torres is back in ninth place with 50 points. A new force to be reckoned with is Thomas Pages of France, who got second in Glen Helen with a dazzling performance after missing the season opener and is fifth overall with 80 points.
The riders are looking forward to the first race ever in Turkey for the start of the European leg with stops in Madrid on July 20 and Munich on August 11 to follow. The 2012 season concludes on October 6 in Sydney, Australia. The athletes will be leaping up to 30 meters in distance and 15 meters high with their bikes on the challenging Istanbul course.