For the first time in Red Bull X-Fighters history, young FMX talents had the chance to make a dream come true and become one of the twelve top riders during the most prestigious FMX competition through an online video voting and be one of only two “Novilleros” – as usually the novice bull fighters are called – during the 15th anniversary at the Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas in Madrid on June 24, 2016. The video of 23-year-old Sebastian Westberg from Finland received the most fan-votes, securing him the first Novillero spot on the rider list. The clip of Tom Robinson from Australia impressed the sports committee – including amongst others sports director Tes Sewell and former champions Dany Torres and Levi Sherwood, handing him the second Novillero wildcard.
For Sebastian Westberg “a dream came true,” stated the 23-year-old rider after winning the voting and becoming one of only twelve competitors at the most prestigious FMX competition in the world. Westberg hails from Särkisalo, Finland and only started riding Freestyle Motocross in 2012. In his FMX career, he mainly rode shows until now but has traveled a lot around the world in his young pro rider career, recently having ridden demos in China.
His video reached 10,119 votes, handing him over the fans choice in the Novilleros voting. For the first time, fans had an influence on the riders line up of a Red Bull X-Fighters event. To be ready to challenge the best riders in the world, he has been working on new-school tricks like the Flair at his practice compound and will put in even more efforts to improve his already impressive bag of tricks for Madrid. Westberg is the first rider from Finland to be part of a Red Bull X-Fighters competition.
The second Novillero who will ride in Madrid is 23-year-old Australian Tom Robinson from Wagga Wagga. Like Westberg, he has a good experience in riding demos but recently finished second at the FMX competition at the Formula 1 race in Melbourne behind former world champion and Red Bull X-Fighters top five rider David Rinaldo, proving that he has the tricks and skills to compete with the best.
Even though his video did not reach the most votes, “Tommy Rob” impressed the Red Bull X-Fighters sports committee so much with his big bag of various tricks and great extensions, that the jury decided to hand him their choice in the Novilleros voting, giving another young talented FMX rider a chance to battle with the best in the world.
Robinson can build on the Red Bull X-Fighters experience that two of his regular training partners, former winner Rob Adelberg as well as former competitor and one of the most innovating FMX riders Jackson “Jacko” Strong have. He is determined to sharpen up his program in the next week, adding to the strong Australian presence.
The two Novilleros will join the ten top riders including reigning Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour champion Clinton Moore (AUS) who will try to defend his crown against last year’s Madrid winner Tom Pagès (FRA). Just recently, the Frenchman shocked his competitors with the release of a new unbelievable trick – the Front Flair – and wants to improve his “three-peat” from last year by winning a record-breaking four times in a row in the Spanish capital. But former world tour champions and event winners Josh Sheehan (AUS), Levi Sherwood (NZL) and crowd favourite Dany Torres (ESP) will throw in their biggest and most progressive tricks to become the winner of the 15th edition of the Red Bull X-Fighters in the bullfighting ring in Las Ventas. They will be joined by Taka Higashino (JPN), Rob Adelberg (AUS), Adam Jones (USA), David Rinaldo (FRA), and reigning FMX world champion Maikel Melero (ESP), all of them being capable of winning this event.