Pagès in a class of his own in Pretoria

Tom Pagès of France and Clinton Moore of Australia delivered a Final for the ages on Saturday in front of 17,000 wild fans at the return of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour to Pretoria, South Africa. Pagès claimed the top step of the podium with Moore in second, while Taka Higashino of Japan took third.

PRETORIA, South Africa – France’s Tom Pagès, the innovator who has changed the game in freestyle motocross, shook up the 2015 World Tour standings as well with an electrifying triumph in the Red Bull X-Fighters return to Pretoria, South Africa on September 12. Pagès faced the man who has clung to the top of the overall leaderboard all season, Clinton Moore of Australia, in a flawless Final where both riders served up tricks that were unimaginable in seasons past.

Moore drew roars from the 17,000 spectators, delivering his signature Bundy and the first dirt-to-dirt Volt ever landed in competition on the unique track’s double line. But Pagès has the biggest bag of tricks in the sport, and, going last, he rode like a man possessed. The Frenchman threw down his signature Alley-Oop Flair, Bike Flip and Special Flip, as well as the Transfer Flip he just added to his tricklist, to claim the unanimous votes of all five judges.

The result ties Pagès and Moore in the points at the top of the overall standings in the world’s most prestigious freestyle motocross series, setting up what’s sure to be an epic showdown at the season finale in Abu Dhabi on October 30.

“This weekend has been insane,” said Pagès. “Now I’ve got time to go back and really practice hard ahead of Abu Dhabi. I want to add a new trick to my list there and to ride even better in the finale for sure.”

Taka Higashino of Japan earned third on the red dirt in front of the historic Union Buildings with a strong run that included the exceptionally difficult Rock-Solid Backflip as well as a superb Flair he’s recently mastered. The defending Word Tour champion, Australia’s Josh Sheehan, made his rarely seen Double Backflip look easy in earning fourth.

Pretoria Results: 1. Thomas Pagès (FRA), 2. Clinton Moore (AUS), 3. Taka Higashino (JPN), 4. Josh Sheehan (AUS), 5. Rob Adelberg (AUS), 6. David Rinaldo (FRA), 7. Maikel Melero (ESP), 8. Rémi Bizouard (FRA), 9. Adam Jones (USA), 10. Javier Villegas (CHI), 11. Alastair Sayer (BOT), 12. Dany Torres (ESP)

World Tour Standings: 1. Thomas Pagès (FRA) 280 points, 2. Clinton Moore (AUS) 280, 3. Levi Sherwood (NZL) 185, 4. David Rinaldo (FRA) 145, 5. Josh Sheehan (AUS) 145, 6. Rob Adelberg (AUS) 135, 7. Dany Torres (ESP) 100, 8. Adam Jones (USA) 100, 9. Taka Higashino (JPN) 95, 10. Rémi Bizouard (FRA) 90