The high-flying antics of 22-year-old Chilean Javier Villegas thrilled the sparse but enthusiastic audience that attended Moto X Madness July 2 and 3 at Payson Event Center.
“He definitely was the highlight, he did some amazing tricks,” said Kelly Hess-Goldman of the Thunderbird Entertainment company, which promoted the event.
Thunderbird flew in eight FMX motocross daredevils from around the country to compete in the freestyle event.
As exciting as the frolics were, it was Villegas who had the spectators hootin’ and hollerin’ with his breathtaking tricks that included the super kicker flip, Superman seat, Strippin’ and Oxecutioner.
“A lot of riders do back flips, but he did one (a back flip) while doing a handstand,” said Hess-Goldman.
Villegas, who says he learned many of his FMX tricks while living in Brazil, is the man responsible for organizing the Latin American FMX Championship and has founded an online show about Latin American FMX.
Nicknamed “Astroboy”, Villegas rides a Suzuki RM 250 motorcycle and now lives in Weston, Fla.
In the pro motocross competition on July 2, Payson rider Dillon Huddleston was first, and William McMaster took second. Drai Nichols was third, Sam Christenson fourth and Eric Blanchard fifth.
Patrick Bickert won the July 1 amateur competition over runner-up Jerry Crosser and bronze medalist Chris Bickert.
In the pro class on Jan. 3, Huddleston was again first, Nichols second and Blanchard third.
Among the amateurs on July 3, Dustin Bullard raced to first, edging second place Luke Jones. Crosser was third and Taylor Lee fourth.
While the FMX Freestyle was a hit with those who attended, Hess-Goldman says attendance and sponsorship must grow if Thunderbird is to return with similar events.
“We have a desire to come back, and really enjoyed Payson, but we need business to step up with sponsorships and more people in the stands.”