There is nothing separating Thomas Pagès and Clinton Moore at the top of the Red Bull X Fighters standings with one round to go after another epic event in South Africa.
Both men produced tricks that no one else on the planet is landing, but French rider Pagès took the win on the red soil of Pretoria to move level on 280 points with Australia’s Moore.
It has been an incredible season so far for progression in freestyle motorscross, with all the best riders bringing something unique to the table. However, few can beat Pagès at his best.
In an unbelievable final on Saturday he perfectly landed his signature tricks, the Alley-Oop Flair, the Bike Flip and the Special Flip before introducing a brand new Transfer Flip.
And before the crucial last event in Abu Dhabi, which will decide the 2015 X Fighters World Champion, he is hopeful of adding even more bangers to his arsenal.
“Now I’ve got time to go back and really practice hard ahead of Abu Dhabi,” said Pagès. “I want to add a new trick to my list there and to ride even better in the finale.
“It’s going to be hard in Abu Dhabi with me and Clinton on the same points but I have a month and a half to keep working and I’ll be going there even stronger.
Moore was the strongest rider at the beginning of the season, starting things off with back-to-back wins, including the first of his career, in Mexico and Greece.
However, once Pagès got his amazing array of tricks dialed he topped the podium in Madrid, before levelling the scores with Moore in Pretoria.
I’m going to bring my best, he’s going to bring his best and it’ll be a showdown.
“This final was just incredible,” said Moore. “Things just keep growing. Hats off to Tom, he’s an innovator in the sport. I’m ok getting beaten by that guy because he’s on top of the world and I’m looking up to him.
“We’re just going to have to wait and see what happens in Abu Dhabi. Obviously I’m going to bring my best, he’s going to bring his best and it’ll be a showdown.”
Levi Sherwood missed the final in South Africa and is too far off in third to challenge the leaders while Taka Higashino finished third on only his second appearance of the year.
Josh Sheehan came fourth, stomping his double-backflip throughout the event, but the reigning champion will definitely be handing over his title to one of his rivals at the end of the season.
Whether it will be Moore or Pagès remains to be seen, but it could be another never-before-seen trick that makes the difference.