Nick Brocha took home the 2008 XDL championship title.
With the prettiest bike in the series, Dan Jackson rolled to fifth place overall.
Bill D performed most of his final run facing the opposite direction.
Alex Flores put on a strong run, while darius khashabi had more bad luck with a spill.
Sometimes they get away from you...
Japan's Shin Kinoshita took his his third Circle Challenge title.
That motor's wheelies are numbered.
Since its inception in 2006, the XDL series has helped stunt riding grow into a more professional sport than it's yet experienced. It introduced fairly consistent judging criteria, raised safety standards and provided an environment that fostered growth in the sport through competition.
The allure of a true national championship based on a points system proved to be a major attraction to riders, and in 2008 XDL managed to attract a solid core of 15 riders that competed at every event. This was in addition to the 10 to 20 that joined in on a local or regional basis. In total, 65 riders scored points throughout the season and over 100 competed.
According to series founder Randy Grube, rider participation far exceeded expectations,_ "We were hoping we'd get six to eight riders to commit to the series. In New York at the season opener, over 25 had signed up to do the season and a full 15 stuck it out all year. That is just totally amazing."_
The six event schedule covered almost the entire country spaced out over only six months, making extensive travel a part of every competitor's life. But it also increased the frequency with which the riders interacted with each other and drove the development of the sport by leaps and bounds. XDL Director of Competition Thomas Evans remarked, "Anyone that saw XDL in 2006 or even at the beginning of the 2008 season wouldn't recognize the level of competition, dedication and innovation at the season finale in Long Beach. Riders are now doing tricks that nobody thought were even possible a few months ago."
At the Long Beach Finals, Shin Kinoshita once again took the win for Circle Challenge, making it three in a row and firmly establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with. Shin also established an unofficial world record of 18 circle wheelie rotations on a sportbike in 30 seconds. This record is sure to be challenged soon by riders looking to make their mark on the sport. Nick Hernandez won Sickest Trick for the second time in 2008, while Aaron Bullo and Dan Jackson split the Freestyle Burnout prize, with Bullo blowing out his tire in under 30 seconds. Team Battle went to Death Squad for a well-choreographed and executed routine of precision riding.
The Individual Freestyle point battle was decided at the Long Beach event. Nick Brocha, Bill Dixon and Alex Flores were only nine points apart for the title.
With 45 points up for grabs for first place in each competition, it was still anyone's game. In order for either Bill Dixon or Alex Flores to take the championship from Nick Brocha, he had to make a big mistake. Instead Brocha managed to put on a flawless showing, taking both the top qualifying spot, as well as the win over a somewhat flummoxed Dixon who put on an astonishing display of bike control and balance.
The mild controversy concerning the judge's criteria over the spectator amusement was obvious as Dixon's backwards wheelies and drifts were generally far more exciting and difficult than Brocha's perpetual combo wheelies, but the overall win went to Brocha.
Brocha commented that,_ "My expectations were that my friend Bill Dixon or I would be the champions. I'm happy it was me though!"_
|INDIVIDUAL FREESTYLE TOP 5|
|XDL FINAL NATIONAL POINT STANDINGS|