Nate Adams didn’t need a third run in the Moto X Freestyle finals. He had already sewn up his gold medal with opening runs of 45 and 46 points, respectively.
So instead, he gave the fans a few thrills, and halfway through his allotted time he perched atop the main dirt jump at the Staples Center. A few engine revs and fist pumps later, his moment was properly relished.
“Feels very good,” Adams said. “Finally.”
Adams last won gold at the X Games in 2004, and he admits he thought he’d have more by now.
“In 2004, I don’t know if I was young and dumb or cocky,” he said, “but I thought I’d win it a few more times by now.”
Adam Jones finished second, bouncing back from a crash that ruined his second run to post a score of 44 to vault over bronze medalist Danny Torres.
“It’s actually been a little while since I hit the dirt,” Jones said. “I remember why I don’t really like it.
“I got my bike back up, everything was straight, and felt like in the next three minutes I could be ready to ride again.”
In his silver-medal winning run, Jones landed the no-handed backflip that had sent him flying earlier.
“I didn’t think I was going to do it because I had just taken a digger on it,” he said. “Before I hit the jump I began thinking, ‘I’m going to look like a real idiot if I crash on this trick twice in a row.’ ”
Jones’ 44 points left him with 86, compared to Torres’ 83.
“I feel good,” Jones said. “I can feel my eye is getting a little puffy, my arm is bleeding a little bit, but honestly pain is the farthest thing from my mind right now. I’m just so excited to be back in this position. It’s been four years since I was on the podium.”
The four riders in the finals -- Taka Higashino rounded out the field -- each took three runs of 60 seconds. Their top two runs counted toward their final scores.
-- Douglas Farmer