Villa wins qualifying in Mexico City

Andre Villa (NOR) out-jumped the 11 other riders competing in Qualifying for the first stop of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour 2010 in Mexico City to take top spot at the Plaza de Toros Monumental with exceptional bike handling. In less than 6 hours the best freestyle motocross riders in the world will compete for victory in front of 42,000 fans.

MEXICO CITY (MEX) -- The Mexican metropolis of Mexico City was alive with the sound of freestyle motocross bikes ahead of the ultimate showdown on Friday night. The main qualifying round – decisive for the ranking in Friday's final -- saw Andre Villa (NOR/1.), Nate Adams (USA/2.), Robbie Maddison (AUS/3.), Dany Torres (ESP/4.), Jim McNeil (AUS/5.), Eigo Sato (JPA/6.), Levi Sherwood (NZL/7.), Adam Jones (USA/8.), Charles Pagés (FRA/9.), Blake Williams (AUS/10.), Cameron Sinclair (AUS/11.) and Johan Nungaray (MEX/12.) show off their skills in impressive fashion.

Villa proved the man to beat in Mexico City. The 27-year-old mastered the five kickers better than any other rider to qualify in first position in the spectacular arena that has been a landmark of Mexico City since its construction in 1946. "The stadium measures just 44 metres, so you have to get everything exactly right to be successful here. I managed to do that today," explained the proud qualifying champion.

The jumps measuring 25 metres in length and up to 15 metres in height pushed the athletes to the limit, with Dany Torres -- still recovering from a broken wrist! -- plunging his hand straight into a bucket of ice after his qualifying run.

Last year's surprise winner, New Zealand rookie Levi Sherwood, denied feeling the strain ahead of the event on Friday night. "I don't feel under pressure, but I definitely want to perform to the best of my abilities here again. I am really looking forward," commented the 18-year-old.

The final begins at 9 pm local time. FMX fans can follow the high-octane duels in the sky over Mexico City live from 9.30 pm local time at www.redbullxfighters.com