Pastrana on how he’s getting ready for X Games, competing with a broken collarbone, the one event he might have to withdraw from, and the "hellish" new discipline he's most excited about…
How have you been prepping for the X Games?
I went on the Nitro Circus Live Tour and got to ride with Blake 'Bilko' Williams, Clint Moore and Cam Sinclair. I got a lot of riding in and had a chance to work on all of my regular tricks. Unfortunately, Bilko and I both broke our collarbones towards the end of the tour and I had to undergo surgery four weeks ago that the doctor said would take eight weeks to heal. I didn’t get as much time as I’d like on the bike the past month, but I still feel fit and ready.
Considering your broken collarbone, are you still going to compete at all of your events?
I’m 90 per cent sure that I’m going to be competing in four out of the five events I’ve signed up for. Freestyle is going back to the Coliseum and the course looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun, so I want to at least ride practice. I can’t do a lot of flips or stuff that requires my arm to go up really high, but that’s the nature of X Games. There’s always something that’s injured or something that’s not quite the way you want it to be, but I feel more prepared on a motorcycle than I have been in a long time, thanks to the Nitro tour.
'I think Speed & Style is where I have the best shot of winning on a motorcycle'
Which event are you the most unsure about?
I have one more day of practice to see if I can get the 720 down for Moto X Best Trick. I’ve been spending a lot of time at the pit practising, but it takes a lot of explosiveness of strength from your upper body to pull the bike around and I have not been able to dial in the trick.
Are you close to getting it down?
I’m close, but I’m still 45 degrees shy. I’m doing the motions right and everything feels good, but my strength hasn’t been there. I’ve taken the last two days to rest, so I’m going to out today to practise. Hopefully I was struggling because I was tired and the trick will come around. If not, I’ll have to pull out of Best Trick.
Is there another trick you could run with instead of the 720?
I could do a double backflip and maybe place third or fourth, but, for me, Best Trick is about innovation and I already did that back in 2006. To go out and do a double backflip would be a copout.
What are the four other events you’ll be competing in?
First is Moto X Freestyle. The new course at the Coliseum really lends itself to creativity and it looks like it’s going to be fun. I’m not expecting to win, but I’m going to put my best foot forward and do some stuff that no one else is doing. Second is Moto X Speed & Style. It’s short motocross races with tricks and I have enough tricks to make me really competitive. There are a lot of great competitors in Speed & Style, but I think that’s where I have the best shot of winning on a motorcycle. The last two are the rally events, Rally Car and Rally Car SuperRally.
'SuperRally is going to be hell, but it’s going to be a lot of fun'
What are your thoughts on X Games’ latest discipline, Rally Car SuperRally?
It’s the event I’m most looking forward to. I’ve always said Rally was like motocross with a rollcage, but that is exactly what SuperRally is. With multiple cars racing on the track at the same time, there are a lot of variables and a whole lot of stuff that can go wrong that might not necessarily be your fault. Add to the fact that most of the participants have never competed in rallycross and it makes for an interesting event. However, Subaru do have the European champion coming over [Sverre Isachsen], which should be of great help to our team.
With car-to-car action, how much mayhem are you expecting at SuperRally?
It’s going to be brutal. You have to win your heat to get to the Finals, so if you’re the guy in second place during elimination, you’re going to try and take out the lead car. You run the risk of getting black-flagged and being disqualified, but the other option is going home. So it’s going to be hell, but it’s going to be a lot of fun.
What other Red Bull athletes are you looking forward to watching at X Games?
For starters, the Women’s Super X is going to be epic. Ashley Fiolek, returning champion for Red Bull, is going up against Tarah Gieger, another tough Red Bull athlete. And there’s also Ryan Sheckler on the skateboard and Daniel Dhers on BMX.
Watch Travis Pastrana's last crowd-pleasing appearance at Red Bull: New Year. No Limits, by clicking here