Travis Pastrana won't be reprising the 720 "TP Roll" attempt that mucked up his 2011 Pastranathon and put his nascent NASCAR career on ice last year, but Moto X Best Trick fans just might get to see the 720 go down without him if Australian rider Clinton Moore has anything to say about it.
Moore says he's been working on the trick nearly as long as Pastrana, at times training alongside him, and says he's singularly focused on putting his own stamp on it on the way to his first X Games podium. After seeing some compelling practice footage this week, we caught up with him to get the scoop on the spin.
ESPN: Word is out that you're bent on bringing the 720 to Moto X Best Trick this year. What's on your mind heading into X Games?
Moore: I'm trying not to put too much pressure on myself. Obviously there's a lot of pressure with this trick as it is, so I'm trying not to pile more on. More than anything else I'm just trying to stay 110 percent focused. I've been training every day, morning and afternoon, to make sure I can hang on to it and ride it out when the big day comes. I think I've got this.
Travis Pastrana came in with a lot of confidence last year, then banged himself up pretty good. Do you feel like your approach to the trick is any different from his?
Me and Travis have trained together a little bit with the trick and he's given me a few pointers, a bit of advice about what to try and what to change. I've taken that advice and it seems to have helped me out a lot: I've made some ramp positioning changes and been working on my bike, and that's helped as well. From what I'd seen prior to the event last year Travis had them dialed [in], but then on the day of the competition it seemed like he went back to some old way of trying them and forgot what he'd learned. I don't know if it was a mental thing, or what -- he was trying to do a lot last year -- but I'm going to try to come into this with a mind like, "I've got this, I'm not going to change anything," and try not to forget everything I've learned, on the day.
Do you have a sense of what each of your competitors are bringing?
Some people don't let anything out of the bag, so you never know what everyone's going to throw down. But I'm not really there to be mysterious about it or to have a rivalry with anyone, I'm just there to do my trick and do it right and land it and walk out of there. That's my main concern, and best of luck to everyone else as well because everyone's putting it all on the line. It is what it is: I'm not going to change my trick if somebody else is going to bring something better, I'm just going to go for it. I just missed the podium in fourth place my last time at X Games, trying a volt body varial seat grab, so I know how tough the competition can be.
Four of the eight invited riders this year are Australian. What's going on down there?
We're all pretty headstrong and we're all trying to make a name for ourselves, so we're putting it all on the line. It would be cool if we could get all Aussies on the podium. I'd be stoked!
Do you think it's going to be hard for Pastrana to see somebody else bring the 720 around at X Games after everything he's put into it?
I'm not sure, but he's been supportive. When I first saw him trying it, I thought, "Oh, gee, that looks gnar. I'm going to do that." It comes around quite easily for me over the foam pit so it seems pretty possible. I think Travis knows it's just a matter of time before someone else pops up and does it, whether he's after it or not. The evolution of the sport is never going to stop growing.