BARCELONA, Spain -- The first Moto X competition at X Games Barcelona saw freestyle motocross fixture Mike Mason beat fellow veteran Mat Rebeaud in the gold-medal final Friday at the Palau Sant Jordi arena.
Switzerland's Rebeaud jumped to an early lead through the first turn but would give it up later in the lap to the U.S. rider, who finished the six-lap race with a three-second lead and higher style points through the jumps.
"I was going to do the same tricks no matter what, but it calms you down on the track," Mason said about racing with a big lead. "If the guy is right on you obviously you're trying your hardest, but if I can see a gap, you just want to do a smooth lap, especially on this track. We were all doing the same thing, so there's really not any room for error."
The silver for Rebeaud is his fifth X Games medal, but none of them are gold.
"After he passed me, I made a couple mistakes and I didn't get the gold," Rebeaud said. "But I'm super happy. It's a medal. I'm on the podium and had so much fun to ride in X Games."
With the win, Mason, a 31-year-old Nevada native, became the discipline's first repeat gold medalist. He won his first in 2012. He also has a silver medal from 2011.
"I want to win the races. That's what I pride myself on," Mason said. "I knew I had to get by him quick."
Adding pressure to his night, a scoring mix-up during the quarterfinals accidentally posted a loss for Mason against Barcelona's Jose "El Loco" Miralles, sending the American back to the pits, where his crew started to disassemble his rented bike. After being notified of the error, his mechanics were able to put Mason's bike back together with just minutes to spare before his semifinal clash with Andre Villa of Norway.
In the other semi, Rebeaud advanced with ease as 29-year-old Nate Adams -- the most decorated Moto X rider in X Games history, including a win in this discipline in 2011 -- washed out on the first turn, dumping his bike as Rebeaud distanced himself by more than 10 seconds.
After climbing back on his bike, Adams rallied back with a knack-knack 360 and a massive lazy boy flip, but he couldn't make up the speed deficit.
Facing Villa for a spot on the podium, Adams finished with the bronze, upping his total Moto X medal count to 15.
Lance Coury, who won gold at X Games in Brazil, crashed an underflip on his last lap in the quarters against Rebeaud and failed to advance. Coury finished in eighth.