With X Games Austin fast approaching and confirmation this week that the Moto X Freestyle course will boast a quarterpipe feature for the first time in X Games history, French rider Tom Pagès gave a sneak peek Monday of what he's been working on: the first-ever FMX bike flip.
"Here we go! After months of hard work, here is my first bike flip to dirt," he wrote on Facebook, posting a link to a YouTube clip of the trick. In the video, Pagès takes off from the right-hand corner of the quarterpipe, then sticks the landing -- stick being the operative word -- in a pile of mud. But the rotation, with the bike flipping laterally while Pagès remains vertical and off to the side hanging loosely to the right handlebar, is all there.
If he brings it to X Games, it will be the first time the trick, adapted from BMX (Morgan Wade landed the first one in 2004), has ever been seen in Moto X competition.
Kyle Loza was the first to try bike flips on a motorcycle into a foam pit in 2010, but he's never succeeded in landing the trick at X Games. He also crashed in his attempt at a Monster Energy Best Trick event in 2011. Loza's version took the trick straight off a freestyle jump, while Pagès throws it off the quarterpipe, spinning a 180 aerial and re-entering the course.
Pagès has already mastered 540 flairs off the quarterpipe along a similar trajectory, and he's one of the only riders to do so. That trick has become a signature of his runs in the Red Bull X-Fighters series, where he's been a dominant force and won the overall title in 2013.
Pagès has also mastered several body varial tricks including the Volt (also pioneered by Loza) and Special flip, and is regarded as one of the most creative freestyle motocross competitors, but X Games medals have so far been elusive. He may get a chance to try the new trick in competition before X Games when the 2014 X-Fighters series heads to Osaka, Japan, May 25.