Australian rider Josh Sheehan, a rookie on the International Freestyle Motocross Federation circuit, won both nights of the Russian Grand Prix in Penza, Russia this weekend.
The wins at the sixth and seventh rounds of the World Championships series marked four in a row for Sheehan, boosting him to sixth place overall behind Chilean rider Javier Villegas, Spanish rider Jose Miralles, French rider Remi Bizouard, Spanish rider Maikel Melero, and Czech rider Libor Podmol. Sheehan missed the first three stops of the series in Turin, Italy and Berlin, Germany, but has been playing catch-up with a vengeance.
On Saturday Sheehan beat out Villegas and French rider David Rinaldo for the top spot; on Sunday he beat out Villegas and Melero.
This weekend's events at Yuri Gagarin Stadium (named for the first-in-space Soviet cosmonaut) marked the first time IFMXF competitions have been held in Russia. The IFMXF and FIM Freestyle MX World Championship series have been hailed both for bringing FMX competition to new international audiences and for helping to discover new talent around the world. Russian riders Nikolai Ivankov, Michael Yarygin, and Vladimir Yarygin competed in qualifiers on both nights at the Russian Grand Prix in front of a sold-out hometown crowd, but failed to advance to Finals.
The FIM Freestyle MX World Championship series will now begin a summer recess and resume for its eighth round on October 22 in Riga, Latvia, followed by events in the Czech Republic, Poland, and Brazil before concluding in Sofia, Bulgary on December 17. Sheehan says he plans to compete in all of the remaining rounds.