One of the most technical riders in the Moto X Freestyle field, Adam Jones recently earned a third-place finish at the Osaka round of X Fighters. Jones will be looking to keep that momentum heading into X Games Munich this week. He had a busy schedule at the beginning of the year, starting out with the Nuclear Cowboys tour, then leading into X Fighters and X Games, and Jones took some much-needed time off before Osaka, learning a few new things about himself and how he likes to prepare for these premier events.
How was Osaka X Fighters for you?
Osaka was a super fun event. All of the people there were really great and helpful. I've never been to Japan before so the experience was great in itself and we had a great Freestyle contest. The course was built really well for freestyle so everyone was having a good time riding it and able to push it really hard in their runs.
You got third there. It's been a while since you've received a good score at a premier competition event.
Yeah, it probably has been a while. Qualifying was a little rough for me. I had some little mistakes in my qualifying runs, made it through that and then the first run I did at night in the finals against Dany Torres was probably one of the better runs I've done in my life. I wasn't doing double backflips but aside from that and everything else I got to do in my run I was really happy with it.
Did you do anything different preparing for Osaka?
As far as preparation, I didn't even ride between X Games Barcelona and Osaka. It's just been a really crazy year up until that point -- I only had a couple of days off between Barcelona and Osaka. I was going to try and ride but I just felt really burned out. So I was battling with the wind and all that stuff here in Nevada so I kind of just decided after the first day I got home from being shut down riding by the wind that I was going to take this week for myself and not ride and just relax, be a little refreshed for Osaka. I was ready to ride when I got to Osaka.
Did you learn anything new from Osaka that you can carry into X Games Munich to help you?
I'd say maybe that I shouldn't count myself out so much. I went up against guys who have been killing it at contests everywhere and I held my own. I made some mistakes against Thomas Pages in my second qualifying round but all the judges came up to me and congratulated me and said had I not messed up it could've been close. Just for them to say that it was close was pretty cool for me. I kind of have counted myself out a lot and going into the event I was just going there to ride for myself and have fun. So to still be in the mix and be able to podium and have the tricks for that is awesome for me.
It's not uncommon to hear other riders or industry people say that you're one of the most underscored riders out there doing almost all of the hardest competition tricks. How does that make you feel?
I think there have been times where I was really underscored and there have been times where I've made mistakes and have been deserving of the score I got, for sure. But yeah, it seems like my whole career has been like fighting an uphill battle. I've definitely had people who have had my back all along and helped me get to where I am. I do get that reoccurring feeling that I have to try twice as hard to keep myself out there and get the scores I want to be getting. But you know, if it was handed to me maybe I wouldn't appreciate it.
It seems like now after your podium finish at Osaka, you've got some new motivation to keep the momentum rolling?
Actually, I had a newfound motivation before Osaka. Having the great finishes helps as well but before even going into Glen Helen I was really excited and ready to go ride, not just for the judges and a score or the money but just because I wanted to ride and push myself. I'm in a phase right now where I'm into trying to find a way to bring older tricks back and make them cool. I want to have runs that stand out even if it doesn't win because I've seen a lot of freestyle lately and it's a lot of the same stuff. People are getting so worried about judging and the criteria that they have it stuck in their heads that, 'OK, I need to have this, this and this trick to win.' I just want to try hard to diversify my runs and do cool, unique, fun runs for myself and not anybody else.