Sherwood poised for glory

GEORGE HEAGNEY
Last updated 12:00 22/09/2012
Levi Sherwood
Getty Images
CRASH LANDING: World class New Zealand extreme rider Levi Sherwood faces more than two months in hospital recovering from a range of serious injuries.

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International motocross star Levi Sherwood is one ride away from winning the Red Bull X-Fighters series.

Sherwood has been at home on his Sanson farm before heading to Sydney for the final leg of the X-Fighters series next month.

The 20-year-old is tied for the lead in the international competition after wins in Dubai and Madrid.

He also won a silver medal at the X Games in Los Angeles and the Swatch Free4Style event in Switzerland, making it one of his best years.

"I think this year I've been relaxed more than other times, just like we ride how I think I should ride," he said.

"[Feeling like] not really competing against anyone else is probably what helps."

The final leg of the series in Sydney is on October 6 and a win will hand him the title but he will have to contend with Frenchman Thomas Pages who he is tied with on 235 points and Spain's Dany Torres on 185 points.

"Obviously I . . . want to do the best I can when I'm at the event," Sherwood said.

At the last round of the X-Fighters series in Munch, Germany, Sherwood finished sixth but was not at his best because of a crash in practice. But now he is back to full strength and should be back in the running to win the title.

"My body's 100 per cent. The only thing that messed me up was I got knocked out pretty bad, so I've been taking it easy . . . obviously didn't want to hit my head again. I wasn't too sure about going."

Sherwood travels the world with the X-Fighters tour, stopping in places like Turkey, Dubai and the United States, as well as other international events, which makes for a busy life for the Manawatu lad.

The X-Fighters tour performs stunts at famous locations around the world like Red Square in Moscow and the Egyptian pyramids.

"It's pretty awesome to be part of the tour. To have the opportunity that you do, to go to this competition, see what we do when we ride our bikes.

"I don't really notice it to be honest. Obviously at the event it's pretty hectic sometimes. Outside of it, it's pretty casual."

He said he was "just cruising" while he was at home but still practices every day.

After the final of the X-Fighters, he will be back at home for a week, before heading to Europe to perform in a couple of Red Bull supercross demonstrations.

He then returns home to have a rod removed from the femur bone in his leg and will be out of action for six to eight weeks.

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Even though he enjoys his time at home, being off the bike for that long will have him itching to be back performing, even though he has not decided what he will be doing next year. "I spend over six months at home and I'm looking forward to going away again."

He has built a motocross track on his farm that he practises on and hopes it will hold events in the future.

- Manawatu Standard

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