Levi Sherwood's freestyle motocross season is off to the perfect start after winning the opening stage of the RedBull X-Fighters in Mexico City tonight.
The Palmerston North-born star, and 2012 season champion, overcame Australian Josh Sheehan in a tight final to get his career back on track after a disappointing 2013 campaign which saw him notch two podium finishes in five events.
Moving through qualifying first overall, Sherwood, 22, progressed to the showcase match-up against Sheehan after a quarterfinal victory over Maikel Melero and fellow Spaniard Dany Torres in the semfinal.
Set in a bull fighting ring, 38,000 people watched the Kiwi prevail
"I didn't even really know what they [the crowd] were saying, but it feels amazing. I couldn't even hear anything the crowd was so big," Sherwood said.
"It feels like an eternity since I've had a moment like this, so I'm going to embrace it.
"Not to be rude or anything, but it was just about not caring. I came here with a carefree attitude and I really just wanted to have fun. I didn't have fun all last year and it seems to be working for me this year."
The result gives Sherwood a big boost in the five-stage series, which continues in Osaka, Japan on May 25.
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