Levi Sherwood off to winning freestyle start

SIMON PLUMB
Last updated 18:52 15/03/2014
Levi Sherwood
MURRAY WILSON/ Fairfax NZ
STAR RIDER: Levi Sherwood.

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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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