• Competition, Track, and Moto X Whip Launch Setup
For the 2016 Austin X Games Moto X Best Whip competition, the track and launch set up were designed to give competitors the biggest possible launch and hang time. The best whip contest is another major spectator favorite, since the competitors use the launch ramp to gain massive air and perform some of the most intricate and complex maneuvers performed by any motocross athlete anywhere in the world.
There is basically no other format or venue in which more technically difficult motocross tricks are attempted than this X Games Best Whip setup, and a major reason for this is because the competitors have the ability to achieve several seconds of hang time. With that much hang time off the launch, riders can become more comfortable doing things that they otherwise would not attempt when hang time is more limited.
Hang time is critical for attempting extreme motocross tricks, since it is essentially the cushion, or forgiveness factor in terms of being able to make minor mistakes in midair. Having hang time as a basic margin of error is absolutely critical when attempting complex maneuvers, since with more airtime a motocross athlete can perform more movements in midair. The 2016 Austin X Games Moto X Best Whip contest brought the world some astounding motocross moments, some of which will be remembered and talked about for years and years to come.
• Competitor Performances and Final Scoring
At the 2016 Austin X Games Fruit of the Loom Moto X Best Whip contest, the major fan favorite was Jarryd McNeil. McNeil had an amazing run at the 2016 Austin X Games, since he won the Best Whip contest, tied for first in the Step Up competition, and finished in top ranks in other Moto X events as well. Jarryd McNeil won the Best Whip contest, taking the first place spot by an amazingly broad margin.
Jarryd’s winning runs on the Best Whip course setup was absolutely astounding, given that he ended up taking 39.00% of the Fan Vote. Since the second place finisher in the best whip contest only got 20.00% of the overall fan vote, it is clear that Jarryd McNeil won the event by a mile, figuratively speaking.
• 1st Place – Jarryd McNeil:
Jarryd McNeil is basically the epitome of an elite motocross athlete, and he has now won the X Games Moto X Best Whip for 2 years running. His performance at this year’s motocross best whip contest was no exception to his elite standing, and his primary Top Run performance was seriously insane to watch even in a replay video, much less being there live and first hand.
His main run involved him launching off the main launch ramp, tilting himself into an over-under 180-degree spin, and then completely reversing his spin momentum to prepare for his landing. The landing was absolutely flawless, and his whip performance was pretty much the best example of a perfect whip run anyone could physically pull off.
Watching the run in slow motion reveals the immaculate control that McNeil has over his dirt bike, it is essentially part of his body when one watches the replay video. The fact that he received nearly 40% of the overall fan vote out of all the Best Whip competitors basically says it all; the fans loved McNeil’s performance and made sure the judges knew it.
• 2nd Place – Axell Hodges:
Coming in second place at the 2016 Austin X Games Moto X Best Whip competition was Axell Hodges, and though he did lose to Jarryd McNeil by quite a large margin, he still gave a valiant effort and an amazing performance. Axell Hodges’ best whip performance was comparable to Jarryd’s performance in terms of form and overall design, except for the fact that Hodges did not achieve quite as much hang time in the air, nor was his whip form nearly as clean and confident as McNeil’s whip throw.
As Hodges hit his launch, it was clear that he was really throttling his bike and going for broke. He flew into the air executing a sideways roll, before spinning back and re-rotating to correct his trajectory into the landing ramp. Hodges had a solid, clean whip, and that explains why he also received a large margin of the overall Fan Vote percentage, which is how the best whip contest is evaluated (by fan vote).
Receiving a full 20.00% of the final Fan Vote tells us that Hodges definitely put up an impressive performance. His run was similar to McNeil’s, except that McNeil won because he was able to put more power into his whip launch and his landing was smoother as well.
• 3rd Place – Edgar Torronteras:
Coming in at third place in the Moto X Best Whip competition, Edgar Torronteras only lost to 2nd place by a slim margin of 4% of the overall Fan Vote total. Given that Axell Hodges received 20.00% of the total Fan Vote, it is clear that he only beat Edgar by a little bit since Edgar received 16.00% of the Fan Vote. Edgar’s launch, his rotation, and overall whip maneuver were all quite solid, though he did not achieve the same range of motion in his whip rotation as the 1st and 2nd place competitors.
His launch and landing were impressive and successful altogether, but for some reason it appeared that there was some degree of hesitation during his whip rotation that slowed him down a bit and hampered his maneuvering. Although he could have potentially had a cleaner whip rotation, Torronteras still gave a wildly impressive whip performance at the 2016 Austin X Games Moto X Best Whip competition. His third place finish this year is likely to bring Edgar even more sponsorships and endorsements, which are critical for the overall success of an extreme athlete.