A (Very) Quick Chat With…Dany Torres. Dubai, UAE

crankandpiston grabs a VERY quick few words with Dany Torres, former Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour champion, former Madrid X-Fighters outright winner, and the 2013 X-Fighters in Dubai.

X Fighters

It’s late, and a bleary-eyed Dany Torres is clearly knackered. And rightfully so. For the past two days he has been throwing his KTM SX 250 towards the 60th floor of the Burj Khalifa or alternatively the Dubai skyline. And normally whilst upside down.

I am though keen to grab a few words. The Spaniard, known in certain circles as ‘The Matador’, has competed in the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour since 2007, has won seven X-Fighters events during that time, came back from an injured ankle to win the 2011 World Tour outright and earned the respect of similarly talented nutcase Travis Pastrana. That, plus his second X-Fighters victory in Dubai in three years meant there was plenty to talk about.

There was though a problem. Following the podium, the press conference and numerous sponsor commitments, I’ve only got the time it takes us to walk (very) slowly from the paddock to the rider’s enclosure. Best crack on then…

X Fighters

Dany, first of all congratulations on tonight’s victory. You also took a second place at round one in Mexico City. Certainly it’s been a good start to the 2013 World Tour for you…

“Yeah! This is my first win of the X-Fighters 2013 World Tour and I feel really happy about that. At the first round in Mexico I had a second place, and so right now I want to practice really hard for the next round in Glen Helen. This Championship is really long, and I want to make the most of this advantage.”

We’ve seen all the guys put a superb amount of effort into tonight’s event. How tough was the competition tonight?

“For sure, the level here tonight was really similar to Mexico. It’s really difficult to win here because the level of competition is really similar. I think the final was really difficult because our” – that’s Torres and eventual second-placed Levi Sherwood – “scores were really close, but obviously I’m very happy with first place.”

X Fighters

How difficult was tonight’s competition, compared to the first round in Mexico City?

“Well I think the track is different, because in Mexico the track is smaller and the ramps aren’t quite as wide. Here the arena is much larger and the jumps are easier to use. It’s still been tough but I think it’s been a good trip to Dubai. I’ve really enjoyed it!”

After taking the 2011 Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour, your title defence started off quite badly with injury in 2012. You bounced back in the second half of the season, but are you still feeling the after effects?

“Well last year I rode here in this show after my injury and it was really difficult for me to compete. There was a lot of pain in my ankle. But this year I feel a lot better, I’ve worked hard and it’s paid off, and I hope it will stay like this for the rest of the year. I’m hoping to still be fighting for the podium at the end of the year.”

X Fighters

Is there anything else aside from injury that has given you some more momentum so far this year?

“I just feel much better after last year. I’m riding with a four stroke this year, and I feel more comfortable this year. The championship is really long, and it’s difficult to know which of us will be standing on top of the podium at the end of the year, but I would like to fight and be in with a chance!

“Now it’s time to practice on different tracks or on bigger jumps. Again, Glen Helen will be different than here and Mexico. Last year in the US it was really difficult for me, because the jumps were really long. But the new bike is really helping.”

You’ve done tricks tonight on a bike I wouldn’t have tried with my imagination! Can we expect any new stunts from you this year?

“I would like to do the Flair for maybe the next round, or in Japan. This trick is really hard, and Tom Pagès makes it look really easy! But we’ve seen people trying and crashing. But yeah, at some point I would like to try and do this.”

X Fighters

We’re approaching the rider’s paddock and a rather burly security guard gives me ‘a look’ which suggests my company is not required on the other side of the fence. That means there’s time for one last question.

Given what we’ve seen tonight, which of your X-Fighters rivals do you think will prove the toughest competition in this year’s World Tour?

“I think Tom Pagès is one step up. He has a new trick, which the other riders can’t do, and maybe the other riders and I…I just think we need to work hard and be ready to fight!”


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