It took seven straight rounds of ‘mano a mano’ battle for Ronnie Renner to overcome Matt Buyten, clearing a record-breaking height of 47 feet to win X Games Moto X Step Up gold on Friday night at the STAPLES Center.
“With out these opportunities we won’t have these moments,” Renner said. “It if wasn’t for X Games the platform of our sport wouldn’t be where it’s at today. God I love Step Up because there are no judges.”
The record-breaking win bested the top height of 37 feet reached in 2011 by 10 feet and marked Renner’s third X Games gold, all of which are in Moto X Step Up.
Renner went round for round with Buyten, who took the gold in 2011 and 2010, topped out at 46 feet to finish second in the event.
“X Games is always a good time. Everyone laying it down on the line. The who world is watching and that’s what makes it fun,” Buyten said.
Moto X Step Up features six riders lining up 30 feet from a near vertical wall of dirt in an attempt to jump over a horizontal bar positioned between two vertical bars at a height determined at the competition director’s discretion, above the lip of the jump.
If a rider knocks the bar to the ground, that rider has one additional chance to clear the bar at a height or else is eliminated. After each round, the bar is raised in increments determined by the competition director and the entire process is repeated until one winner is determined.