For all those who have ever wanted to know how long Red Bull X-Fighters riders spend floating in mid-air off their bikes on their jumps or how long they spend in total in the sky on their bikes doing their gravity-defying tricks, answers are on the way — thanks to a new partnership with Intel.
MADRID (Spain) For the first time, the world’s best freestyle motocross riders will have their air time, trick time, speed and altitude measured at the Red Bull X-Fighters 15th anniversary event in Madrid on Friday. With low-power Intel Curie-enabled devices about the size and weight of a matchbox attached to the bikes and boots communicating with 22 stationary “anchor” measuring devices set up around the stadium, the riders and viewers will get unprecedented data on how high they jump, how fast they’re traveling off the ramps, how long they and their bikes are in the air, and how much time they spend in mid-air off their bikes. Powerful computers will crunch the data into vital statistics and easily digestible metrics for the riders and the viewers of the live TV broadcast on Friday evening.
It will be a meeting of high tech and high-flying FMX riders when Intel chips attached to the bikes and boots of the 12 Red Bull X-Fighters’ riders provide some riveting real-time data of their gravity-defying tricks to spectators at the Las Ventas bullring and TV viewers around the world.
“I’m really stoked that they’ve come up with this technology and I think it’s going to help the sport in a lot of ways,” said New Zealand’s Levi Sherwood, the 2012 World Tour winner and one of the top favorites to win Madrid. “I think it’s going to really help us riders, but also the spectators, the judges, organizers and mainstream media understand what we go through out there.”
“It’s going to be awesome for the riders,” said Sherwood. “It’s going to help the sport grow in so many ways. Until now it’s like we’ve been in the Dark Ages as far as stuff like this is concerned. No one really understands what we’re doing, no one really understands the tricks and the difficulty of it.“
Tyler Fetters, concept engineer for Intel, said he was also excited about the potential of the technology to drive the sport forward and make it even more interesting for viewers.
“I think this will enhance the sport by providing statistics and information that wasn’t being captured before,” he said. “When you start to measure things, you can really start to improve those things.
Red Bull X-Fighters Sporting Director Tes Sewell said all 12 riders were excited about the high-tech innovation, noting that they are often ordinarily skittish about adding new equipment to the bikes. “I think it’s really a cool idea to have something to does two things at the same time: Enhance the riders ability about what they do and also enables the sport to be translated to the general public.”