Travis Pastrana goes back-to-front for last big FMX jump

Travis Pastrana’s FMX career is storied, but even at 40 years old the American can still find margins he wants to push on a dirt bike

Travis Pastrana nose-bonk flip. - Channel 199/YouTube

It’s strange when people talk about Travis Pastrana. Rally people talk about him as though he was just another motocross guy who made a good rally driver, and motocross people talk about him almost only as a missed opportunity with respect to his early abandonment of racing in favour of freestyle.

The reality is that as good a rally driver as Pastrana is, his talent on a dirt bike is up there with the greatest ever. Pastrana came up in the 1990s and won the AMA Pro Motocross 125cc title in 2000 (while winning X Games medals during the racing season), and the AMA Supercross 125cc East title in 2001. He was a rider in that time - coming up sort of in between the rises of Ricky Carmichael and James Stewart - who promised to be one of the fastest and most spectacular riders the sport had seen.

But he chose freestyle instead and left the Carmichael problem to Stewart and Chad Reed, who arrived in the US from Australia, via Europe, in 2002.

Pastrana’s FMX career has been pioneering from the start. He, along with other FMX riders at the time, such as Brian Deegan (himself the winner of the 1997 125cc LA Supercross), brought FMX to its peak in the 2000s, and Pastrana’s impact on the sport is matched by few - if any at all. He was the second rider to pull off a 360 in competition, literal moments after Deegan had done the same. Pastrana was also the first rider to do a double backflip, in 2006, and now his view has been turned to something different.

40-years-old now, Pastrana’s career means he is in need of some new body parts, and the consequence of receiving those is that he will likely be toning things down, although he doesn’t rule out riding altogether. But he still had time for one more big jump before a knee replacement surgery.

The goal was to backflip onto a platform, nose-bonk (hit the platform with his front wheel), and frontflip off. Check out the video above to see how he got on.

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