Determination, dedication and the conviction to go one better paid off for freestyle motocross rider, Jackson Strong at the X-Games in the USA at the weekend.

Jackson, who is more commonly known by motocross enthusiasts as Jacko, was determined to go one better after winning the silver medal for Best Trick at the X-Games in Minneapolis last year. He also had plans to achieve a podium finish for the first time in the Freestyle category.

He did both.

Jacko warmed up by winning the silver medal in the Freestyle Moto X category with a score of 90 to be pipped by his friend Tom Pages from France with a score of 92.33. Both were ahead of bronze medalist, Clifton Moore who scored 88.66.

Then the man from Lockhart eclipsed his silver from 2017 with a flawless no handed front flip to take out the Minneapolis X-Games Moto X Best Trick with a score of 93.  In this event, Tom had to settle for the silver medal with 91.66 while Jacko’s training mate, Rob Adelberg from Benalla took out the bronze with a score of 91.

Jackson Strong celebrates his X-Games Best Trick gold medal in Minneapolis.

Jacko’s freestyle run included two front flips and a double back flip among other tricks. It was his 4th gold medal in the Best Trick category, making him the most successful X-Games Best Trick rider on record, and the weekend his most successful ever.

Jackson first performed a front flip at the X-Games in Los Angeles in 2011 and was the only rider to achieve the feat until the weekend when Rob landed his first.  But Jacko added another element at the weekend by taking his hands off the bars, which was surely was the X-factor to secure the gold medal.  The result brings his X-Games medal tally to seven, making him Australia’s most successful freestyle motocross rider.

Jacko, who hadn’t completed a run in the freestyle category previously because he crashed out, was elated with this year’s result.

“I’m stoked to not only complete my run successfully, but to be able to make the podium as well,” he said.

The X-Games is a hugely popular world extreme sports competition run by ESPN which features the best extreme athletes competing for medals and prize money in disciplines including moto X, skateboarding and BMX.  X-Games comes to Australia for the first time this year from 19 until 21 October in Sydney.