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Europeans make an American sandwich in Moto X SuperMoto Final

August 1, 2009 |  4:02 pm

He walked in limping, but spoke nothing of it.

For Italy's Ivan Lazzarini, all he really wanted to talk about was the gold medal around his neck. Making his fifth X Games appearance, Lazzarini thought that this year’s Moto X SuperMoto track was more similar to those in Europe.

When asked about how he had only one day of practice, he clarified, saying that he “had no practice.”

Lazzarini wasn’t even riding his own bike. All he did was bring some parts over from Europe and he built his bike here Thursday.

After watching the X Games on TV, Lazzarini made his first appearance at the X Games five years ago. This year, he felt his speed was enough to fight for the medal.

“For me, it’s like a dream come true. I’m very, very happy to be here. I’m very proud that ESPN calls me every time to come here and compete,” he said.

Silver medalist Mark Burkhart is not a new-comer to the X Games stage like Italian bronze medalist Adrien Chareyre is this year. Burkhart won gold in this event in 2007 and silver in 2006.

When asked if next year he’s expecting to climb back on top, the native Burkhart playfully said that he was hoping to do that this year.

“I don’t come here to get second or third. Before it was either cash or crash,” he said.

Although this year’s race was closer to real SuperMoto racing, Burkhart said he’d “rather have [his] gold any day. And more money.”

Burkhart thought it would’ve been good to compete against James Stewart, who was injured Friday and didn’t ride in today’s race.

“I mean, he went fast. But he also bounced off a lot of walls. When you do that, you’re not going to stay up for very long,” he said. “But I think it was good that he did it. I think it was great that he came out here and took the time to test and get ready for the race. I appreciate it. What he’s done, I think more people will be interested in SuperMoto.”

Bronze medalist Adrien Chareyre made his first X Games appearance today and felt that the race wasn’t good for Europeans who are used to having more room on corners to make mistakes.

“Here you ride between walls. I didn’t feel so confident to push the bike,” he said. “But it was my first time here and to get a medal is very, very important to me.”

--Lauren Goldman