New Zealand's Levi Sherwood was forced to pull out of the Red Bull X-Fighters stop in Pretoria, South Africa on September 12 due to an ankle injury and will be replaced by Alastair Sayer of Botswana.
The withdrawal from the penultimate round of the world's most prestigious Freestyle Motocross (FMX) series is a disappointing setback Sherwood, who is in third place in the World Tour after three of five stops on the strength of his strong second place performances in Athens and Madrid.
Sherwood first injured the ankle a year ago in Pretoria in the 2014 finale, which dashed his chances of winning the World Tour and left him in second place overall. Sayer, 31, brought real Africa style to the final in Pretoria last year and took 10th place.
The screw inserted into Sherwood's ankle after the injury in Pretoria last year is now backing out and causing considerable pain, forcing him out. The screw will be removed as soon as possible, his manager said.
Even with the Throw-Out Rule, Sherwood's withdrawal diminishes his hopes of becoming only the second rider to win the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour at least twice following in the footsteps of American Nate Adams (2009, 2010) as there are only two stops left this season: in Pretoria and then the finale in Abu Dhabi in October.
Australia's Clinton Moore leads the World Tour with 200 points on the strength of his two wins in Mexico City and Athens while France's Thomas Pagès, the 2013 World Tour winner, is close behind on 180 points. Sherwood, who is 23 years old, has 160 points.