Arenacross Belfast: Daredevil Torronteras is ready to dazzle
The indoor motocross spectacular known globally as Arenacross arrives in Belfast this weekend for two nights of high-octane action, with the world's best indoor off-road specialists lining up for round three of the 2016 British series at the SSE Arena at the Titanic Quarter.
The racing itself will be as explosive as ever, with just 16 points separating the top six Pro Class riders - Cedric Soubeyras, Fabien Izoird, Cyrille Coulon, Thomas Ramette, Josh Hansen and Jack Brunell.
But the man who is the biggest crowd puller for the Belfast audience is Spanish Freestyle Motocross aficionado and legendary performer, Edgar Torronteras. The Freestyle Motocross element of the Monster Energy Arenacross Tour, powered by Ford Ranger, is hugely popular with the Belfast fans.
The super-courageous and daring FMX riders are a vital part of the event's winning recipe, where they perform gravity-defying tricks with names like Rock Solid, Superman and the crowd-pleasing Back-Flip variations over the Arenacross ramps some 40 feet in the air.
Of course, every family has its 'character' and in the case of the Freestylers, it's none other than the hugely acclaimed godfather of FMX, the showboating Spaniard, Torronteras.
'ET' has no fear. He has one of the biggest and craziest personalities in the game, is well-known for indulging in a spot of beat-boxing (imitating the sound of a drum machine) which is worth the ticket price alone, and is also pretty handy at telling a tall tale or two.
The crazy 35-year-old from Barcelona laughingly refers to himself as 'banana face' and when questioned about it, he claims that he was addicted to sucking on a dummy until he was seven, and that caused his face to be mis-shapen.
Looking ahead to Belfast, and talking of his huge array of tricks, Torronteras explained: "Belfast is the stop of the tour that I most look forward to.
"If I could only do one Arenacross, it would be Belfast. The crowd is insane and make me want to do the best FMX I can. I love performing there and this year I'm going to do the biggest flips and tricks ever."
Speaking of the successful Arenacross Tour, which is promoted by E22 Sports, he added: "I've been with the Tour since the very beginning and this is now my fourth year.
"I keep coming back because it is one big family and every year when Matt (Bates, principal organiser) contacts me, I am very happy. It's a good job, with great riders and a good team to work with. We all trust each other and Belfast also makes for a great party after the show."
Whether or not you choose to believe Torronteras' stories, one thing I can guarantee is that watching him in action will put a huge grin on your face. He is always really happy to meet the fans and will be at the autograph sessions in the SSE Arena concourse just 45 minutes prior to each show. Pick up a free poster, have a chat with all the event's stars and find out if ET's tales are as outrageous as his tricks.
Doors open at 6.30pm tomorrow, with an 8pm start to the show and again at 6pm on Saturday, with a 7pm start to proceedings.
Tickets are available from the 24-hour ticket line 0844 338 8000 or online via www.arenacrossuk.com