By: Justin Felisko
January 23, 2016
OKLAHOMA CITY – Here are three things we learned from Round 2 of the Express Employment Professionals Invitational, presented locally by Sonic, on Saturday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Robson Palermo extends consecutive ride streak to seven
Robson Palermo says he feels like he can be a Top-5 bull rider in the world this season and his current consecutive riding streak may be serving as proof.
Palermo rode Uncle Tink for 87.5 points – giving him seven consecutive rides since riding Lil Gremlin for 79.5 points in Chicago – to finish Round 2 in second place and earn 60 points toward the world standings.
“I watched that bull a couple of times on video,” Palermo said. “J.B. (Mauney) and Joao Ricardo (Vieira) were a couple of the guys that got on him. I knew he would fit me pretty good and he did the same thing. He kicked there and turned back left. He looks easy, but he kind of moves his shoulder a lot.”
The three-time World Finals event winner last rode seven in a row when he ended the 2011 season with five straight and began 2012 with two more rides.
Coincidentally, 2011 was Palermo’s highest finish in the world standings when he concluded the season ranked third in the world standings. In 2012, Palermo finished the year seventh after claiming his PBR-record third World Finals event victory.
“I am off to a pretty good start this year,” Palermo said. “I am starting to feel good. I am getting on those good bulls like I have been doing and I hope to continue. PBR brings good bulls here. I am happy now and I am riding good.”
Palermo rode eight consecutive bulls in 2008-09.
Palermo is 2-for-2 in Oklahoma City and is tied for the event average lead with Fabiano Vieira.
There are four more riders with two qualified rides: Brady Sims, Mason Lowe, Kaique Pacheco and Joao Ricardo Vieira.
Sims and Lowe each head into Sunday in search of their first BFTS victories.
“I just have to ride,” Sims said after riding Red Cloud for 84.25 points. “I have been trying my guts out, and I just wasn’t always getting it through. This week I came home and I was kind of mad. I built a drop barrel to practice on and I have been on it since I got back from New York.”
Lowe, who rode Rickey for 84 points in Round 2, has been fighting a head cold all week and slept for about five hours on Saturday afternoon following an autograph signing.
“As soon as I got back I slept until about 6,” Lowe said. “I had a fever and I woke up soaking wet.”
And about going for that first career victory?
“I just need to stay on,” he replied. “That is about it.”
Palermo has begun the season 7-for-8 and is ranked fourth in the PBR world standings. Palermo trails world leader Paulo Lima (0-for-2) by 400 points in the world standings.
It wasn’t all rosy for Palermo on Saturday as Uncle Tink did step on his left ankle — the same ankle in which he tore ligaments during the 2014 World Finals when Smooth Operator stepped on him.
Palermo spent the majority of Saturday night icing his ankle in the sports medicine room.
“I got stepped on today, but not bad,” Palermo said. “I just got cut and I will be a little bruised, but I will be OK for tomorrow.”
Mauney wins Round 2 despite hyperextended left elbow
It appeared as if Palermo was going to walk away with his second Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS) round win of 2016, but that was until defending World Champion J.B. Mauney stole the victory with an 87.75-point effort on Hou’s Back despite hyperextending his left elbow Friday.
Mauney was able to stay forward on Hou’s Back, instead of getting reared back and locking his elbow into a painful position like he did on Friday night attempting to ride Jailbreaker.
“My elbow has been jacked up for a long time and so has my hand,” Mauney said while holding his elbow after the round. “As long as I do like I did tonight and stay out over bulls, and don’t let them get me back there where you are not supposed to be, it doesn’t hurt, but it will lock up and won’t turn loose.”
The elbow may not turn loose, but Mauney sure did for his second round win of the season. He is the first rider to win multiple BFTS rounds in 2016 and the 100 points he earned for the victory moves him to seventh in the world standings.
Sports medicine taped the elbow for Mauney before the ride and asked the two-time World Champion when he last had any X-rays or an MRI taken of his elbow.
He just shrugged.
“They have it taped to try and prevent it from going completely straight,” Mauney said. “That is when it does (hurt) the worst. It locks up and I don’t have any motion in it. It pretty much locks up to 90 degrees. There is no telling what is all wrong with it. I am pretty sure I never had X-rays on it. There is some crap going on in there, but that is all a part of it.”
Mauney previously covered Hou’s Back for 90.25 points at the 2014 World Finals. Last year he was awarded a re-ride on the bull during the Finals.
Derek Kolbaba placed third in the round with an 86-point ride on Little Z for 50 world points.
Fabiano Vieira (85.75 points on Shilo) and Douglas Duncan split fourth and fifth in the round for 35 points toward the world standings.
Wallace de Oliveira (85 points on Big Benny) placed sixth and Joao Ricardo Vieira (84.5 points on Walter Pepper) was seventh. Oliveira picks up 15 points toward the world standings, while Vieira earns five.
Marchi gets first qualified ride of 2016 despite multitude of injuries
Guilherme Marchi is relying on heart, determination and effort as he tries to ride with torn ligaments in both of his knees and a torn bicep muscle in his riding arm.
All three of those characteristics were on full display as the 2008 World Champion used pure upper body strength to hang on to Here’s Your Chance for 83.25 points.
It is his first qualified ride since tearing his bicep at the 2015 Calgary Stampede last July.
“My body is not prepared yet, but today my heart is good for me,” Marchi said. “Today, I feel like my knee is more strong. It popped a little bit after 6 seconds, but I kept trying. I am so happy. I feel like I am 90 points. I know it is going to be hard to keep this going all year long, but the more bulls I get on the more confidence I am going to have. Let’s see what God has prepared for me. If I need to have surgery so I will do it. For now, I am still going to train hard at MJP (Michael Johnson Performance).
“I am just so happy to be back at the PBR.”
Before nodding for the gate, Marchi had Kaique Pacheco pulling his rope, while Paulo Crimber and Joao Ricardo Vieira offered words of encouragement.
“It means a lot to me,” Marchi said. “Those guys know how hard these past couple of years have been. Those guys are my brothers. I support them when they need me and they support me when I need them. I am so happy to have them as buddies.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
© 2016 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.