PUEBLO, Colo. -- The Built Ford Tough Series heads into its first bye week since the season began in Baltimore 13 weeks ago.
Joao Ricardo Vieira heads into the off-week with a five-point lead, while a group of other riders made significant gains in the world standings at KeyArena this past weekend.
Here is a by-the-numbers look at some highlights from the Seattle Invitational.
51: Marchi records 51st career 90-point ride
Guilherme Marchi – who sits third all-time for career 90-point rides since 1998 – picked up his first 90-point ride since riding KISS Animalize for 90 points in Anaheim, California, on Feb. 8, 2014, when he covered Calypso for 90.5 points in the championship round on Saturday.
He finished the championship round second to Joao Ricardo Vieira and earned 60 points toward the world standings.
He now has 51 career 90-point rides.
“That is a really good bull,” Marchi said. “He was right there into my hand. I was so happy to cover him. He was very strong and was moving forward a little bit. I cover him pretty good. It worked for me.”
The 2008 World Champion finished the Seattle Invitational in seventh place with 115 points after earning 55 points for tying for fifth place in the event average.
Marchi has earned 355 points over the past two BFTS events, which is more than he has gained in his previous eight events (235 points). He has moved from 12th in the world to seventh in two weeks.
The 32-year-old and No. 9 bull rider in the world standings said it is good to head into the Easter break with some momentum.
“This helps a lot for me,” Marchi said. “I had bucked off in the long round before and my head (was) kind of down a little bit. I say, ‘Damn, that is a really good bull (Joe The Grinder) I rode before, what did I do wrong?’ I come to the short go and get a strong bull and make 90 points. That makes my confidence come back.”
5: Joao Ricardo Vieira’s world lead much shorter than Marchi’s last year
Even though the points system is different this season compared to last year, it is safe to say the top of the world standings is much closer than it was at this point in 2014.
Joao Ricardo Vieira heads into this week off with only a five-point lead on Matt Triplett in the world standings after earning 240 points in Seattle.
Marchi was the No. 1 bull rider in the world at last year’s bye week and he led Vieira by 475.37 points.
The current Top 4 riders in the world standings are separated by less than 500 points compared to last year when No. 4 Mike Lee trailed Marchi by 1,038.37 points.
Vieira leads the BFTS with 24 qualified rides, while Marchi was on top with 25.
8: Crazy 8s in Seattle
There were a total of eight rides in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round at KeyArena, which tied a season-high set in New York.
The eight qualified rides in a championship round is the most since the 2014 BFTS event in Duluth, Georgia, where there were also eight qualified rides.
Comparing Seattle to Duluth, both events featured two 90-point rides, with Joao Ricardo Vieira’s 92.25-point ride on Walk Off in Seattle besting J.B. Mauney’s 91.75-point ride on Rango in Duluth.
Vieira had the other 90-point ride in Duluth, when he rode KISS Animalize for 90 points to finish runner-up to Mauney in the round.
The average ride score in Seattle (88.5 points) was higher by just .75 points than the average in Duluth (87.25). The lowest qualified ride in Seattle was Tanner Byrne’s 86 points on Hang Time, compared to Billy Robinson’s 78-point ride on Freakster in Duluth.
There were two bulls that competed in both events: Fire Rock and I’m a Gangster Too. Fire Rock was ridden in both events for 87.5 points by Robson Palermo and L.J. Jenkins, while I’m a Gangster Too bucked off both of his foes (Lachlan Richardson and Mike Lee) in 3 seconds or less.
510: Oliveira cracks Top 3 with championship-round ride
Valdiron de Oliveira became the eighth rider in 12 BFTS events, not including Iron Cowboy, this season to enter the championship round leading the event average and conclude the event as the event winner.
However, Oliveira is only the fourth rider of the eight to actually ride his championship-round bull to seal the victory.
Oliveira rode Big Cool for 86.75 points to win the event average for 400 of his 510 points.
The 510 points bumps the 35-year-old to the No. 3 position in the world standings after beginning the event in seventh.
2: Barbosa and Aragao jump into Top 30
Rubens Barbosa and Robson Aragao were able to jump into the Top 30 following the Seattle Invitational and both did so with different performances.
Barbosa used only one ride – an 87-point showing on Guns & Donuts – to earn 60 points in Round 1 and finished 12th in the event average for another 10 points. His 70 points was enough to push him to 28th in the world standings after beginning the event in 31st.
Aragao went 2-for-3 – turning down a re-ride option and keeping his 78.25-point score on Read Directions in Round 1 – to finish ninth in the event average for 10 points. He rode Strong Heart for 86.25 points in the second round to earn 50 points toward the world standings. He jumps from 33rd to 30th in the standings.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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