Palermo takes round; Meier extends lead

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  • Palermo feeling better

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It’s been a rough couple of weeks for Robson Palermo, but the 26-year-old didn’t let that stop him from winning the opening round of the Mohegan Sun Invitational on Friday night.

Palermo took the round with a 90.25-point effort on Real Moody, after bucking off seven bulls in a row and falling from fifth to seventh in the world standings.

“Long time (since) I got a ride like that,” said Palermo, who later added, “I’m ready to go. My hand feels better and my knee is not bothering me anymore.”

He said he went without wearing a brace on his injured right knee, and added that his left wrist is feeling better. Palermo also worked out four days this past week with a personal trainer.

Listen to the full post-event interview with Palermo here.

Palermo – who expected Real Moody to turn back to the left, but held on as the bull changed his routine and went to the right – beat out two-time World Champion Chris Shivers, who was atop the leader board for most of the night.

Shivers scored 89.75 points on Artic Circle. Jordan Hupp finished third with 88 points on Bird Creek, while Ednei Caminhas, Pistol Robinson and Shane Proctor split fourth, fifth and sixth place in the average.

Afterward, Palermo said he’s focused, and regarding injuries, he added, “You can’t miss (the events), because it’s too short, and it’s close to the finals.”

Eight of the Top 10 riders in the world are in Uncasville, Conn., and five of them made the whistle, including Austin Meier.

The current leader extended his 64-point lead over J. B. Mauney to 160.5 points. Meier scored 86.5 points on Justin’s Pet, and added another 10 points for finishing 10th in the average in the round.

Ryan McConnel, Renato Nunes and Valdiron de Oliveira were the other three Top 10 riders to earn points on Friday, with another two long rounds and the short round to come Saturday and Sunday.

The fourth Final Five Showdown will take place Saturday night, and can be seen in its entirety Sunday afternoon on CBS.

“I’m really focused on my riding tomorrow,” Palermo said. “Now it’s time to heal up and ride my bulls.”

NEWS AND NOTES

Live Event Center: Follow all the action from this week’s BFTS event in Uncasville, Conn., including the fourth of five bonus rounds for the Top 10 riders, by logging on to the Event Center at www.pbr.com/live. The multimedia center provides live scoring, live photos, live blogging and event-related interviews.

— by Keith Ryan Cartwright

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