With three rounds of competition remaining in the marathon event, Leme is now within 40 points of the top spot as he seeks his record-tying third gold buckle
FORT WORTH, Texas – Two-time PBR (Professional Bull Riders) World Champion Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil) reversed his fortunes in Round 5 of the 2023 World Finals Friday night. After going 0-for-4 in the opening rounds, Leme delivered a Top-5 finish in Round 5 to nearly halve No. 1 Kaique Pacheco’s (Itatiba, Brazil) lead, now within 40 points of the top spot.
“It’s like a round win tonight,” Leme said. “I bucked off four in a row. It’s not the start everyone wants. I always wait for God’s time. I trust in His plans. I feel great and want to ride. I started my World Finals tonight.”
The Austin Gamblers sensation faced a familiar opponent in the fifth round of the 2023 PBR World Finals: Unleash The Beast – Pneu Dart’s Wild Card (Mike Miller Bucking Bulls). At the final regular-season event of the year in Louisville, Kentucky, Leme dominated the swift black bovine for a monstrous 90 points to win the tour stop’s second round.
Repeating his past success, Leme remained in perfect time with Pneu Dart’s Wild Card, matching him jump-for-jump en route to the 8-second whistle, marked 88.5 points. Tying him for the fifth-best score in the round, Leme earned a much needed 34 Unleash The Beat points.
Chasing his record-tying third PBR World Championship, Leme, who began the night 74 points back of the sidelined No. 1 Pacheco, is now within a mere 40 points of the top spot.
During a night of action that featured 14 riders making the whistle, the most scores thus far during a round at the 2023 PBR World Finals, none were more dominant than Andrew Alvidrez (Seminole, Texas), who won Round 5.
“Oh, praise God. It’s been a long process,” Alvidrez said. “When you get bucked off, doubts creep in. Now I’m just thankful. We’re here at the World Finals. I’m living the dream and just enjoying myself.”
Also marking his first qualified ride of the 2023 PBR World Finals, the Missouri Thunder rider in the separate PBR Team Series conquered Red Mosquito (Cord McCoy/Zach Muegge/McCoy Rodeo) for a mammoth 91.5 points, garnering a check for $35,000 and a crucial 89 Unleash The Beast points.
In the hunt for his career-first World Championship, Alvidrez rose four spots in the standings, cracking the world’s Top 5 as he surged from No. 8 to No. 4. He is now within 276 points of No. 1 Pacheco, unable to compete at the event due to injury.
Rookie of the Year race leader Rafael Jose de Brito (Potirendaba, Brazil) also climbed into the world’s Top 5 courtesy of a Round 5 score.
Brito tied for second, collecting 46 Unleash The Beast points, as he covered Time Bomb (Carr Pro Rodeo) for 89.25 points.
The Brazilian newcomer rose from No. 7 to No. 5, inching within 290 points of No. 1 Pacheco.
Brito also added to his lead in the Rookie of the Year race, now 209.67 points ahead of second-place contender Daniel Keeping (Montague, Texas), who has gone 0-for-5 thus far inside Dickies Arena.
Elsewhere in the Top 5 entering Round 5, Dalton Kasel (Muleshoe, Texas), Cooper Davis (Jasper, Texas) and Boudreaux Campbell (Crockett, Texas) were all shut out.
While Kasel remained No. 3, both Davis and Campbell slipped outside the Top 5. Davis dropped from No. 4 to No. 6, while Campbell fell from No. 5 to No. 7.
Wingson Henrique da Silva (Navirai, Brazil) overtook the lead in the World Finals event aggregate compliments of his seventh-place effort in Round 5.
One of just two riders to have covered three of his draws, Silva’s latest 8-second result was an 88-point ride aboard Tijuana Two-Step (Blake Sharp/Michael Floyd).
Silva leads second-place Braidy Randolph (Jonestown, Pennsylvania) by 1.25 points.
Collecting 28 Unleash The Beast points Friday night, Silva also continued his climb up the World Championship standings, elevated from No. 13 to No. 10. He is now just 520.5 points behind No. 1 Pacheco.
Randolph remained within striking distance of Silva as he also converted in Round 5.
Tying for second alongside his Texas Rattlers teammate, Randolph’s matching 89.25-point ride atop Cherry Bomb (Flinn/D&H Cattle Co.) earned him 46 Unleash The Beast points.
The reserved Pennsylvania native rose from No. 21 to No. 17 in the standings.
The 2023 PBR World Finals: Unleash The Beast continues with Round 6 on Saturday, May 20, at 7:45 p.m. CDT.
PBR RidePass on Pluto TV will offer re-airs and on-demand replays of every PBR Unleash The Beast event. PBR RidePass is available on desktops, laptops and mobile devices via www.pluto.tv. Click here for on-demand PBR programming.
Stay tuned to PBR.com for the latest news and results and be sure to follow the league on all social media platforms at @PBR.
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