Rafael Jose de Brito overtakes event lead at the 2023 PBR World Finals: Unleash The Beast with second-place effort in the sixth round of action
FORT WORTH, Texas – During Round 6 of competition for the 2023 PBR (Professional Bull Riders) World Finals: Unleash The Beast, Dener Barbosa (Paulo de Faria, Brazil) was white-hot, delivering a mammoth 90-point ride to win the round and return to the Top 5 in the feverish race to be crowned the 2023 World Champion.
“I watched video of my bull today,” Barbosa explained. “He looked really good. I felt really confident going in. I have two more bulls tomorrow. I need two more of 90 points.“
Barbosa returned to Dickies Arena Saturday evening having bucked off his four previous animal athlete opponents, leading him to slip to No. 9 in the world.
The reserved Brazilian, however, was determined to remain a contender. Matched with Sugar Smack (Julian Cattle), Barbosa matched the powerful bovine jump-for-jump en route to the 8-second whistle, marked a monstrous 90 points.
The 90-point ride earned Barbosa a check for $35,000, but more importantly, a much needed 89 Unleash The Beast points.
He vaulted from No. 9 to No. 4 in the standings, now within 229.17 points of No. 1 Kaique Pacheco (Itatiba, Brazil) who is not competing at the World Finals due to injury.
Following the sixth round of action, a new rider sits atop the World Finals event leaderboard – Rafael Jose de Brito (Potirendaba, Brazil). He leads new runner-up Ramon de Lima (Rio Branco, Brazil) by 4.25 points.
Having now gone a combined 3-for-6, including logging back-to-back rides in his most recent outs, Brito tied for second in Round 6 to overtake the lead, covering Short Circuit (D&H Cattle/McWhorter) for 88.5 points.
The silver finish netted Brito 46 Unleash The Beast points. While he remained No. 5 in the standings, he is now within 244 points of No. 1 Pacheco.
“I’m just thinking about the next bull,” Brito said via a translator when asked if he knew that if the World Finals ended tonight, he’d be the World Champion. “I’m following God’s plan. My dream is to become world champion.”
Brito also extended his lead atop the Rookie of the Year race, now 276.5 points out front of No. 2 Wingson Henrique da Silva (Navirai, Brazil).
Should Brito win both the PBR World Championship and PBR Rookie of the Year honor, he would become the first rider in the PBR’s 30-year history to win both coveted titles in the same season.
Elsewhere in the Top 5, two-time PBR World Champion Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil) was unable to continue his momentum from Friday night, tossed by Big Johnny Reb (M Rafter E Bucking Bulls) in a quick 3.49 seconds.
With just two rounds of competition left in the 2023 individual season, Leme remains 40 points back of the top spot.
No. 3 Dalton Kasel (Muleshoe, Texas) was also shut out in Round 6. He was sent airborne by War Department (Rockin T Ranch) at the 4.46-second mark.
After his Round 5 win Friday night inside Dickies Arena, Andrew Alvidrez (Seminole, Texas) was humbled in Round 6, bucked off by Casper (Crescent city Bucking Bulls/Lari Crane/Gene Owen) in 4.78 seconds.
The no-score led Alvidrez to fall outside of the Top 5 in the 2023 PBR World Championship battle, now No. 6 and 276 points back.
Jesse Petri (Dublin, Texas) cracked the Top 10 in the standings via a sixth-place effort in Round 6.
The Texan’s 87.25-point ride aboard Midnight Special (Carr Pro Rodeo) netted him 32 Unleash The Beast points. He rose from No. 11 to No. 10, inching within 490 points of No. 1 Pacheco.
Petri is also now fifth on the World Finals event leaderboard, 6.5 points behind current first-place rider Brito.
The 2023 PBR World Finals: Unleash The Beast concludes with Round 7 and the championship round on Sunday, May 21, at 1:45 p.m. CDT.
Championship Sunday will begin with Round 7, featuring all riders who recorded a score in the previous rounds.
Following Round 7, the scores from the seven rounds will be combined, and the Top 12 riders will advance for an additional round of competition. Following the conclusion of the championship round, the league will crown the 2023 PBR World Champion, who will receive a $1 million bonus and his name on the Jerome Robinson Cup, the World Finals Event winner, who will receive a $300,000 bonus, and more.
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.
PBR Unleash The Beast
PBR World Finals: Unleash The Beast
Dickies Arena – Fort Worth, Texas
Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Round 4-Round 5-Round 6-Round 7-Round 8-Event Aggregate-Event Points)
(tie). Austin Richardson, 0-89.75-0-0-0-0-0-0-89.75-88 Points.
(tie). Flavio Zivieri, 0-0-0-0-89-0-0-0-89.00-40 Points.
(tie). Nick Tetz, 0-89-0-0-0-0-0-0-89.00-48 Points.
(tie). João Ricardo Vieira, 88.5-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-88.50-48 Points.
(tie). Kyler Oliver, 0-0-0-0-0-88.5-0-0-88.50-46 Points.
(tie). Marcus Mast, 0-0-0-0-88.5-0-0-0-88.50-34 Points.
(tie). Lucas Divino, 0-0-88-0-0-0-0-0-88.00-34 Points.
(tie). Ezekiel Mitchell, 0-0-0-0-87.75-0-0-0-87.75-22 Points.
(tie). Koltin Hevalow, 84.75-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-84.75-22 Points.
Daniel Keeping, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Rafael Henrique dos Santos, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Eli Vastbinder, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Manoelito de Souza Junior, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Wyatt Rogers, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Chase Outlaw, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Dakota Louis, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Aaron Williams, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Vitor Losnake, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Tyler Manor, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Claudio Montanha Jr., 0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
2023 Professional Bull Riders Unleash The Beast Standings
(Place, Rider, Events, Wins, Top 5’s, Points, Total Winnings)