The second day of the Swiss Freestyle Motocross Grand Prix weekend could prove to be the tipping point of the 2011 FIM Freestyle MX World Championship. Javier Villegas was runner-up on the evening, a result that was good enough to see him take the lead in the championship standings. But outclassing all the other riders was Josh Sheehan who won his third NIGHT of the JUMPs in a row.
Unfortunately, only 11 riders lined up for qualification on Saturday, as Libor Podmol had crashed in training and sustained an injury. The remaining riders were highly motivated and keen to top their performance of the day before. Lukas Weis was the first rider to use the transfer jump and improved significantly on his Friday routine. But it still wasn’t enough to get him into the final. Fabian Bauersachs also flopped, in his case to an unaccustomed 10th place. But the third member of the German trio on the bill turned in the best result of his career to date: Hannes Ackermann used all the ramps to best effect and refined his Tsunami Flip. He was only three points short of qualifying for his first NIGHT of the JUMPs finale. This honour was snatched from him by Red Bull rider Petr Pilat who essentially claimed the place that would have gone to injured compatriot Libor Podmol:
In fact, the remaining five places in the final went to the same riders as the day before. Tragic figure of the weekend was David Rinaldo who mistimed his landing in the double-up. So after his Dead Sailor on Friday, he once again missed out on the finals.
Jose Miralles dominated proceedings in the side-contests. First he scored top points in the Race & Style and then he jumped 7.9 metres to victory in the Maxxis Highest Air.
But those who thought he had shot his bolt before the finale were in for a pleasant surprise. In a flawless run, including a dirt jump, he performed his first ever underflip. A performance that was rewarded by the judges with third place. Remi Bizouard could have felt miffed by this: the Frenchman pulled everything out of the bag, from Ruler Flip to Hart Attack Flip, but had to settle for a frustrating fourth. Petr Pilat and Maikel Melero put in solid final runs in the battle for the podium, but they finished out of contention.
As early as the preliminary round, it had become clear that the winner of NIGHT of the JUMPs in Basle would have to get past Josh Sheehan. Villegas laid in with a Tsunami Flip and several daring combinations, but Sheehan was firing on all cylinders. A miniflip on the landing hill after his perfectly styled run and a perfect Clicker 360 in the double-up secured him a third victory in his third successive competition.
After five out of twelve rounds, Javier Villegas took over the lead in the FIM Freestyle MX World Championship. Remi Bizouard has dropped back to second place, four points behind. The next NIGHT of the JUMPs takes place over the coming weekend at the Olympiahalle in Munich. And who’s to say that Josh Sheehan won’t complete a grand slam and record his fourth win in a row? There will be more World Championship points up for grabs on the weekend of 18th -19th June in Penza (Russia).
1. Josh Sheehan AUS MA Honda 454 points
2. Javier Villegas CHL AMA Yamaha 418
3. Jose Miralles ESP RFME KTM 414
4. Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Yamaha 413
5. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 368
6. Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 364
1. Josh Sheehan AUS MA Honda 391 Points 2. Jose Miralles ESP RFME KTM 382
3. Javier Villegas CHL AMA Yamaha 380
4. Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Yamaha 377
5. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 349
6. Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 326
7. Hannes Ackermann GER DMSB KTM 323
8. Lukas Weis GER DMSB Suzuki 320
9. Romain Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 312
10. Fabian Bauersachs GER DMSB KTM 312
11. David Rinaldo FRA FFM Yamaha 306
Race & Style
1. Jose Miralles ESP RFME KTM
2. Josh Sheehan AUS MA Honda
1. Jose Miralles ESP RFME KTM 7,90 M
2. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 7,60
FIM Freestyle MX World Championships
1. Javier Villegas CHL AMA Yamaha 86 Points
2. Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Yamaha 82
3. Jose Miralles ESP RFME KTM 78
4. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Suzuki 58
5. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 58
6. David Rinaldo FRA FFM Yamaha 42
7. Romain Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 41
8. Josh Sheehan AUS MA Honda 40
9. Fabian Bauersachs GER DMSB KTM 39
10. Hannes Ackermann GER DMSB KTM 29
11. Massimo Bianconcini ITAL ACCR KTM 24
12. Lukas Weis GER DMSB Suzuki 22
13. Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 17
14. Kai Haase GER DMSB Suzuki 10
15. Vanni Oddera ITA ACCR KTM 6