Freestyle MX World Championship title chase continues
After the spectacular European Championship finale last weekend in Hamburg, NIGHT of the JUMPs resumes without a break this Friday and Saturday in Basle (Switzerland), where the St Jakobshalle stages rounds four and five of the FIM Freestyle Motocross World Championship.
The two Swiss Grands Prix are permanent fixtures on the NOTJ calendar. This will be the seventh time in the history of NIGHT of the JUMPs that the FMX elite have gathered in Switzerland; for the past five years, Basle has been the venue for the FIM Freestyle MX World Championship.
Unfortunately, there are no local Swiss riders on the bill this time. The event had actually been planned as a summit of world champions, with former champion Mat Rebeaud (SUI), current title holder Podmol Libor (CZE) and two-time world champion Bizouard Remi (FRA) competing for the honours, but Mat was seriously injured in January. Although he has done his very best to get fit again in time, it now looks like he will not be in the starting line-up for Basle.
Even without his presence, however, the spectators in the St Jakobshalle will still be on the edge of their seats. Because NIGHT of the JUMPs main contenders Libor Podmol, Remi Bizouard, Massimo Bianconcini and Fabian Bauersachs will have to dig deep into their bag of tricks to face down talented newcomers Josh Sheehan (AUS), Javier Villegas (CH), Maikel Melero (ESP) and David Rinaldo (FRA). Last weekend, the Australian wowed the fans with a Heelclicker 360, while Frenchman Rinaldo pulled out a Double Seatgrab Backflip. This was enough to see off the established IFMXF names and lay down a marker of their ambitions for the 2011 season. Javier Villegas has also shown himself in fine fettle in the World Championsip so far, fully meriting his current runner-up spot in the standings. The Spaniard Melero rides with a great deal of style and has propelled himself to fifth in the table with solid backflip combinations.
But still in pole position in the FIM Freestyle MX World Championship is Remi Bizouard on 54 points, two ahead of Villegas who has Jose Miralles (50 points) breathing down his neck.
Romain Izzo (FRA), Hannes Ackermann (GER) and – making his comeback after injury – Red Bull rider Petr Pilat (CZE) complete the starting field for the NIGHT of the JUMPs / FIM Freestyle MX World Championship in Basle. Lukas Weis (GER) also makes it into the line-up with a wildcard. Are we about to see a changing of guard in the IFMXF, or will the veterans prevail once again? The fans can look forward to a high-octane evening featuring the most daring freestyle motocross tricks anywhere in the world.
The St Jakobshalle will also be rocking during the sideshows: in the Maxxis Highest Air Contest, the riders will be aiming to beat the world record set by Alastair Sayer last year, and in the Race & Style Contest, Massimo Bianconcini will be trying to retrieve the crown he yielded to German youngster Kai Haase after defeat in Hamburg last weekend.
Field of riders:
Remi Bizouard (FRA)
Libor Podmol (CZE)
Jose Miralles (ESP)
Javier Villegas (CH)
Massimo Bianconcini (ITA)
David Rinaldo (FRA)
Maikel Melero (ESP)
Romain Izzo (FRA)
Fabian Bauersachs (GER/Rödenthal)
Hannes Ackermann (GER/Niederdorla)
Josh Sheehan (AUS)
Petr Pilat (CZE)
Lukas Weis (GER) - Wildcard
FIM Freestyle MX World Championships
1. Remi Bizouard - FRA - FFM - Yamaha - 54 Points
2. Javier Villegas - CHI - AMA - Yamaha - 52 Points
3. Jose Miralles - ESP - RFME - KTM - 50 Points
4. Libor Podmol - CZE - ACCR - Suzuki - 40 Points
5. Maikel Melero - ESP - RFME - Yamaha - 36 Points
6. David Rinaldo - FRA - FFM - Yamaha - 29 Points
7. Fabian Bauersachs - GER - DMSB - KTM - 28 Points
8. Romain Izzo - FRA - FFM - Yamaha - 25 Points
9. Massimo Bianconcini - ITA - ACCR - KTM - 24 Points
10. Hannes Ackermann - GER - DMSB - KTM - 14 Points
11. Lukas Weis - GER - DMSB - Suzuki - 10 Points
12. Kai Haase - GER - DMSB - Suzuki - 10 Points
13. Vanni Oddera - ITA - ACCR - KTM - 6 Points
14. Ivan Zucconi - ITA - ACCR - KTM - 5 Points
15. Miki Monti - ITA - ACCR - Yamaha - 4 Points