The best Freestyle MX riders from NIGHT of the JUMPs fly in China this weekend for the sixth time in the events history, inside the Shenzhen Sports Centre which also hosts the only two outdoor contests of the year’s World Tour. Almost 200 Truckloads of dirt will form the biggest course of the World Championship season. For the first time in history, NIGHT of the JUMPs will also crown the FIM World Champion in China at the conclusion of the second night.
For the fourth year in a row, Shenzhen will host the FIM Freestyle MX World Championships. The metropolis of Shenzhen also has the highest per capita income of China and is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. In 1979 there were only 30,000 inhabitants. As a new Special Economic Zone, Shenzhen has procured important foreign investments and has grown to more than 10 million people.
Eleven riders from seven nations will compete in the fifth and sixth World Championship competitions, with the current leader who is looking to secure his fourth crown in a row, Maikel Melero (ESP). Melero can also set a record as the first World Champion to win 4 championships in the history of NIGHT of the JUMPs. Remi Bizouard is the only other rider to equal Maikel with 3 world titles in his career so far.
The fight for the World Championship is currently a three-way battle between the reigning three-time World Champion, Maikel Melero, 2010 World Champion Libor Podmol and young Australian, Pat Bowden. With only 22 points separating the three opponents and 40 points up for grabs in China from the remaining two rounds, it is still wide open for Podmol to intercept the Spaniard to win his second World Title. Bowden will not ride in the season finale in China, thus missing out on the chance to win and possibly a top 3 podium.
Petr Pilat (CZE), Brice Izzo (FRA), David Rinaldo (FRA) and Leonardo Fini (ITA) are also fighting for 3rd place on the World Championship podium. Between 35 and 39 points behind, they are in positions 5 to 8 and are in striking distance of Bowden. One of these riders could end up with the bronze medal.
Marc Pinyol (ESP) now has the chance to score as many points as possible at the last two World Championship rounds in order to get a top 5 ranking for next season. Shenzhen will also see the debut of a new NIGHT of the JUMPs rider, Australian Brayden ‘Muggins’ Davies, who could also disrupt the leaderboard with good results over 2 rounds.
Germany will be represented by the two brothers, Luc and Hannes Ackermann. Both riders have been suffering injuries in 2017 and mean they will only be battling to stay in the top 10 position of the World Championship.
Field of riders:
Maikel Melero (ESP)
Libor Podmol (CZE)
Petr Pilat (CZE)
Brice Izzo (FRA)
David Rinaldo (FRA)
Leonardo Fini (ITA)
Marc Pinyol (ESP)
Brayden Davies (AUS)
Luc Ackermann (GER)
Hannes Ackermann (GER)
FIM Freestyle MX World Championship 2017
Ranking (after 4th contest)
1. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 76 Points
2. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Yamaha 55 Points
3. Pat Bowden AUS MA Yamaha 54 Points
4. Dany Torres ESP RFME KTM 48 Points
5. Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 39 Points
6. Brice Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 39 Points
7. David Rinaldo FRA FFM Yamaha 35 Points
8. Leonardo Fini ITA PZM KTM 35 Points
9. Marc Pinyol ESP RFME Yamaha 26 Points
10. Filip Podmol CZE ACCR Yamaha 24 Points
11. Luc Ackermann GER DMSB Husqvarna 16 Points
12. Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Kawasaki 14 Points
13. Kai Haase GER DMSB Suzuki 12 Points
14. Ryan Brown AUS MA Kawasaki 10 Points