The NIGHT of the JUMPS freestyle artists returned to Munich for a second consecutive year. Against the backdrop of a sold-out Olympic Hall, the twelve FMX riders put on a stunning display of extreme sport, showcasing the most advanced tricks that are possible on two motorised wheels.
Carrying the flag for Germany were Kai Haase (Berlin), Lukas Weis (Munich) and Hannes Ackermann (Thuringia), who put in a creditable performance in the qualifying round, hammering the requisite eight jumps into the dirt in the prescribed 80-second run. Only Hannes Ackermann made it through, however. He qualified sixth as the beneficiary of misfortune for a couple of the favourites: Maikel Melero, who has only just recovered from his last injury, crashed on his final jump, and Libor Podmol seemed to have a temporary loss of form. So the line-up for the final was once again dominated by the two world championship contenders Remi Bizouard and Javier Villegas. The other three hopefuls were Martin Koren (CZE), David Rinaldo (FRA) and Brice Izzo (FRA).
Because of the two mobile landing ramps in the Olympic Hall, there was no MAXXIS Highest Air contest but instead the MAXXIS Race & Style contest and a whip contest. The 9,000 Bavarians in the audience cheered their local hero Lukas Weis on to victory in both competitions.
Hannes Ackermann was first out of the blocks in the final and impressed with Cliffhanger Flip and Indy to Superflip. Just like his one and only previous appearance in the final round, however, a faulty jump seemed to have condemned him to sixth place. But as Martin Koren made multiple errors in his final run, the German rider was pleasantly surprised to find himself elevated to a relatively lofty fifth, his best NIGHT of the JUMPS result to date.
Which of course meant that the final was a showdown between Chile and France, i.e. Javier Villegas against the Gallic triumvirate of Brice Izzo, David Rinaldo and Remi Bizouard. The South American, outnumbered, put up a valiant struggle, seeing off the challenge of Brice Izzo (Heelclicker Underflip et al) and David Rinaldo (Superman Seatgrab Flip et al) with his own Tsunami Flip, Superman Seatgrab Backflip Indy, Suicide Lazyflip and special signature tricks. But Remi Bizouard once again outclassed the 2011 FMX world champion with Ruler Flip, Cliffhanger Flip, 360 and Hart Attack Flip to take his fourth victory of the 2012 season.
The Frenchman continues to head the NIGHT of the JUMPS World Championship standings. He has now racked up 421 points and taken a commanding 125-point lead over second-placed Libor Podmol (316 points). The highest-ranked German, Hannes Ackermann, is in ninth place (174 points).
The next NIGHT of the JUMPS takes place on 12th May in the SAP Arena in Mannheim when the freestyle elite will be trying to boost their points tally in the UEM Freestyle MX European Championship.
Meanwhile, Munich-based fans who have already purchased a 2013 calendar can ink in the weekend of 26th/27th April for their next fix of high-octane entertainment. And as the above dates suggest, NIGHT of the JUMPS will be staging a double bill in the Bavarian capital. Tickets have already gone on sale.
Results NIGHT of the JUMPs – Final
1. Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Honda 419 Points
2. Javier Villegas CHL FMC Yamaha 405
3. David Rinaldo FRA FFM Yamaha 374
4. Brice Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 355
5. Hannes Ackermann GER DMSB KTM 326
6. Martin Koren CZE ACCR KTM 292
1. Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Honda 362
2. Javier Villegas CHL FMC Yamaha 360
3. David Rinaldo FRA FFM Yamaha 340
4. Martin Koren CZE ACCR KTM 315
5. Brice Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 313
6. Hannes Ackermann GER DMSB KTM 308
7. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Yamaha 287
8. Lukas Weis GER DMSB Suzuki 282
9.Ivan Zucconi ITA PZM KTM 278
10. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 254
11. Kai Haase GER DMSB Suzuki 225
Results Maxxis Race & Style Contest
1. Lukas Weis GER DMSB Suzuki
2. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Yamaha
Results Whip Contest
1. Lukas Weis GER DMSB Suzuki
2. Kai Haase GER DMSB Suzuki