The second day of the fantastic FIM Freestyle MX World Championship weekend proved very entertaining once again. To the delight of an almost sell-out crowd at Palasport Olimpico Turin, the eleven NIGHT of the JUMPS riders executed the toughest tricks in their repertoire. However, after a bad fall the previous day, former world champion Javier Villegas was left to spectate.
In the quali, local heroes Ivan Zucconi, Vanni Oddera and Massimo Bianconcini dug deep into their bag of tricks to ensure that the Italian flag would fly high in the final. Ivan Zucconi deserves special mention, as he put on a fine show in the attempt, flipping for all he was worth with a Cordova and then a Tsunami. Placed seventh, he just missed the final round, as did the other two Italian riders. A similar fate befell Hannes Ackermann and Jose Miralles, who both went out in the preliminary round. The same six riders from yesterday went on to fight it out in the final: Brice Izzo (FRA), Libor Podmol (CZE), David Rinaldo (FRA), Clinton Moore (AUS), Maikel Melero (ESP) and Remi Bizouard.
But the Maxxis Highest Air and Whip Contest again remained firmly in Italian hands; firstly, Bianconcini 'whipped' his way to victory and then also set a new world high jump record of 11:50 metres. Earlier, Zucconi had also been able to top the old record of 11:00 metres with a super jump of 11:10 metres.
In the final, the audience went wild as the freestylers performed the baddest Backflip combos ever. The two Frenchmen David Rinaldo and Brice Izzo executed Superman Seatgrab and Indy flips, edging up into fourth and fifth place. Clinton Moore missed what probably would have been his first podium as he crashed out performing The Volt on the double-up.
Libor Podmol combined Cliffhanger Flip and Underflip combos on his run, but today that was only enough for third place, since Melero was able to show a Double Backflip as his final jump. However, it was Remi Bizouard who secured victory, displaying nerves of steel; as his first jump, the Frenchman pulled off a 360, which had led to a bad fall in training on Friday. Cliffhanger, Ruler, and Hart Attack Flip proved just the ticket to give him victory on a perfect final run.
After this thrilling final, Bizouard (38 points) replaces Podmol (36 points) at the top of the FIM Freestyle MX World Championship table. Melero on 34 points follows in third position.
Riders now have two weeks to work on new tricks before the next World Championship points are awarded at the NIGHT of the JUMPS in Berlin, March 16th-17th.
1. Remi Bizouard FRA RFME Honda 410 points
2. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 379
3. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Suzuki 378
4. David Rinaldo FRA FFM Yamaha 369
5. Brice Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 349
6. Clinton Moore AUS MA Yamaha 293
1. Remi Bizouard FRA RFME Honda 350 points
2. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 343
3. Clinton Moore AUS MA Yamaha 337
4. David Rinaldo FRA FFM Yamaha 337
5. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Suzuki 336
6. Brice Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 313
7. Ivan Zucconi ITA PZM KTM 295
8. Hannes Ackermann GER DMSB KTM 291
9. Massimo Bianconcini ITAL PZM KTM 284
10. Jose Miralles ESP RFME KTM 257
11. Vanni Oddera ITA PZM KTM 229
1. Massimo Bianconcini ITAL PZM KTM
2. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Suzuki
Results MAXXIS Highest Air
1. Massimo Bianconcini ITA 11,50 Meter
2. Ivan Zucconi ITA 11,10 Meter
Ranking (after 2nd contest)
1. Remi Bizouard FRA RFME Honda 38 points
2. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Suzuki 36
3. Maikel Melero ESP RFME KTM 34
4. Clinton Moore AUS MA Yamaha 24
David Rinaldo FRA FFM Yamaha 24
Brice Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 24
7. Massimo Bianconcini ITAL PZM KTM 15
Hannes Ackermann GER DMSB KTM 15
Ivan Zucconi ITA PZM KTM 15
10. Vanni Oddera ITA PZM KTM 10
Jose Miralles ESP RFME KTM 10
12. Javier Villegas CHI FMC Yamaha 9