January 25-26 marks the return of the world’s most extreme freestyle motocross series to Graz.
NIGHT of the JUMPS was last staged in the Styrian metropolis in 2010. The FMX series now has two FMX European championship competitions on the program, which means that fans in the Stadthalle will see the world’s best FMX riders perform all of their baddest tricks.
Podmol won the first two European championship contests last weekend in Linz, making him the favourite to clinch European championship rounds 3 and 4. However, fellow Czech rider Petr Pilat is likely to be the biggest thorn in his side.
The Red Bull rider jumped his way into second position last Saturday, and Podmol was only able to fend off his challenge by executing his Cliffhanger Backflip to No Hand Lander. Pilat will no doubt be working hard on his run in order to finally beat Podmol this coming weekend.
Remi Bizouard is another former world champion in the Graz line-up. The Frenchman performed all of his toughest tricks in Linz apart from the 360 but did not even secure a podium on Saturday. It will be interesting to see what Remi can conjure out of his box of tricks, as he strives to return to the top in the Stadthalle.
Maikel Melero’s season did not get off to the best of starts either. The Spaniard won the last two NIGHT of the JUMPS contests in 2013 and did indeed display his new Surfer to Tsunami but failed to execute a Doublegrab Flip on his second championship run. He will certainly produce one in Graz to win.
Brice Izzo can look back on Linz with some satisfaction, though. The winner of the bronze medal in the 2013 world championship secured a podium at the season opener, which should be his aim in rounds 3 and 4 of the European championship.
Joel Brown from Down Under will also be in the Stadthalle. The Aussie Shooting Star went through to his first NIGHT of the JUMPS final in Linz. Perhaps there is even more to come?
Jeremy Rouanet, Kevin Ferrari, Ales Liemann and Nicolay Ivankov complete the field of riders at the NIGHT of the JUMPS in Graz. Martin Koren and Luc Ackermann both fell in Linz and it is not yet certain whether they will be back in action.
Nevertheless, a spectacular NIGHT of the JUMPS weekend is in prospect. Graz will get to savour some real freestyle motocross action with these two rounds of the Freestyle MX European Championship.
NIGHT of the JUMPs Stadthalle Graz / Austria Field of riders:
Libor Podmol (CZE)
Petr Pilat (CZE) Maikel Melero (ESP) Remi Bizouard (FRA)
Brice Izzo (FRA) Joel Brown (AUS)
Jeremy Rouanet (FRA)
Kevin Ferrari (ITA)
Nicolay Ivankov (RUS)
Ales Liemann (CZE)
Martin Koren (CZE) tbc.
Luc Ackermann (GER) tbc.