FMX Night of Jumps
On Saturday evening, Turin witnessed a fierce contest for the first points of the FIM Freestyle Motocross World Championship. Twelve FMX riders from six nations battled it out in front of a sell-out crowd at NIGHT of the JUMPs in the Palasport Olimpico.
Following an absolutely flawless run incorporating the most difficult freestyle motocross tricks, Remi Bizouard claimed victory in the Italian Grand Prix ahead of newcomer Javier Villegas.
There were no fewer than four freestyle "Azzuros" lining up amongst the international FMX elite in the qualification stage. Massimo Bianconcini, Vanni Oddera, Miki Monti and Ivan Zucconi flipped their way into the hearts of their fellow countrymen, but not necessarily into the FMX final.
The only one to make it through was the veteran Bianconcini with an impressive third place in the preliminary freestyle motocross round. Miki Monti may not have progressed further, but he still wrote his name into the record books: at the age of 45 years, he not only counts as the oldest rider ever to appear at NIGHT of the JUMPs but also performed the oldest backflip on the World Cup circuit.
Young bucks David Rinaldo, Maikel Melero and Javier Villegas completed almost perfect preliminary runs and deservedly made it through to the final. Joining them was Jose Miralles.
World FMX Champion Libor Podmol missed out in sensational fashion after a fall in his last jump. Also left out in the cold was German rider Fabian Bauersachs who, despite a fine run, had to settle for seventh.
After qualifying was over, Jose Miralles won the Race & Style Contest. In the Maxxis Highest Air Contest, Maikel Melero edged out Massimo Bianconcini with an 8.10 metre jump.
The pressure of the final in front of 11,000 baying FMX fans then got to some of the riders. Maikel Melero crashed spectacularly performing a Superman Seatgrab Flip in the double-up and David Rinaldo disappointed with a Dead Sailor. So the pair of them ended the evening in fifth and sixth positions respectively.
Massimo Bianconcini was being urged on by his home crowd but, despite a good run and a new Cliffhanger Flip, he could not finish higher than fourth. Jose Miralles also made virtually no mistakes in his run, but unfortunately he was unable to cash in on the double-up and came third behind a strong Villegas. The Chilean freestyle motocross rider excelled himself with an Underflip, Superman Seatgrab and Tsunami Flip, claiming the runner-up spot in only his second NIGHT of the JUMPs.
The plaudits in Turin deservedly go to Remi Bizouard who ran through a repertoire of Ruler Flip, Hart Attack Flip, 360 and Cliffhanger Flip to win the first round of the 2011 World Cup. He emphatically underscored his intention to reclaim the World Championship FMX title he last won in 2008 and 2009.
In the FIM Freestyle MX World Championship, Remi Bizouard now holds the lead with 20 points ahead of Javier Villegas (18 points) and Jose Miralles (16 points). For the next two World Cup competitions on the weekend of 5th 6th March, the sky over Berlin will be closed to low-flying aircraft. That's when the FMX stars will be filling o2 World with yet more sound and fury, and Libor Podmol will be hoping to get his World Championship campaign back on track.
NIGHT of the JUMPs - FIM Freestyle Motocross World Championships Results:
Turin, 19th February 2011 - Round 1
1. Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Yamaha 416 Points
2. Javier Villegas CHI AMA Yamaha 411 Points
3. Jose Miralles ESP RFME KTM 383 Points
4. Massimo Bianconcini ITAL ACCR KTM 366 Points
5. David Rinaldo FRA FFM Yamaha 325 Points
6. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 316 Points
Turn FMX Results Qualification
1. Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Yamaha 383 Points
2. Jose Miralles ESP RFME KTM 367 Points
3. Massimo Bianconcini ITAL ACCR KTM 363 Points
4. Javier Villegas CHI AMA Yamaha 358 Points
5. David Rinaldo FRA FFM Yamaha 354 Points
6. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 352 Points
7. Fabian Bauersachs GER DMSB KTM 340 Points
8. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Suzuki 338 Points
9. Romain Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 308 Points
10. Vanni Oddera ITA ACCR KTM 254 Points
11. Ivan Zucconi ITA ACCR KTM 233 Points
12. Miki Monti ITA ACCR Yamaha 221 Points
FMX Results Race & Style Contest
1. Jose Miralles ESP RFME KTM
2. Massimo Bianconcini ITAL ACCR KTM
FMX Results MAXXIS Highest Air
1. Maikel Melero ESP 8,10 Meter
2. Massimo Bianconcini ITA 7,90 Meter
3. Miki Monti ITA 7,30 Meter
FIM Freestyle Motocross World Championships
Ranking (after 1st contest)
1. Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Yamaha 20 Points
2. Javier Villegas CHI AMA Yamaha 18 Points
3. Jose Miralles ESP RFME KTM 16 Points
4. Massimo Bianconcini ITAL ACCR KTM 14 Points
5. David Rinaldo FRA FFM Yamaha 12 Points
6. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 10 Points
7. Fabian Bauersachs GER DMSB KTM 9 Points
8. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Suzuki 8 Points
9. Romain Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 7 Points
10. Vanni Oddera ITA ACCR KTM 6 Points
11. Ivan Zucconi ITA ACCR KTM 5 Points
12. Miki Monti ITA ACCR Yamaha 4 Points