2011 Freestyle Motocross
For the fifth time in the history of the competition, the Sankt Jakobshalle in Basle was the arena for the FIM Freestyle MX World Championship.
But what the fans got to see on Friday was probably the most spectacular NIGHT of the JUMPs ever. Following up on his stunning victory last weekend in Hamburg, Josh Sheehan has now notched up his first World Championship win, relegating all his rivals to bit player roles.
Twelve Freestyle Motocross riders from six countries competed in qualifying for the six coveted places in the final round. Unfortunately, Swiss local hero Mat Rebeaud was absent from the line-up because he unable to get fit in time after a serious injury earlier this year.
That did not detract from the atmosphere, however, because right from the qualifying stage, the showmen were thrilling the audience with 360s, Hart Attack Backflips, Tsunami Flips, Superman Seatgrab Backflips and many other breakneck combinations. Josh Sheehan performed the best qualifying run of the season so far to claim top spot with 400 points.
He was joined in the final round by Libor Podmol, Remi Bizouard, Jose Miralles, Javier Villegas and Maikel Melero. Despite pulling out his toughest tricks, David Rinaldo missed the final because of a Dead Sailor. Romain Izzo showed off a miniflip on the landing hill, but didn’t make it through to the last six either. Best-performing German Hannes Ackermann took tenth place with a first-time Tsunami Flip.
After the preliminary competition, Lukas Weis won the Race & Style Contest ahead of Jose Miralles. The Spaniard made up for this by triumphing in the Maxxis Highest Air with a leap of 7.5 metres.
Then the bulldozers were brought out for the last time to create optimum track conditions for the final round. Maikel Melero opened the final and styled some extreme extensions. Ultimately, though, it was enough only for sixth place. Javier Villegas emerged next and topped his run in the preliminary round, securing a podium spot from P5.
Jose Miralles, on the other hand, seemed to have run out of steam and dropped back to fifth place. Despite performing a Ruler, Switchblade, Cliffhanger and Hart Attack Flip, Remi Bizouard somehow missed out on a podium. Libor Podmol made sure of his by using the dirt jump to perform a brilliant Indy Underflip in the double-up. But despite all their huffing and puffing, none of them came close to knocking Downunder Dominator Josh Sheehan off his pedestal. He flipped a Lazyboy, a Tsunami and a Superman Seatgrab, topping off the display with his new Heelclicker 360 to win his first World Championship competition.
In the overall standings, Remi Bizouard still leads from Javier Villegas, both of them on 68 points. Jose Miralles is third on 62 points. The next World Championship race will take place tomorrow (Saturday). The stars will then be lining up in Basel for the fifth round of this year’s NIGHT of the JUMPs / FIM Freestyle MX World Championship, and we will see whether Villegas can overtake Bizouard in the standings.
FIM Freestyle MX World Championships: Basel, Round Four Results
Night of the Jumps Results: May 20, 2011
1. Josh Sheehan AUS MA Honda 452 Points
2. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Suzuki 429 Points
3. Javier Villegas CH AMA Yamaha 416 Points
4. Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Yamaha 403 Points
5. Jose Miralles ESP RFME KTM 403 Points
6. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 385 Points
1. Josh Sheehan AUS MA Honda 400 Points
2. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Suzuki 374 Points
3. Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Yamaha 370 Points
4. Jose Miralles ESP RFME KTM 359 Points
5. Javier Villegas CH AMA Yamaha 358 Points
6. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 356 Points
7. Romain Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 337 Points
8. David Rinaldo FRA FFM Yamaha 332 Points
9. Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 304 Points
10. Hannes Ackermann GER DMSB KTM 290 Points
11. Fabian Bauersachs GER DMSB KTM 283 Points
12. Lukas Weis GER DMSB Suzuki 276 Points
Results Race & Style Contest
1. Lukas Weis GER DMSB Suzuki
2. Jose Miralles ESP RFME KTM
Results MAXXIS Highest Air
1. Jose Miralles ESP RFME KTM 7,50 Meter
2. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 7,50 Meter
FIM Freestyle MX World Championships Ranking (after 4th contest)
1. Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Yamaha 68 Points
2. Javier Villegas CHI AMA Yamaha 68 Points
3. Jose Miralles ESP RFME KTM 62 Points
4. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Suzuki 58 Points
5. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 46 Points
6. David Rinaldo FRA FFM Yamaha 37 Points
7. Romain Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 34 Points
8. Fabian Bauersachs GER DMSB KTM 33 Points
9. Massimo Bianconcini ITAL ACCR KTM 24 Points
10. Hannes Ackermann GER DMSB KTM 20 Points
11. Josh Sheehan AUS MA Honda 20 Points
12. Lukas Weis GER DMSB Suzuki 14 Points
13. Kai Haase GER DMSB Suzuki 10 Points
14. Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 7 Points
15. Vanni Oddera ITA ACCR KTM 6 Points