FIM Freestyle Motocross
The return of NIGHT of the JUMPs to Poland could not have been more spectacular. Javier Villegas (CHL) and Remi Bizouard (FRA) sought to outbid each other with amazing tricks in the tenth round of the FIM Freestyle MX World Championship at the ERGO Arena in Gdansk.
In a breathtaking final, the Frenchman prevailed to keep alive his slender chance of overturning the Chilean's 19-point lead in the championship.
Thirteen riders from eight nations lined up for the qualification stage. Local hero Artur Puzio performed a clean Miniflip but then, just like fellow countryman Michael Daciuk, was reduced to the status of spectator for the rest of the evening.
They were joined by reigning World Champion Libor Podmol (CZE) who had to reduce his repertoire after sustaining an injury in his previous world championship outing. Veterans Massimo Bianconcini (ITA) and Fabian Bauersachs (GER) also had to bid the crowd a fond farewell after the preliminary round.
The "Italian FMX Stallion" at least had the consolation of winning the Race & Style contest and then beating off the challenge from high jump record holder Alastair Sayer to take the Maxxis Highest Air trophy. The rider from Botswana had an evening to forget, just missing out on the final in P7 and taking a tumble in the Step-up Contest which left him with a very sore arm.
Jose Miralles, who is currently placed third in the championship rankings, also failed to qualify, but at least he had a good excuse: his luggage arrived only after free practice, giving him virtually no opportunity to warm up. So the Top Six on the night were David Rinaldo (FRA), Brice Izzo (FRA), Petr Pilat (CZE), Maikel Melero (ESP) and of course the two championship front-runners Villegas and Bizouard.
Rinaldo went first, putting in an Airplane and a solid Superman Seatgrab Backflip that would normally have been good enough for a podium finish, but the diminutive Frenchman's last jump ended as a Dead Sailor.
A similar fate befell Maikel Melero who performed two Cordova Flips in his final run, finishing fifth despite premiering his versions of the Cliffhanger Flip and Double Seatgrab Backflip. Red Bull rider Petr Pilat has recently become a podium regular: after taking third place in Ostrava, he missed out on another top-three finish in Gdansk by only four points.
This honor went instead to Brice Izzo who put together a superb final run consisting of Miniflip, Cordova Flip and Superman Seatgrab Indy Flip. Brice really seems to have returned to form after his severe injury earlier this year.
But the main bout of the evening was still to come. Villegas and Bizouard were not inclined to do each other any favours and waged a battle worthy of this decisive stage in the Freestyle Motocross World Championship. Villegas went first with Tsunami, Superman Seatgrab Indy and Suicide Flips plus Nac Underflip.
Bizouard countered with Ruler, Cliffhanger and Hart Attack Flip. The panel adjudged the Frenchman to have prevailed on the evening, thereby trimming Villegas's championship lead to 19 points.
The FMX pros then start all over again in the ERGO Arena Gdansk, vying for supremacy in the eleventh and penultimate competition in the FIM Freestyle MX World Championship. This event will also be broadcast live on Motors TV and via internet on www.NIGHToftheJUMPs.com (4pm - 5pm GMT).
FACTS NIGHT of the JUMPs - FIM Freestyle MX World Championships
Gdansk, 26th November 2011 - Round 10
Results NIGHT of the JUMPs - Final
1. Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Honda 437 Points
2. Javier Villegas CHL AMA Yamaha 429 Points
3. Brice Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 416 Points
4. Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 412 Points
5. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 395 Points
6. David Rinaldo FRA FFM Yamaha 293 Points
1. Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Honda 365 Points
2. Javier Villegas CHL AMA Yamaha 360 Points
3. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 358 Points
4. Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 344 Points
5. Brice Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 342 Points
6. David Rinaldo FRA FFM Yamaha 331 Points
7. Alastair Sayer BOT OSK Suzuki 329 Points
8. Jose Miralles ESP RFME KTM 321 Points
9. Massimo Bianconcini ITA ACCR KTM 309 Points
10. Fabian Bauersachs GER DMSB KTM 283 Points
11. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Suzuki 272 Points
12. Artur Puzio POL PZM Suzuki 175 Points
13. Michael Daciuk POL PZM Yamaha 139 Points
Results Race & Style
1. Massimo Bianconcini ITA ACCR KTM
2. Brice Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha
Results MAXXIS Highest Air
1. Massimo Bianconcini ITA ACCR KTM 8,80 Meter
2. Alastair Sayer BOT OSK Suzuki 8,80 Meter
FIM Freestyle MX World Championships Ranking (after 10th contest)
1. Javier Villegas CHL AMA Yamaha 174 Points
2. Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Yamaha 155 Points
3. Jose Miralles ESP RFME KTM 132 Points
4. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 117 Points
5. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Suzuki 104 Points
6. David Rinaldo FRA FFM Yamaha 100 Points
7. Josh Sheehan AUS MA Honda 96 Points
8. Fabian Bauersachs GER DMSB KTM 75 Points
9. Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 61 Points
10. Romain Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 52 Points
11. Massimo Bianconcini ITAL ACCR KTM 50 Points
12. Lukas Weis GER DMSB Suzuki 42 Points
13. Hannes Ackermann GER DMSB KTM 40 Points
14. Brice Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 36 Points
15. Kai Haase GER DMSB Suzuki 10 Points