2014 Linz Freestyle Motocross | NIGHT of the JUMPs Preview
A new NIGHT of the JUMPS season gets under way January 17-18, 2014. It has become almost a tradition that the first competitions of the year take place in Linz, capital of Upper Austria.
The Tips Arena will again form the backdrop for Europe’s elite freestyle motocross riders in the fight for the first European freestyle championship points of the year.
Several NIGHT of the JUMPS top guns will be on hand to mark the occasion. A total of six riders ranked in the FIM freestyle MX world championship top ten, including the two former world champions Libor Podmol (CZE, 2010) and Remi Bizouard (FRA, 2012, 2009, 2008) are in the line-up.
The Czech ace, who has been runner-up five times in all, was just pipped at the post by David Rinaldo in the last world championship competition. He will be all fired up as he heads into the new season and will be keen to lift the European title. Bizouard took that honour in the 2012 season, but he is now back after a year marred by injury and intends to win!
Victor of the previous two NIGHT of the JUMPS Maikel Melero will also be in Linz. The diminutive Spaniard won in Liberec and Sofia thanks principally to his Double Seatgrab Backflips that he will certainly repeat in the Tips Arena.
Frenchman Brice Izzo, who was 2013 World Championship bronze medallist and won the 2011 European Championship competition in Linz, will be back with us, aiming to finish on the podium at a circuit that he has previously used to such good effect.
Germany’s best FMX rider Hannes Ackermann has some fond memories of Linz from last year, as the Tips Arena is where the he achieved his first NIGHT of the JUMPS podium. This season, though, he will be in competition with younger brother Luc. The German FMX prodigy celebrated his 16th birthday January 6th and is now eligible to participate in freestyle competition. How will the three-time world record holder shape up in his first contest? We can’t wait to see!
Australian Joel Brown will also be in the Linz line-up. The Shooting Star from Down Under made his NIGHT of the JUMPS debut in China last year and now wants to make it through to his first final. Czech Red Bull Rocket Petr Pilat also has the same aim in mind.
As in previous years, entry to the NIGHT of the JUMPS main event in Linz can also be gained via the Open Qualifier which takes place on January 16th. Local rider Thomas Wirnsberger is determined to make his move into the top echelons and has put his name forward. French riders, The Volt Maxime Gregoire (FRA) and Fred Wasner (FRA), plus Martin Koren from the Czech Republic will also be fighting it out for their start tickets. Completing the line-up for the preliminaries will be the two Polish riders Radek Bilek and Artur Puzio and the Italian Leonardo Fini, who is a total newcomer.
A spectacular start to the new NIGHT of the JUMPS season is in prospect, and these star riders will put on thrilling extreme sport displays both in the freestyle competitions and in the sideshows, Maxxis Highest Air and Whip contest.
NIGHT of the JUMPs / Freestyle MX European Championship Tips Arena Linz / Austria
Field of riders
- Libor Podmol (CZE)
- Maikel Melero (ESP)
- Brice Izzo (FRA)
- Petr Pilat (CZE)
- Remi Bizouard (FRA)
- Hannes Ackermann (GER)
- Joel Brown (AUS)
- Luc Ackermann (GER)
- Martin Koren (CZE)
- Maxime Gregoire (FRA)
Thomas Wirnsberger (AUT)
Fred Wasner (FRA)
- Radek Bilek (POL)
- Artur Puzio (POL)
- Leonardo Fini (ITA)
For additional information, visit NIGHToftheJUMPs.com.