2014 Linz FMX | Yamaha’s Podmol Wins with Cliffhanger Backflip

Yamaha's Libor Podmol

Yamaha’s Libor Podmol at Linz Freestyle Motocross NIGHT of the JUMPs

2014 Linz Freestyle Motocross | NIGHT of the JUMPs Results

NIGHT of the JUMPS emerged from its winter break last Friday, as 12 FMX drivers from six countries went head to head during the season opener of the world’s oldest and most important sporting freestyle motocross series in the Tips Arena Linz, battling to secure the first points in the European Freestyle MX Championship.

The eight seeded riders – Libor Podmol (CZE) Brice Izzo (FRA), Maikel Melero (SP), Remi Bizouard (FRA), Petr Pilat (CZE), Bianconcini (ITA), Luc Ackermann (GER) and Joel Brown (AUS) – were joined by four riders who actually ought to have gone through pre-qualification.

However, since local Austrian rider Thomas Wirnsberger crashed in practice and retired, those riders who had not pre-qualified – Maxime Gregoire (FRA), Fred Wasner (FRA), Leonardo Fini (ITA) and Martin Koren (CZE) – automatically went through to join the field of starters.

The kicker ramp turned out to be a ‘killer ramp’ for some riders in this first competition of the year. To begin with, Martin Koren crashed after his first trick, and then Luc Ackermann also over-rotated his Nac Flip on the short ramp and crashed out. Neither of them was injured, luckily, but it meant they had to forget the final. It was all over too for Fred Wasner after a dead sailor in his run after the preliminary round.

Joel Brown, making his European debut, had a really good run that would almost have been enough to reach the finals but was outclassed by veteran rider Bianconcini after performing weaker Double-up tricks. Remi Bizouard, Brice Izzo, Libor Podmol, Peter Pilat and Maikel Melero also went through to the final along with the Italian.

Maxim Gregoire and Bianconcini gave the audience no time to relax, as they went at it hammer and tongs in the Rockwell Watch Best Whip. Ultimately, though, the Frenchman showed the best whips and deserved to win.

His victory only served to spur Massimo on even more in Maxxis Highest Air, or so it seemed. The serial winner was up against Melero and Lukas Weis. Melero mastered every hurdle but then failed at 7.70 meters and almost came down next to the hill. The Italian successfully jumped this height, adding another step-up victory to his tally.

Massimo’s battle continued immediately afterwards in the final. He displayed his best tricks to clinch sixth place. Three-time world champion Remi Bizouard went all-out to improve, performing his Ruler Flip, Cliffhanger Flip and Hart Attack Flip and appeared to have the judges on his side.

They rewarded Remi with third place, which put Red Bull rider Petr Pilat very much on the back foot. The Czech rider produced the best run of his NIGHT of the JUMPS career with many new combos but came away empty-handed in fourth place.

And then Podmol, who had some minor issues on his qualifying run, pulled off a perfect final show. With an incredible Cliffhanger Backflip to No Hand Landing, the Czech rider impressed the judges so much that not even Maikel Melero’s Surfer to Tsunami and Double Seat Grab Flip were enough to dislodge Podmol from the hot seat.

This victory at the season opener bumped Podmol up into lead position in the Freestyle MX European Championship, but that could quickly change tomorrow when the next European Championship points will be awarded at the second NIGHT of the JUMPS event in Linz.

2014 NIGHT of the JUMPs/Freestyle MX European Championships Round 1 at Linz Results:
1. Libor Podmol    CZE ACCR Yamaha    384 Points
2. Maikel Melero            ESP    RFME        Yamaha    383 Points
3. Remi Bizouard            FRA    FFM        Kawasaki    375 Points
4. Petr Pilat            CZE    ACCR        KTM        373 Points
5. Brice Izzo            FRA    FFM        Yamaha    343 Points
6. Massimo Bianconcini        ITA    PZM        KTM        302 Points

Results Qualification:
1. Maikel Melero            ESP    RFME        Yamaha    340 Points
2. Petr Pilat            CZE    ACCR        KTM        323 Points
3. Libor Podmol            CZE    ACCR        Yamaha    321 Points
4. Brice Izzo            FRA    FFM        Yamaha    306 Points
5. Remi Bizouard            FRA    FFM        Kawasaki    294 Points
6. Massimo Bianconcini        ITA    PZM        KTM        293 Points
7. Joel Brown            AUS    MA        Yamaha    285 Points
8. Maxime Gregoire        FRA    FFM        Yamaha    279 Points
9. Leonardo Fini            ITA    PZM        KTM        222 Points
10. Fred Wasner            FRA    FFM        Yamaha    198 Points
11. Martin Koren            CZE    ACCR        KTM        172 Points
12. Luc Ackermann        GER    DMSB        KTM          10 Points

Results Rockwell Watch Whip Contest:
1. Maxime Gregoire        FRA    FFM        Yamaha
2. Massimo Bianconcini        ITA    PZM        KTM

Maxxis Highest-Air:
1. Massimo Bianconcini        ITA    PZM        KTM        7,70 Meter
2. Maikel Melero            ESP    RFME        KTM        7,50 Meter
3. Lukas Weis            GER    DMSB        Kawasaki    7,30 Meter

Freestyle MX European Championships Ranking (after 1st contest):
1. Libor Podmol            CZE    ACCR        Yamaha    20 Points
2. Maikel Melero            ESP    RFME        Yamaha    18 Points
3. Remi Bizouard            FRA    FFM        Kawasaki    16 Points
4. Petr Pilat            CZE    ACCR        KTM        14 Points
5. Brice Izzo            FRA    FFM        Yamaha    12 Points
6. Massimo Bianconcini        ITA    PZM        KTM        10 Points
7. Joel Brown            AUS    MA        Yamaha      9 Points
8. Maxime Gregoire        FRA    FFM        Yamaha      8 Points
9. Leonardo Fini            ITA    PZM        KTM          7 Points
10. Fred Wasner            FRA    FFM        Yamaha      6 Points
11. Martin Koren            CZE    ACCR        KTM          5 Points
12. Luc Ackermann        GER    DMSB        KTM          4 Points

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