2014 FMX NIGHT of the JUMPs Linz Review
“Another day, another dollar” was what riders contesting the second Freestyle MX European Championship competition were no doubt thinking. Unfortunately, after Friday’s NIGHT of the JUMPS opener, only nine FMX riders were left in Saturday’s line-up.
Martin Koren (CZE) and Luc Ackermann (GER) suffered injury yesterday, and Fred Wasner’s (FRA) luck ran out during the afternoon. As a result, the chances of the remaining motocrossers securing one of the coveted six finalist positions were much improved.
The same bunch of riders as on Friday – Podmol (CZE), Remi Bizouard (FRA), Maikel Melero (SP), Petr Pilat (CZE) and Brice Izzo (FRA) – made it through into the final round. Massimo Bianconcini (ITA) found himself very much on the back foot compared to young Australian Joel Brown (AUS), who had already won a place through to the final yesterday on his European NIGHT of the JUMPS debut.
Maxime Gregoire (FRA) was crowned King of the Whips in Linz despite failing to get further than qualifying on both days. The Frenchman produced the hardest whips on both days and thoroughly deserved to win the Rockwell Watch Best Whip.
Victory in Maxxis Highest Air was firmly in Italian hands. However, record holder Bianconcini had to share Saturday’s triumph with Maikel Melero, who also successfully jumped 9.10 metres.
Spectators at the finale of the second round of the Freestyle MX European Championship Tips Arena in Linz, which was sold-out, were treated to some high-octane action. The crowd’s favourite Petr Pilat secured a podium. The Red Bull rider won over the Linz fans with his Side Saddle Take Off Candybar Flip to Side Saddle Landing and with his really energetic performance, riding faultlessly in spite of his 1.90-metre stature.
And the Czech rider only narrowly missed his first NIGHT of the JUMPS victory, because judges placed fellow Czech Podmol just in front by a whisker. Once again, it was Podmol’s double-up trick, the Cliffhanger Flip to No Hand Landing that he displayed yesterday that put the shine on his round. Pilat on the other hand ‘only’ managed a Tsunami Flip on his last jump, putting the seal on a Czech double victory.
Brice Izzo finished in third place as best Frenchman, while Remi Bizouard came away empty handed in fourth position despite executing a Cliff Hanger, Ruler and Hart Attack Backflip.
The two Czech riders head the overall standings in the Freestyle MX European championship. Podmol leads on 40 points, closely followed by Pilat on 32 points. Melero and Bizouard are in joint third place with 30 points.
The freestyle motocrossers have no time at all to relax, though, since the next two European NIGHT of the JUMPS championships competitions will be staged this weekend in the Stadthalle, Graz (January 25th-26th 2014).
2014 Linz NIGHT of the JUMPs/Freestyle MX European Championships Night 2 Results:
1. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Yamaha 376 Points
2. Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 370 Points
3. Brice Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 363 Points
4. Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Kawasaki 355 Points
5. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 353 Points
6. Joel Brown AUS MA Yamaha 328 Points
1. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Yamaha 341 Points
2. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 339 Points
3. Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 333 Points
4. Brice Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 320 Points
5. Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Kawasaki 315 Points
6. Joel Brown AUS MA Yamaha 293 Points
7. Massimo Bianconcini ITA PZM KTM 282 Points
8. Maxime Gregoire FRA FFM Yamaha 264 Points
9. Leonardo Fini ITA PZM KTM 262 Points
Results Rockwell Watch Whip Contest:
1. Maxime Gregoire FRA FFM Yamaha
2. Massimo Bianconcini ITA PZM KTM
1. Massimo Bianconcini ITA PZM KTM 9,10 Meter
Maikel Melero ESP RFME KTM 9,10 Meter
Freestyle MX European Championships Ranking (after 2nd contest):
1. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Yamaha 40 Points
2. Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 32 Points
3. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 30 Points
Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Kawasaki 30 Points
5. Brice Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 28 Points
6. Massimo Bianconcini ITA PZM KTM 19 Points
Joel Brown AUS MA Yamaha 19 Points
8. Maxime Gregoire FRA FFM Yamaha 16 Points
9. Leonardo Fini ITA PZM KTM 14 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