Bulgaria NIGHT of the JUMPs Kicks Off 2015 FIM Freestyle MX
Maikel Melero

Bulgaria NIGHT of the JUMPS Preview

The new NIGHT of the JUMPs season kicks off in Bulgaria on Jan. 10, 2015. Eleven freestyle motocross aces from four different continents will fight for vital points towards their NIGHT of the JUMPs world ranking in Sofia’s Arena Armeec.

Not just one but three world champions will be in the line up to mark the beginning of the season – Maikel Melero (ESP), David Rinaldo (FRA) and Javier Villegas (CO). For Villegas, this will be his first NIGHT of the JUMPs contest since 2012.

Spaniard Maikel Melero won the 2014 FIM Freestyle MX world championship but had to admit defeat on the day to David Rinaldo in the last race of the season. The Frenchman dominated the field with a Double Grab flip and a California Roll. It will be interesting to see if Melero can leave Rinaldo behind again in Sofia.

A big question mark hangs over Javier Villegas. Can the 2011 world champion regain his old form or will the young guns leave him for dust as far as tricks go?

Two Australians – Rob Adelberg and Steve Sommerfeld – will join the line‑up in Sofia. Adelberg placed fourth and narrowly missed finishing on the podium in the 2014 FMX world championship. His name should figure on the list of favourites at the Bulgarian NIGHT of the JUMPs. Sommerfeld will be making his series debut in the Arena Armeec and so, probably only has an outside chance of reaching the finals.

Another Frenchman, Brice Izzo (FRA), also joins the field of starters. The 2010 world championship runner-up has more big plans for the new season and intends to show just what he can do. The same applies to Spaniard Jose Miralles, another former championship runner-up. He is also keen to demonstrate that he is not yet quite ready for the scrap heap.

The 2015 season should be a pivotal year for Petr Pilat as well. The Czech rider executed a number trick premieres last season, including Sidesattle Take‑off to Sidesattle Landing Flip. He too would love to end the season on the world championship podium. A good start to the year would see him well on his way.

For the first time in NIGHT of the JUMPs history, not a single German rider will be among the competitors. Still, another good old American boy is in the line-up for the first time in ages to make up for that. James Carter, winner of the X-pilots tour in Mexico aims to finally show a European audience his repertoire of amazing jumps that he hopes will see him finish on the podium.

Russian rider Nick Ivankov is also in the line-up. He has had several outings in the NIGHT of the JUMPs but has never progressed beyond the preliminary rounds. However, some photos of the Russian’s latest tricks have been seen on the internet recently, so let’s see if he can now make it through to the finals.

High-jump specialist Bianconcini from Italy completes the field of riders for the first NIGHT of the JUMPs of 2015.

So, spectators in Sofia’s Arena Armeec can look forward to a spectacular season opener with riders performing many new tricks that have never been seen before in Bulgaria.

NIGHT of the JUMPs Sofia 2015 Rider List:

  • Maikel Melero (ESP)
  • David Rinaldo (FRA)
  • Rob Adelberg (AUS)
  • Brice Izzo (FRA)
  • Petr Pilat (CZE)
  • Javier Villegas (CHL)
  • James Carter (USA)
  • Jose Miralles (ESP)
  • Massimo Bianconcini (ITA)
  • Steve Sommerfeld (AUS)
  • Nick Ivankov (RUS)