FIM Freestyle MX NIGHT of the JUMPs 2015 Reaches Mid-Point

The season opener of the FIM Freestyle MX World Championship could not have been more spectacular. The trick premieres came thick and fast at the very first two NIGHT of the JUMPs in Berlin’s o2 World.

Fans got to see Maikel Melero’s Side-saddle Take-off California Roll, Petr Pilat’s Dead Body Flip and David Rinaldo’s Rock Solid Backflip for the first time at the NIGHT of the JUMPs. But, it was not enough for Rinaldo to win in Berlin despite his amazing trick. Reigning world champion Melero secured both first places with his Flair, Double Grab Flip and his Melero Roll to No-Hand Landing, which took him to the top of the championship standings.

Exactly two weeks after the world championship opener, the freestyle motocross riders contesting the NIGHT of the JUMPs came together in Krakow for world championship rounds three and four. In the absence of David Rinaldo, who was prevented from taking part by a pilots’ strike, Maikel Melero posted his third win in a row.

David Rinaldo returned to the fray in the championship battle the very next day. Without practising beforehand, the Frenchman went to the starting gate and rocked the competition with his California Roll, Double Hart Attack Flip and Volt, and they had to congratulate him on winning this fourth world championship round.

Rinaldo Holds Slim Lead over Melero in FIM Freestyle MX
Yamaha’s David Rinaldo

NIGHT of the JUMPs returned to France with an amazing field of riders after an eight-year break. With ace riders Taka Higashino (JAP), Libor Podmol (CZE), Rob Adelberg (AUS), Maikel Melero (ESP) and French FMX Stars Remi Bizouard, Brice Izzo and David Rinaldo, the stage was set for a hard fight at the French Grand Prix.

But German rider Hannes Ackermann produced the first major surprise by becoming only the second rider in the world ever to jump a backflip over the quarter pipe with an Open Loop. Higashino jumped his way into third place with his Rock Solid Indy flip. But Rinaldo finally took the home win from Melero, drawing closer to the Spanish champion in the overall standings.

The focus in the sixth competition in Basel was on world championship contenders Maikel Melero, Rob Adelberg and David Rinaldo. The Frenchman was aiming to finish on the top rung of the podium again in Switzerland and make up ground on the leader, Melero. He performed a new, highly technical combination of One-hand Take-off to Seat Grab flip to triumph in this Swiss grand prix premiere.

But the diminutive Spaniard hit back the very next day. He produced a first on the NIGHT of the JUMPs parcours – a Nac Flair on the quarter pipe – and took a well-deserved victory from Rinaldo in the second grand prix in Switzerland. And so, Rinaldo’s winning streak was stopped for the moment, while Melero extended his lead in the world championship.

The NIGHT of the JUMPs celebrated its premiere in Spain with the last race before the summer break. The extreme athletes went head-to-head for the eighth world championship contest in the bullring at Jerez. The Spanish Grand Prix was the first event of the season to be held outdoors and also the first to take place in a bullring. The way was left free for David Rinaldo after Maikel Melero crashed out badly in practice, but he had to really fight, because Libor Podmol and Remi Bizouard pulled out every trick currently in their repertoire – Volt, Ruler Flip, Cliffhanger Backflip, to name but a few. Still, Rinaldo knew how to find a reply. He executed the California Roll on his very first jump and ended his final run with the Double Hart Attack Flip.

David Rinaldo took the lead in the world championship with this triumph in Andalusia, while Maikel Melero dropped back to second place. Rob Adelberg is in third place and ready to seize his chance. These three are the hottest contenders for the 2015 world title. We’ll see who has trained the hardest during the summer break when the second half of the NIGHT of the JUMPs season kicks off in London on September 5.

FIM Freestyle MX World Championship Ranking (after 8th contest):
1. David Rinaldo FRA FFM Yamaha 134 Points
2. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 128 Points
3. Rob Adelberg AUS AMA Yamaha 120 Points
4. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Yamaha 108 Points
5. Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Kawasaki 90 Points
6. Jose Miralles ESP RFME KTM 71 Points
7. Hannes Ackermann GER DMSB KTM 57 Points
8. Brice Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 52 Points
9. James Carter USA AMA Honda 52 Points
10. Luc Ackermann GER DMSB Husqvarna 33 Points
11. Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 24 Points
12. Filip Podmol CZE ACCR Yamaha 23 Points
13. Taka Higashino JAP Yamaha 16 Points
14. Davide Rossi ITA PZM KTM 14 Points
15. Kai Haase GER DMSB Suzuki 12 Points
16. Dany Torres ESP RFME Yamaha 12 Points