Spectators were treated to some spectacular Maxxis Highest Air contests during the first half of the FIM Freestyle MX world championship season. Once again in 2015, overall standings and a world championship contest are a feature of the competition.
A humdinger of a battle has broken out this year between Spaniard Jose Miralles and Italian rider Bianconcini who has already won the competition several times; ‘El Loco’ Miralles leads Bianconcini by four points at the top of the rankings after the first half of the season.The Italian had to fight right from the start at the season opener in Berlin when Kai Haase almost clinched victory in front of a home crowd. But the Italian Stallion was able to catch the Berlin-based rider on both days with his final attempt to triumph with a 9.00 meter and a 9.50 meter jump.The Italian step-up king then had a really bad time in Maxxis Highest Air at the NIGHT of the JUMPs in Krakow. He cracked at the very first level and dropped out. So, Jose Miralles took his first win of the season just ahead of young German rider Luc Ackermann. But Bianconcini counterattacked on the second day in Poland and defeated the Spaniard with 8.00 meters to retain the lead in the overall standings for the moment.The two championship contenders ratcheted things up a fair few notches at the NIGHT of the JUMPs premiere in Tours, jumping higher and higher. They both easily bested 9.50 metres. However, the Italian failed twice at 10.00 meters, while Miralles conquered the hurdle to secure victory in Maxxis Highest Air at the French world championship grand prix. That enabled El Loco to gain ground on Bianco once again in the overall standings.The two world championship competitions in Switzerland took place without 2014 overall winner Bianconcini. Jose Miralles used the opportunity to the full and consigned fellow Spanish rider Melero to second place by jumping 9.00 metres. Jose Miralles did not initially look like he could win this Maxxis Highest Air contest when his attempt at jumping the opening height on the second day failed. He improved, however, beating Maikel Melero in a thrilling final. So, Miralles took the lead in the overall standings of the 2015 Maxxis Highest Air contest.However, the Italian X-Games silver medal winner struck back at the final competition of the first half of the season. Jose Miralles was a strong opponent, setting the bar ever higher to leave Massimo trailing for a time. But the Italian found a reply after a failed attempt to eventually win the competition with 9.00 metres. He was thus able to reduce the gap to four points in the overall standings, but Miralles is still top dog on 28 points. The second half to the season in Maxxis Highest Air during the 2015 NIGHT of the JUMPs now promises to be something really special.MAXXIS Highest Air 2015 Overall Ranking1: Jose Miralles, ESP KTM 28 Points 2: Massimo Bianconcini, ITA KTM 24 Points 3: Maikel Melero, ESP KTM 7 Points 4: Kai Haase, GER Suzuki 6 Points 5: Luc Ackermann, GER KTM 3 Points 6: Davide Rossi, ITA KTM 2 Points
KTM RC 390 and Gordon McCall of Quail Motorcycle Gathering
byMotos and Friends by Ultimate Motorcycle
Hello and welcome once again to Ultimate Motorcycling’s weekly Podcast—Motos and Friends.
This week’s Podcast is brought to you by Yamaha motorcycles. Discover how the YZF-R7 provides the perfect balance of rider comfort and true supersport performance by checking it out at YamahaMotorsports.com, or see it for yourself at your local dealer.
This week features Senior Editor Nic de Sena’s impressions of the new KTM RC 390. The entry-level KTM has always been an impressive motorcycle that has sold extremely well, however the factory has now taken the bike to another level, with top-spec features that are typically found on flagship machines. Clearly KTM has realized that even smaller engined machines should have high spec suspension, brakes and electronics packages. Nic tells us how well the new RC 390 is equipped, and what he thought of riding the smaller displacement rocket.
In the second segment I chat with automotive and motorcycle industry icon, Gordon McCall. Gordon is the Director of Motorsports at the Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel Valley, California.
This weekend of Saturday May 14th sees the annual Quail Motorcycle Gathering re-start after its Covid-forced hiatus, and having attended every one of the previous Motorcycle Gatherings, personally I’m very happy that the event is back on the schedule. Gordon chats about the event and a little of what’s happening this year. It’s a great event and if you feel like a trip to the gorgeous Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley, you’ll get to meet Gordon, Roland Sands, and of course a large number of stunning motorcycles too.
From all of us at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!