In the ninth contest of the 2012 FIM Freestyle MX World Championship, title favourite Remi Bizouard survived a strong challenge from in-form riders Maikel Melero (ESP) and Libor Podmol (CZE).
The second NIGHT of the JUMPS in Guangzhou attracted Chinese fans in even greater numbers to the Guangzhou International Sports Arena, all keen to extend an enthusiastic welcome to the world’s FMX elite. As early as the qualifying stage, it was apparent that the riders had adapted to the track and were coping with the conditions much better than the day before.
As was the case on Saturday, Aleksey Koleshnikov (RUS) and Massimo Bianconcini (ITA) failed to progress to the final. Despite putting in a good run, Germany’s finest, Hannes Ackermann, also had to concede that the competition were simply far better on the day, going out as eighth-placed contestant. Also relegated to the role of spectators were Jose Miralles (ESP) and Brice Izzo (FRA), which obviously represented something of a comedown for such otherwise regular finalists. But at the same time, it just goes to show how well matched the world’s leading riders have become and that no-one has a divine right to inclusion in the last six any more. Brice Izzo was at least able to console himself with a victory in the Race and Style contest.
Booking a place in the top six alongside the French duo of Remi Bizouard and David Rinaldo were the two Czech freestylers Libor Podmol and Petr Pilat. The other finalists were Maikel Melero (ESP) and Josh Sheehan (AUS); the Australian had put in a phenomenal run in the preliminary heat which sent him through to the final as competition leader.
After the half-time break, the MAXXIS Highest Air contest got the crowd warmed up for what was to come. Once again, Massimo Bianconcini proved that he is the current benchmark of excellence in this particular discipline; he has now banked a virtually unassailable 20-point lead.
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In his first World Championship final since suffering a 17-fold fracture of the foot, Petr Pilat had to settle for sixth; David Rinaldo, Libor Podmol and Maikel Melero easily edged past the young Czech. Last but one to start his run was the man who continues to dominate the World Championship, Remi Bizouard. With an impeccable run that earned him 409 points, he installed himself on the hot seat. The last man out of the blocks was Josh Sheehan. His first tricks oozed the usual class, but in his otherwise strong Lazyboy Flip, he revealed an uncertainty that cost him valuable points and was ultimately to deny him the podium to which he had aspired. So in the end, fifth place was the best he could manage.
Remi Bizouard has succeeded in further bolstering his cushion in the championship standings. But the Frenchman knows that the slightest slipup in the forthcoming rounds of the competition could allow his rivals back into contention. The tenth FIM Freestyle MX World Championships comes around as early as next weekend. And when the world’s best freestylers next compete in the La Monumental bullring in Barcelona, this will be a home fixture for Jose Miralles.
(Calling all armchair fans: Motors TV will be showing the highlights of the China weekend next Saturday, 22nd September at 7pm. The broadcast then switches immediately to live coverage of NIGHT of the JUMPS from Barcelona, followed by the NIGHT of the JUMPs Summer Special – in total, more than 3½ hours of the finest NIGHT of the JUMPS action.)
FACTS NIGHT of the JUMPs – FIM Freestyle MX World Championships
Guangzhou, 16th September 2012 – Round 9
Results NIGHT of the JUMPs – Final
1. Remi Bizouard FRA RFME Honda 409 Points
2. Maikel Melero ESP RFME KTM 404 Points
3. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Yamaha 392 Points
4. David Rinaldo FRA FFM Yamaha 389 Points
5. Josh Sheehan AUS MA Honda 386 Points
6. Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 355 Points
1. Josh Sheehan AUS MA Honda 360 Points
2. Remi Bizouard FRA RFME Honda 359 Points
3. Maikel Melero ESP RFME KTM 356 Points
4. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Yamaha 351 Points
5. David Rinaldo FRA FFM Yamaha 342 Points
6. Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 337 Points
7. Brice Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 322 Points
8. Hannes Ackermann GER DMSB KTM 317 Points
9. Jose Miralles ESP RFME KTM 309 Points
10. Massimo Bianconcini ITAL PZM KTM 294 Points
11. Aleskey Koleshnikov RUS MFR Yamaha 255 Points
Results Race and Style Contest
1. Brice Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha
Results MAXXIS Highest Air
1. Massimo Bianconcini ITA 8,00 Meter
2. Maikel Melero ESP 7,50 Meter
3. Libor Podmol CZE 6,50 Meter
4. Josh Sheehan AUS -
FIM Freestyle MX World Championships
Ranking (after 9th contest)
1. Remi Bizouard FRA RFME Honda 172 Points
2. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Yamaha 154 Points
3. Brice Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 121 Points
4. David Rinaldo FRA FFM Yamaha 116 Points
5. Maikel Melero ESP RFME KTM 80 Points
6. Hannes Ackermann GER DMSB KTM 78 Points
7. Massimo Bianconcini ITAL PZM KTM 71 Points
8. Javier Villegas CHL FMC Yamaha 47 Points
9. Jose Miralles ESP RFME KTM 39 Points
10. Lukas Weis GER DMSB Suzuki 38 Points
11. Ivan Zucconi ITA PZM KTM 37 Points
12. Clinton Moore AUS MA Yamaha 34 Points
13. Aleksey Koleshnikov RUS MFR Yamaha 27 Points
14. Josh Sheehan AUS MA Honda 26 Points
15. Martin Koren CZE ACCR KTM 21 Points
16. Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 19 Points