The FIM Freestyle Motocross World Championship is entering a decisive phase. On Saturday 27th October, the world’s top freestyle motocross riders will convene in the Arena Riga for the Latvian Grand Prix in the NIGHT of the JUMPS series. Championship points will be awarded for the eleventh time in the current season. Total focus, a tense atmosphere and maximum adrenaline are on the agenda, as series leader Remi Bizouard goes for the win that will secure him the world title ahead of time.
But this is precisely the outcome that Libor Podmol (CZE) will be aiming to thwart. The Frenchman’s closest pursuer – 20 points adrift in the table – has already notched up three victories this year; if he can do so again, the championship decision will be deferred until the final weekend. Podmol will not be shying away from risk and will be pulling out his toughest tricks in order to maintain his mathematical chance of taking the title.
And the Czech rider can count on strong and effective support in his campaign as the strongest field ever assembled in the history of the Freestyle Motocross World Championship takes to the arena in Riga. The Top Eleven in the current NIGHT of the JUMPS world rankings have been signed up for the occasion.
Josh Sheehan makes a welcome return; the FMX Wonderboy of 2011 holds the record for back-to-back wins – seven in succession. If the Australian performs his 360 combos and mini flips in Riga, Bizouard may not cruise to victory in accustomed style. Also making their comeback to the World Championship track are 2011 world champion Javier Villegas and Maikel Melero who has been in impressive form over the summer months. All of these riders are genuine contenders for the top podium rung.
Yet another hot favourite is David Rinaldo; the Frenchman finished the last contest in third place after thrilling the crowd with a Lazyboy Flip and a Double Seatgrab Backflip. Brice Izzo (FRA) and Hannes Ackermann (GER), currently fourth and fifth respectively in the World Championship standings, will be aiming to spring a surprise or two with various new trick combinations.
Massimo Bianconcini (ITA), Red Bull rider Petr Pilat (CZE) and Jose Miralles (ESP) complete the starting line-up. The Italian rider also has his heart set on a title: if he wins the Maxxis Highest Air, he is assured of the TAG Heuer trophy.
This will be the seventh time that Riga has hosted the NIGHT of the JUMPS, but no previous event in the Latvian capital has promised to be as explosive as this one. The local fans can look forward to trick premieres by the dozen and thrills by the score as the 2012 FIM Freestyle Motocross World Championship enters the home straight.
NIGHT of the JUMPs Riga 2012
FIM Freestyle MX World Championship Round 11
27th October 2012
Arena Riga / Latvia
Remi Bizouard (FRA)
Libor Podmol (CZE)
David Rinaldo (FRA)
Brice Izzo (FRA)
Hannes Ackermann (GER)
Maikel Melero (ESP)
Massimo Bianconcini (ITA)
Jose Miralles (ESP)
Javier Villegas (CHL)
Petr Pilat (CZE)
Josh Sheehan (AUS)
FIM Freestyle MX World Championships
Ranking (after 10th contest)
1. Remi Bizouard FRA RFME Honda 192 Points
2. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Yamaha 172 Points
3. David Rinaldo FRA FFM Yamaha 132 Points
4. Brice Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 131 Points
5. Hannes Ackermann GER DMSB KTM 90 Points
6. Maikel Melero ESP RFME KTM 80 Points
7. Massimo Bianconcini ITAL PZM KTM 77 Points
8. Jose Miralles ESP RFME KTM 48 Points
9. Javier Villegas CHL FMC Yamaha 47 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. Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 33 Points
14. Martin Koren CZE ACCR KTM 29 Points
15. Aleksey Koleshnikov RUS MFR Yamaha 27 Points
16. Josh Sheehan AUS MA Honda 26 Points