Basel, 22nd June 2013: The last NIGHT of the JUMPs before the summer break left the audience in the arena (and in front of their PC monitors) baying for more. The ten freestyle motocross stars pulled out all the stops to maximise their championship points haul before the mid-season lay-off.

The riders line up – photo: Adam Simpson

The fans in Basel’s St Jakobshalle had already been treated to some jaw-dropping feats at the qualifying stage. Kai Haase showed off some new flip combos but nearly came unstuck on his heel clickerflip over the Super Kicker, which effectively ruled him out of contention. Massimo Bianconcini seems to have recovered fully from his broken wrist and ran through his entire repertoire but could still progress no further than ninth. Hannes Ackermann was intent on making it through to the final, even pulling off a Tsunami Flip in the attempt, but an error on his heel clicker Flip left him languishing in a frustrating seventh place.

Clinton Moore had even more cause to curse his luck: the Australian was heading for a certain appearance in the final when he took a huge slam coming out of a 360 Nac, casing the landing and getting spat down to the flat. The audience let out a collective gasp but were relieved to see him back on his feet after receiving brief medical attention.

Clinton Moore moments after hitting the deck – photo: Adam Simpson 

This left the way clear for Jose Miralles, Maikel Melero, Libor Podmol, David Rinaldo, Brice Izzo and Dany Torres to book the final six places.

Before that, however, the fans were treated to a breathtaking Rockwell Watch Best Whip contest, in which German rider Kai Haase prevailed over five other entrants who all had some big whips. The Maxxis Highest Air Contest was equal in every respect, as Massimo Bianconcini and Maikel Melero pushed each other to the limit. The Italian veteran finally took the trophy, clearing the bar at 9.70 metres.

Massimo Bianconcini dominating the Maxxis highest air – photo: Oliver Franke

The grand finale was then the ultimate showdown. Miralles was the only one who seemed to have run out of steam, which became apparent when he messed up one of his tricks. Maikel Melero, however, fought like a tiger, pulling out a Double Seatgrab Flip at the closing stage of his run. But with everyone on such great form, even this was not enough for a podium finish. For Libor Podmol, it was all about hanging onto his lead in the championship standings. He hoped that his LP Special Roll, his Tsunami Flip, his signature Underflip and Seatgrab Flip would do the trick, but his chance of a podium diminished as David Rinaldo displaced him from the hot seat. The Frenchman threw a big Double Seatgrab Flip and some new variations of his tech triple combos.

Libor Podmol doing his signature underflip indy – photo: Adam Simpson

David Rinaldo throws a huge double grab flip- photo: Adam Simpson

He in turn was then forced to vacate the throne by the next Frenchman in line, as Brice Izzo put in what may well be the best run of his career to date, with perfect extension on his Tsunami, Underflip, Seatgrab Flip and Deadbody. He also undertook the maximum level of difficulty with new tricks such as the Cordova to Superflip and the Saranwrap to One-hand Seatgrab. The only contestant now blocking his path to victory was Dany Torres. The Spaniard included all his backflip combos, but for some reason left out the Rock Solid Backflip which he had been seen performing in free practice. This omission left the way clear for Brice Izzo to claim the winner’s trophy. With Rinaldo finishing as runner-up, the result was a French one-two.

Brice Izzo sending a big superflip – photo: Adam Simpson

The wider implications are that Rinaldo on 98 points has now overtaken Libor Podmol to lead the World Championship by a margin of two points. Reigning world champion Remi Bizouard, who is stuck on 72 points and trailing in fourth position, intends to be fit enough to contest the second half of the season and to mount a vigorous defence of his title.

NIGHT of the JUMPS now goes into a short summer break and will resume on 18th August with the seventh round of the FIM Freestyle MX World Championship inBeijing. Meanwhile, Swiss freestyle motocross fans should mark the weekend of 28th/29th March 2014 in their diaries. That’s when NIGHT of the JUMPs returns to the Sankt Jakobshalle inBaselfor the eighth successive year.


Highlights Edit:

Results: NIGHT of the JUMPs – Final

1. Brice Izzo    FRA   Yamaha    390 points

2. David Rinaldo    FRA   Yamaha   390 points     

3. Dany Torres   ESP    KTM   386 points

4. Libor Podmol    CZE   Yamaha  371 points

5. Maikel Melero    ESP    KTM  365 points

6. Jose Miralles     ESP    KTM   310 points


Results: MAXXIS Highest Air

1. Massimo Bianconcini     ITA     KTM     9.70 metres

3. Maikel Melero    ESP     KTM 9.50 metres

3. Kai Haase   GER    DMSB     9.00 metres


Results: ROCKWELL Best Whip Contest

1. Kai Haase    GER   Suzuki


FIM Freestyle MX World Championships

Ranking (after 6th contest)

1. David Rinaldo    FRA   Yamaha  98 points      

2. Libor Podmol   CZE   Yamaha 96 points

3. Brice Izzo   FRA   Yamaha   83 points

4. Remi Bizouard   FRA  Kawasaki  72 points

5. Dany Torres  ESP   KTM   64 points

6. Hannes Ackermann  GER  KTM  53 points

7. Jose Miralles  ESP    KTM  52 points

8. Petr Pilat  CZE  KTM 51 points

9. Maikel Melero  ESP  KTM 41 points

10. Massimo Bianconcini  ITA   KTM  39 points

11. Kai Haase   GER   Suzuki  36 points

12. Clinton Moore  AUS  Yamaha     22 points

13. Gabriel Villegas     CHL    KTM   16 points

14. Rich Kearns    USA    Kawasaki    10 points

15. Martin Koren     CZE    KTM     7 points



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