The NIGHT of the JUMPS summer break will end with a bang on 17th and 18th August, when the best freestyle motocross riders storm into China’s capital for the first time. After last year’s ‘dress rehearsal’ in Guangzhou, over 2,000km away, the FIM freestyle MX world championship is now coming to the Beijing MasterCard Centre with a double bill of races on the programme.
The riders are all eager after the nearly two-month break to let fly with their newly rehearsed and refined tricks under the Centre’s high roof and win over the judges. Every one of them knows that there is now no room for error and that they must be on top form to stay in the championship fight.
Bad news for all Remi Bizouard fans. The world champion has still not recovered from his injury and has had to cancel his championship comeback in Beijing, which will diminish his chances of defending his title.
No Remi – photo: Oliver Franke / NOTJ
However, Petr Pilat is back out of hospital. The Czech rider has dropped down to 8th place but intends to move up the field with a veritable cornucopia of tricks. Brice Izzo is also out of contention. The winner of the second Swiss Grand Prix has unfortunately broken his foot and will not be appearing in Beijing. Nor will Josh Sheehan be able to make his scheduled trip to Beijing as he broke his collarbone riding with the Red Bull X-Fighters in Madrid. Still, the Chinese FMX fans can look forward to American boy James Carter, who recently produced such spectacular runs.
James Carter – photo: Oliver Franke / NOTJ
David Rinaldo currently holds all the aces in the battle for the FIM Freestyle MX World Championship crown. The diminutive Frenchman leads the standings on 98 points and could be out in front for a good while if he can repeat his recent, brilliant performances However, Podmol is just two points behind him, waiting to pounce. The 2010 world champion is well versed in all the tricks of the trade and ready to knock Rinaldo from his perch.
Libor Podmol – photo: Oliver Franke / NOTJ
Red Bull’s top rider Dany Torres will also make his bid for the top spot. After all, the Spaniard is in it to win it at the NIGHT of the JUMPS and become world champion. He has a chance, but in actual fact, would need a brace of victories in China in order to reduce the deficit on the two front-runners.
Hannes Ackermann will be representing Germany in Beijing. After briefly being on the back foot in Basel in the world championship fight, he upped his game on the second day and is currently in sixth position.
Two riders will make their NIGHT of the JUMPS debuts in Beijing – Joel Brown and Cameron Hermansen. It will be interesting to see what tricks the two Australians have in their repertoires. Brown in particular caused a stir recently by winning the inaugural Australian FMX Championship.
Massimo Bianconcini, Jose Miralles and Maikel Melero complete the line-up. All eyes will be on Melero in particular, since we can expect him to produce the Double Grab Flip and perhaps even a touch of the flair that he recently showed in Madrid. Bianconcini will be out to set a new record in Maxxis Highest Air and extend his lead in the overall standings.
And last but not least, a female rider is also about to storm into China’s capital and capture the hearts of all freestyle motocross fans. Emma McFerran will fly in from Australia to become the first woman FMX rider to take part in a qualification run (outside of the competition). So, it just remains for us to say: “Ni hao Beijing!”
NIGHT of the JUMPs Beijing 2013
FIM Freestyle MX World Championship, Rounds 7 & 8
David Rinaldo (France)
Libor Podmol (Czech Republic)
Dany Torres (Spain)
Hannes Ackermann (Germany)
Jose Miralles (Spain)
Petr Pilat (Czech Republic)
Maikel Melero (Spain)
Massimo Bianconcini (Italy)
James Carter (USA)
Joel Brown (Australia)
Cameron Hermansen (Australia)
plus Emma McFerran (Australia)
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