The World Champion is back: Rinaldo wins Day Two of NIGHT of the JUMPs in Shenzhen
Shenzhen, 2nd November 2014: A double bill of FMX Grand Prix took place this weekend in Shenzhen. The Chinese metropolis (10 million inhabitants) hosted the seventh and eight rounds of the FIM Freestyle MX World Championship. Eleven riders lined up for Sunday’s competition in the local sports stadium.
A strong wind was blowing throughout the qualifying stage, which made life difficult for the contestants. Petr Pilat was the first to show signs of nervousness as he crashed on his first jump. But he jumped right back on his bike and thrilled the crowd with his proprietary Dead Body Flip. Next up was current championship leader Maikel Melero who landed in the dirt on his seventh jump. That brought his participation to an untimely end. Libor Podmol stumbled on his Cordova Flip, but retrieved the run with some great combos to qualify fourth.
Meanwhile, Remi Bizouard, Rob Adelberg and David Rinaldo seemed untroubled by the conditions and booked the top three slots in the final. Brice Izzo and Hannes Ackermann were less impressive than on Saturday but made it through nonetheless.
Luc Ackermann narrowly missed out on his first world championship final, but that only seemed to increase his motivation for the Rockwell Best Whip contest. There was a minor sensation here, with the 16-year-old German beating three-time FMX world champion Remi Bizouard. Both performed extravagant whips, but the judges ultimately decided in Luc’s favour by a wafer-thin margin.
The Maxxis Highest Air once again turned into a showdown between Massimo Bianconcini and Jose Miralles. The bar was gradually raised to 10.00 metres, at which point Jose dislodged it, leaving Massimo to lift the trophy.
Hannes Ackermann opened the final with a Rowdova Flip and his new ‘Porti Air’, a display that was good enough to overtake Brice Izzo whose run had to be repeatedly interrupted because of the gusty conditions. Podmol reprised his Surfer Takeoff Flip to remove Ackermann from the hot seat. The Czech occupied it until the last of the finalists completed his run, as neither Remi Bizouard nor Rob Adelberg managed to outscore him. But his time was up when David Rinaldo executed an ultra-extended Doublegrab Flip followed by a California Roll. So the evening ended with Rinaldo in first place ahead of Podmol and Adelberg.
Maikel Melero continues to lead the FMX World Championship on 120 points, but his margin over Libor Podmol has now shrunk to six. So there is still everything to play for in the final two rounds of the championship.
The 2014 FIM Freestyle MX World Champion will be crowned at the Festhalle in Frankfurt on the weekend of 21st/22nd November. Because of a clash of dates in Sofia (Bulgaria) and also the ongoing Ebola crisis in West Africa, the events scheduled for those locations have had to be cancelled or postponed to next year. Consequently, the NIGHT of the JUMPs weekend in Frankfurt has been upgraded to another double bill of championship contests, and the series will be decided on German soil.