Monday Jun 20, 2011

Sheehan wins Night of the Jumps in Russia

On Sunday, the Russian city of Penza witnessed the gigantic climax to a mega weekend of international freestyle motocross. Once again, the rugby stadium was completely sold out. Over 10,000 visitors flocked to the two FIM Freestyle MX World Championship competitions held in the context of NIGHT of the JUMPs. On the second day too, Josh Sheehan (AUS) flipped his way to victory and became FMX tsar of Russia. What’s more, this sixth victory in succession sets a new record for NIGHT of the JUMPs.

Just like 24 hours before, 15 freestyle motocross riders from seven countries embarked on a qualifying mission. The trio of Russian FMX motorcycling cosmonauts were even more impressive second time round, but it still wasn’t enough to get any of them into the final. Causing a stir by going out at the same stage were two-time world champion Remi Bizouard (FRA) and reigning champion Libor Podmol (CZE). The Frenchman did not perform any of his more daring flip combinations, while the Czech rider forgot one of his tricks. The fans also had to bid a fond farewell to Massimo Bianconcini (ITA), Romain Izzo (FRA), Lukas Weis (GER) and Hannes Ackermann (GER) after the preliminary round. Ackermann was injured on his second jump, while Weis and Bianconcini made decent runs that got them no further. Which meant that Fabian Bauersachs (GER), David Rinaldo (FRA), Jose Miralles (ESP), Maikel Melero (ESP), Javier Villegas (CHL) and Josh Sheehan were the six names going forward into final.

The crowd erupted when local hero Michael Yarygin prevailed against Josh Sheehan in the Whip Contest. Maikel Melero was once again unassailable in the Maxxis High Air.

Fabian Bauersachs opened Sunday’s grand finale with a clean run which earned him a creditable sixth place. Jose Miralles stuck to his usual routine, which left him no better off than his qualifying position of fifth. David Rinaldo showed off all his best tricks, such as Airplane and Double Seatgrab Flip, to convert a qualifying P4 into a P2 podium. Maikel Melero also charmed the judges to take the third podium spot. Javier Villegas, however, had to settle for an unaccustomed fourth place: although he pulled out all the toughest tricks in his repertoire, it wasn’t enough to get him into the Top 3 today.

But reigning supreme once again was Australia’s secret FMX weapon, Josh Sheehan, who performed 360s and flips as if they were second nature and dominated the whole field of riders with sheer perfection of style.

This second victory at the Russian Grand Prix has propelled Sheehan to sixth in the FIM Freestyle MX World Championship standings. Still heading the table is Villegas with an 18-point lead over Jose Miralles. Meanwhile, Remi Bizouard has slipped back to third.

NIGHT of the JUMPs now begins a four-month summer break and will return on 22nd October with the eighth round of the FIM Freestyle MX World Championship in Riga.

FACTS NIGHT of the JUMPs – FIM Freestyle MX World Championships

Penza, June, 19th 2011 – Round 7

Results NIGHT of the JUMPs – Final

1. Josh Sheehan                 AUS    MA              Honda                  482 points

2. David Rinaldo                  FRA    FFM             Yamaha       440 points

3. Maikel Melero                  ESP    RFME           Yamaha       430 points

4. Javier Villegas                 CHL    AMA            Yamaha       426 points

5. Jose Miralles          ESP    RFME           KTM            413 points

6. Fabian Bauersachs  GER    DMSB          KTM            358 points

Channels: FMX


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