After three years, NIGHT of the JUMPs returned to Riga on Saturday night, bringing the longest running Freestyle Motocross sports series in the world to the Latvian capital. The eighth round took place in the Arena Riga in front of a loud audience. After their crash-related failures at the last round of the World Championship in Cologne, Remi Bizouard and Maikel Melero returned to competition against all odds. The three-time World Champion from France was still not fully fit with his broken hand and only collected a few points with three whips. In contrast, the World Championship points leader from Spain showed many of his big tricks and made it through qualifying and into the final round without any problems.
Libor Podmol won the Qualification round with a big lead, thanks to his California Roll in the Double Up. Rob Adelberg (AUS) showed a clean run to make it through to the final as well as Petr Pilat (CZE) and Brice Izzo (FRA). The biggest surprise of the preliminary round was Pat Bowden from Australia who showed his super stretched out Ruler Flip and Hart Flip.
Pat Bowden then made it through to the final of the LifeProof Best Whip contest. He was up against the local hero and underdog, Kalvis Skrastins in possibly the tightest battle of the season. Before the Whip competition however, the local Skrastins also showed his first backflip on Latvian soil. Ultimately, Krastins had the home town crowd behind him as they pushed their new national hero to victory.
In the Maxxis Highest Air competition, it was again a duel between Massimo Bianconcini and Libor Podmol. Again, it was very close but they weren’t able to jump over the 10 metre mark set in Cologne at the last round. Both riders jumped over 8.00 metres and shared the victory.
The final run took place between Rob Adelberg, Libor Podmol and Maikel Melero. Adelberg put together a really clean run with his Tsunami and Cliffhanger Flip plus the California Roll. He made it to the Hot Seat but wasn’t able to hold it long after Melero brought almost his “A” Game to the final despite his bruised hand. Only Libor Podmol remained to snatch the victory from the World Championship leader in Riga. Podmol put together an impressive run including the Tsunami Flip, Cliffhanger Flip, California Roll, LP Roll, Egg Roll and more. With these tricks he would have battled with Maikel for the victory but on the Double Up jump at the end of his run, he crashed hard on the Volt body varial. Melero won his seventh World Championship round of the season in front of Rob Adelberg and Petr Pilat.
The overall results after the Riga World Championship round now have Maikel Melero in the lead with 140 points ahead of the newly second placed rider, Rob Adelberg (110 points). Melero and Bizouard can now rest their injured hands for two weeks before the next round on the 29th and 30th of October when the World Championships continue with the 9th and 10th rounds. The best FMX riders from NIGHT of the JUMPs will fly to China, where the two Chinese rounds will take place in the Shenzhen Football Stadium.
Results NIGHT of the JUMPs – Final
- Maikel Melero ESP RFME KTM 390 Points
- Rob Adelberg AUS MA Yamaha 379 Points
- Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 360 Points
- Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Yamaha 336 Points
- Brice Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 322 Points
- Pat Bowden AUS MA Yamaha 313 Points
FIM Freestyle MX World Championship Ranking (after 8th round)
- Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 140 Points
- Rob Adelberg AUS MA Yamaha 122 Points
- Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Kawasaki 106 Points
- Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 99 Points
- David Rinaldo FRA FFM Yamaha 96 Points
- Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Yamaha 70 Points
- Brice Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 59 Points
- Luc Ackermann GER DMSB Husqvarna 55 Points
- Pat Bowden AUS MA Yamaha 55 Points
- Jose Miralles ESP RFME KTM 49 Points
- Hannes Ackermann GER DMSB KTM 46 Points
- Marc Pinyol ESP RFME Yamaha 33 Points