Double victory for Melero in Berlin

 

Two days of Freestyle Motocross action came to a dramatic end on Saturday night in the German Capital in front of 17,000 spectators over the 2 days with Maikel Melero continuing his record winning streak at NIGHT of the JUMPs.

The German riders opened the night motivated by bad luck from the day before with one making it to the final. Hannes Ackermann showed a solid run despite his ongoing shoulder injury inhibiting his normal performance. However it was the younger brother, Luc Ackermann who helped the Berlin crowd erupt early when he brought some of the biggest tricks in the game to his run including the Surfer take off to Tsunami Flip, the 360 and Flair to make it to fourth place and make it to the finals.

Remi Bizouard, Rob Adelberg, David Rinaldo, Maikel Melero and Petr Pilat would repeat their performances to make it to the Top 6 as they did the day before. However it was Melero’s Flip-Deadsailor in his run that would surprise the judges and had him sitting in fifth place. A position the Spaniard didn’t expect after his previous nights win. Also the second Australian finalist from the previous day, Pat Bowden missed the final in seventh place. However he would not have been able to continue due to suffering a shoulder injury on the landing of his first ever California Roll in competition. A bitter-sweet ending for the Aussie.

Due to the injury to the LifeProof Best Whip winner the previous night, Luc Ackermann who is Bowden’s training partner, would go on to take the win. The German whipped it hard on home soil narrowly in front of Remi Bizouard.

The final rounds began with Petr Pilat showing a near perfect run filled with a variety of Backflip Combo’s and also throwing in the Barhop to Steriliser landing. Petr was the first rider on the Hot Seat but he wouldn’t stay there for long, with Maikel Melero requiring him to vacate his position immediately. Melero showed a flawless run with the Egg Roll, Double Grab Flip, Nac-Nac Flair and California roll to finish with a near unbeatable 463 points.

Maikel Melero and Remi Bizouard on the podium in Berlin

The 18 year old German started his run like a bull at a gate, showing the Flair, Surfer Tsunami Flip, 360, Seat Grab Flip and One-hand take off Tsunami and California Roll in the Double Up. He finished in fourth and narrowly missed the podium. This was also due to David Rinaldo showing a great run but missing his Backflip Combo in the Double Up which really hurt his score putting him back to 6th place.

Neither Rob Adelberg nor Remi Bizouard with their Egg Roll tricks and Body Varials were able to take down Maikel Melero. Both were satisfied with their positions and recognised that Melero was on the next level with his addition of 2 quarter pipes.

The young Spaniard won not only his fourth World Championship win in a row in 2016, but he also continued his record setting ways with 8 NIGHT of the JUMPs events wins in a row.

In the World Championship overall standings, the Spaniard leads with the maximum points possible of 80 points. In second place, Remi Bizouard follows with 70 points. The best German result so far is Luc Ackermann in 6th place and 39 points.

In the Maxxis Highest Air competition, Massimo Bianconcini again triumphed over the Spaniard Jose Miralles who was unable to make it past the power of Massimo’s 4 stroke KTM for 2 straight wins in Berlin.

There is little time for training between events with the next World Championship event taking place on March 4th with the Swedish premiere in the Friends Arena in Stockholm. The Berlin fans can look forward to the 4th and 5th of February 2017 for the next round when the NIGHT of the JUMPs will return to the German capital.

FACTS

NIGHT of the JUMPS / FIM Freestyle MX World Championship

Berlin, February 27, 2016 – Round 4

Results NIGHT of the JUMPS – Final

  1. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 463 Points
  2. Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Kawasaki 442 Points
  3. Rob Adelberg OFF MA Yamaha 436 Points
  4. Luc Ackermann GER DMSB Husqvarna 420 Points
  5. David Rinaldo FRA FFM Yamaha 390 Points
  6. Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 382 Points

Results Qualification

  1. Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Kawasaki 384 Points
  2. Rob Adelberg OFF MA Yamaha 376 Points
  3. David Rinaldo FRA FFM Yamaha 375 Points
  4. Luc Ackermann GER DMSB Husqvarna 369 Points
  5. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 369 Points
  6. Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 364 Points
  7. Pat Bowden OFF MA Yamaha 346 Points
  8. Jose Miralles ESP RFME KTM 330 Points
  9. Brice Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 324 Points
  10. Hannes Ackermann GER DMSB KTM 314 Points

Results Lifeproof Best Whip contest

  1. Luc Ackermann GER DMSB Husqvarna
  2. Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Kawasaki

Maxxis Highest Air

  1. Bianconcini ITA PZM KTM 9.00 meters
  2. Jose Miralles ESP RFME KTM 8.50 meters
  3. Luc Ackermann GER DMSB Husqvarna 6.50 meters

FIM Freestyle MX World Championship – Ranking (after 4th contest)

  1. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 80 Points
  2. Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Kawasaki 70 Points
  3. David Rinaldo FRA FFM Yamaha 62 Points
  4. Rob Adelberg OFF MA Yamaha 56 Points
  5. Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 48 Points
  6. Luc Ackermann GER DMSB Husqvarna 39 Points
  7. Pat Bowden OFF MA Yamaha 35 Points
  8. Jose Miralles ESP RFME KTM 35 Points
  9. Brice Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 21 Points
  10. Marc Pinyol ESP RFME Yamaha 16 Points
  11. Hannes Ackermann GER DMSB KTM 12 Points

Text/Photo: PR NOTJ

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Krummenacher takes sensational ‘Rookie’ race win

Swiss rider Randy Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) secured a remarkable race win in his first ever FIM Supersport World Championship contest, after his team-mate Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) crashed out after experiencing a tyre issue.

In an astoundingly tough and combative WSS race, with 11-changes of the lead across the start/finish line in 18 race laps, occasional drops of rain complicated matters at times.
With a vast group of leading riders in fighting mood both Sofuoglu and Krummenacher had to work hard to stay in front, with Kenan having to overcome traction issues compared to his practice experiences.

After the race had reached just past the mid point, first Sofuoglu and then Krummenacher eased ahead on their Ninja ZX-6Rs, to sit 1-2 out front. When Kenan fell at Turn 6, after experiencing a rear tyre issue, Krummenacher just had to keep his pace and his cool head to win his first WSS race by 2.747 seconds from Federico Caricasulo and wildcard rider Anthony West.

Rookie race win for Randy Krummenacher in Australia

Both Randy and Kawasaki now lead their respective championships after one round with the next WSS round taking place in Thailand on March 13th.

Randy Krummenacher stated: “It was really a special race because the conditions were different to anything before, any practice and any testing. At the beginning it was quite ‘hot’ because it was a big group and I think everybody tried to pass us. They were all looking for the Kawasakis. It made it really hard but when it started to rain a bit they were all a bit more scared than me and I went a bit away from the pack and behind Kenan. Then I made my best lap times. I did not expect that Kenan would crash, so I am very sorry for him. Then it was clear I had to bring it to the finish line and it was really hard because there was proper rain in some areas. I had to push or the others would have been coming but when I went over Lukey Heights I saw I had a big gap. I just had to manage the last two corners to bring it home. It feels great to win, unbelievable.”

Kenan Sofuoglu stated: “I think I got a wrong tyre but it was the same choice I made in qualifying, taking pole position and a fast pace in the warm-up. I put the same tyre in as then but the bike had little grip and vibration and mid-race it exploded, in the middle of the corner. When I exited the corner the tyre went and then I crashed. It was not overheating because I was much more aggressive on the same tyre in practice and the warm-up. It was almost impossible to ride from the first lap.”

New WSS rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) earned a 13th place finish.

Text/Photo: PR Kawasaki Racing

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Marquez concludes a productive test at Phillip Island

MotoGP’s three-day Australian pre-season test ended today at Phillip Island, with Marc Marquez in first. It was a very productive test for the Repsol Honda Team, which made further progress on the new unified software and collected much valuable information on tyres and bike settings. This data will be valuable as the HRC engineers return to Japan and continue their work.

With the day opening under a heavy sky that threatened rain, Marc Marquez immediately began to lap strongly, setting very consistent lap times that put him second quickest. Unfortunately, rain started to fall around noon, resulting in a long wait in the garage until a little after 3 p.m. When action resumed, Marc took over at the top of the timesheets with a 1:29.158 lap that remained the fastest time of the day. In his last exit, Marc crashed in turn 9, with no consequences.

Marquez today completed a total of 64 laps, with his best time occurring on lap 48. It was another brisk day, with maximum air and track temperatures of 20 and 28°C, respectively.

The final three-day pre-season test will take place in Qatar 2-4 March.

Marc Marquez: “Overall, these three days have been very good. I’m especially happy with today, because we have taken a big step forward. In the afternoon I managed to maintain a consistently fast pace, and this was the first time this preseason that I’ve started to feel good with the bike and the new tires. It’s a pity that at the end of the session when we wanted to try something else, it was too late. I was pushing hard at the same time, I lost the front and crashed. The important thing is that I was unhurt and the work we’ve done has been positive. Yesterday we focused on adjusting the electronics and finding a good base, and today I think we did a good job looking for balance in the setup of the bike.”

RESULTS
1 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda 1:29.158

2 Maverick Viñales Suzuki 1:29.299 +0.141
3 Cal Crutchlow Honda 1:29.348 +0.190
4 Hector Barbera Ducati 1:29.361 +0.203
5 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1:29.435 +0.277

Text/Photo: Repsol Media Service

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Gonçalves keeps on fighting

Team HRC’s Paulo Gonçalves put yesterday’s marathon stage problems firmly behind him in stage ten of the Dakar 2016. The Portuguese rider finished fourth on the day.

The tenth outing so far in the 2016 Rally Dakar, for the umpteenth time, fell victim to extreme weather. The 278 scheduled kilometres of timed special stage that connect the Belén bivouac with La Rioja were cut short, 30 kilometres shy of the final finish-line. Again a swollen river, too deep to cross, was enough for race authorities to stop the course prematurely.

At the end of yesterday’s drama-filled escapade, Paulo Gonçalves, alongside Team HRC sidekicks Michael Metge, Ricky Brabec and Paolo Ceci, set to work on the Honda CRF450 RALLY, whose radiator had been pierced by a log. Once substituted, they were able to see that the piston, previously believed to be damaged, was in fact sound and some adjustments to the bike’s compression were all that were necessary to get the machine road-worthy.

After the cancellation yesterday of the latter part of stage nine, Goncalves started out today from thirteenth position with an atypical start that saw cars, trucks and bikes head off together in groups. The Portuguese ace fought his way up the field before posting a final fourth position some six minutes off the day’s winner. Gonçalves thus consolidates his overall third place.

TOMORROW’ STAGE
2016 January 14.
Stage 11:
La Rioja – San Juan
Special sections: 431km
Total: 712km

Time for an attack
The level of difficulty remains the same, but variety will favour the most flexible of drivers and teams. Sand in all its forms will feature, particularly fesh-fesh, the most volatile and heavy kind, which demands both dexterity and patience. But speed will also be an advantage in other, straighter sections, featuring gravel and pebbles. Opportunities will be few and far between, but there is still time to shake up the standings, since the terrain will be favourable to creating significant gaps.

Paulo Goncalves:“The day was a positive one. I started behind the trucks and the tracks weren’t good. The sand was very unstable and I had to ride very smoothly. The good thing is that I arrived without problems. I’m still in the fight for the top positions and now we will set the bike up for an attack tomorrow because in the marathon stage I repaired the bike as best I could. After what happened on Tuesday it will be very difficult to fight for the victory because the difference is very big. But it isn’t over yet. After the problems that I’ve had, to be here is very positive. I have to keep up a good pace every day, starting tomorrow.”

Stage 10 . Belén – La Rioja
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Time/Gap

1 SVITKO Stefan 5 SLO Slovnaft Team 3:47’23
2 BENAVIDES Kevin 47 ARG Honda South America Rally Team +2’54
3 PRICE Toby 3 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +5’47
4 GONCALVES Paulo 2 POR Team HRC +6’01
5 MEO Antoine 49 FRA Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +7’43

Rider Standings
PROVISIONAL STANDINGS AFTER STAGE 10
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Time/Gap

1 PRICE Toby 3 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team 34:49’04
2 SVITKO Stefan 5 SLO Slovnaft Team +23’12
3 GONCALVES Paulo 2 POR Team HRC +34’15
4 QUINTANILLA Pablo 4 CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team +42’49
5 MEO Antoine 49 FRA Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +44’04

Text/Photo: Team HRC Rally

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Change of scenery in the 2nd week of the Dakar

As the 2016 Dakar heads towards the second marathon stage, the race has seen a slight reshuffle in the overall standings, yet with Paulo Gonçalves still firmly in contention after today’s very difficult stage.

The Dakar Rally course has now veered off towards Belén in the south east without losing sight of the Andes. The course towards the leadership has also taken a turn with respect to the opening week. The stage was split into two parts with a neutralization zone for the passage from Salta to Catamarca. The backdrop has changed as the race moves on to far tougher navigation compared to the previous week’s racing. The eighth stage took in some 766 kilometres, including a 393 km timed section.

Paulo Gonçalves concluded the special stage as runner-up 5’17” adrift of stage winner Toby Price. Team HRC’s Portuguese title contender was unable to avoid a high speed crash in a very pot-holed stretch that left the instrument panel of the Honda CRF450 RALLY damaged. Gonçalves after the accident, on a damage-limitation exercise, battled on at a slightly slower speed and managed not to concede much time to his main rival.

TOMORROW’ STAGE
2016 January 12. Stage 9: Belén – Belén
Special sections: 285km
Total: 436km

Keeping a cool head
This loop stage will not really be one for motorbikes and quad bikes, which will finish the first part of this second marathon stage in an isolated bivouac. Prior to this they will have spent the day, alongside the drivers in the other categories, almost entirely off-piste, both in the vegetation-scattered dunes and on harder terrains, sometimes on river beds. Physically, the day might prove to be a significant challenge, as the mercury soars. The hardiest drivers will also be those who are the most clear headed, able to make the right navigational choices, a major challenge of this special section.

Paulo Gonçalves:“Today’s stage was typical of the type that we expect at the Dakar, with a lot of navigation. I fell in a bumpy, sandy area and luckily I didn’t get hurt but I damaged the instrument panel. I had to grip onto it with one hand and ride with the other for quite some kilometres. I’m happy to have not lost too much time. Tomorrow I will try and win it back.”

Stage 8 . Salta – Uyuni
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap

1 PRICE Toby 3 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 3:56’334
2 GONCALVES Paulo 2 POR Team HRC Honda 5’17
3 QUINTANILLA Pablo 4 CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +6’32
4 SVITKO Stefan 5 SLO Slovnaft Team KTM +8’02
5 BENAVIDES Kevin 47 ARG Honda South America Rally Team Honda +8’06
6 RODRIGUES Helder 7 POR Yamaha Motor Europe Yamaha +9’19

Provisional Standings after Stage 8
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap

1 PRICE Toby 3 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 27:28’56
2 GONCALVES Paulo 2 POR Team HRC Honda +2’05
3 SVITKO Stefan 5 SLO Slovnaft Team KTM +14’14
4 QUINTANILLA Pablo 4 CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +21’26
5 BENAVIDES Kevin 47 ARG Honda South America Rally Team Honda +25’55

YouTube Preview Image

Text/Photo/Video: Team HRC Rally

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Dakar enters Bolivia with Gonçalves leading


Paulo Gonçalves remains at the head of the overall standings with Joan Barreda fourth.

The good news is that for the first time since the Dakar 2016 began, riders were able to set off without waterproofs, the bad news was that another type of difficulty had replaced the bad weather: altitude. Today’s stage was battled out at average heights of over 3,500 metres above sea-level, enough to put the physiques of even the toughest riders to the test. To make matters worse, the recent days of easy navigating have come to an end and competitors can expect complications ahead. As is now habitual, the arrival of the entourage in Uyuni was nothing less than an all-out fiesta.

At the end of yesterday’s stage Joan Barreda had the rug pulled from under him with another sanction, this time a five minute penalty for breaking the speed limit in a radar control. Race officials ruled that the new stage four winner was Team HRC sidekick Paulo Gonçalves and awarded Honda man Kevin Benavides the runner-up spot. Today, the same pair suffered the handicap of having to open the field for 327 kilometres while the pursuing adversaries were able to follow the correct tracks already mapped out by the front-runners.

Joan Barreda, who set off from Jujuy in fourth starting position, was the best of the Team HRC bunch, conceding a total of 5’57 to the stage winner Toby Price. Portuguese rider Gonçalves, who was suffering from altitude sickness, likewise conceded 8’56 to finish in 12th.

TOMORROW’ STAGE
2016 January 8. Stage 6: Uyuni – Uyuni
Special sections: 542km
Total: 723km

High tension loop
The longest special section of the Dakar takes place on the 6th day of consecutive racing. And that is not the only difficulty of this operation, which will take place between 3,500 and 4,200m in altitude. The pace and surfaces change constantly, alternating between sand and rock, which may be disconcerting, especially if it rains. Glimpses of the Salar d’Uyuni are but one of the visual delights on the agenda. Meanwhile, the truck category, which will race separately on this 6th stage, will visit the home town of the President Evo Morales.

Joan Barreda:“I think that in the end I had a good stage today. We were faced with a really tough physical stage, very hard for all. I think that it went well even though there was a problem with the navigation in the final stretch that didn’t match the roadbook. I hope they clear up these points. It didn’t go badly because we are still in the running to win the race.”

Paulo Goncalves:“It was a really difficult marathon. The altitude gave me a headache, but even so, I’m fairly happy with the way that it went, because the bike held up really well and I clocked up a good time. There is a great stage awaiting us tomorrow. Let’s see what happens, but right now I need some rest. Today, the first and last 100 km were demanding for the navigation, but I managed to make it through.”

Stage 5 . San Salvador de Jujuy – Uyuni
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap

1 PRICE Toby 3 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 4:03’44
2 SVITKO Stefan 5 SLO Slovnaft Team KTM +2’33
3 BARREDA Joan 6 SPA Team HRC Honda +5’57
4 WALKNER Matthias 14 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +2’40

5 QUINTANILLA Pablo 4 CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +6’51
12 GONCALVES Paulo 2 POR Team HRC Honda +8’56

Provisional Standings after Stage 5
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 GONCALVES Paulo 2 POR Team HRC Honda 14:30’07

2 SVITKO Stefan 5 SLO Slovnaft Team KTM +1’45
3 PRICE Toby 3 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +1’47
4 BARREDA Joan 6 SPA Team HRC Honda +2’27
5 WALKNER Matthias 14 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +2’57

Text/Photo: Team HRC Rally

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Honda dominate the Dakar once more with a one-two

Joan Barreda and Paulo Gonçalves commanded the fourth special of the Dakar Rally – the first part of the gruelling marathon stage – and are now well-placed at the head of the general standings. Metge, Brabec and Ceci finish well too.

Another day of superb results for Team HRC at the Dakar Rally 2016, clinching first and second places in a demanding fourth stage. As the race ended it was time to immediately hand over the bikes, which will spend the night isolated in the parc ferme away from the mechanics, technical crew and even the riders, who are prohibited from repairing or servicing them. When the bikers pick them up tomorrow they will find them in exactly the same condition in which they were left.

Joan Barreda was yesterday lumbered with a one-minute penalty for speeding in a radar control, which meant the Spanish whizz was stripped of his first place in both the stage result and the overall rankings. Barreda started today from fifth place which allowed him to chase down the adversaries up ahead.

Barreda and Paulo Gonçalves once again imposed their infernal pace throughout the more than 400 kilometres of special stage today which took place at an average of 3,500 metres altitude in the Jujuy region. The Castellon rider was soon at the head of the course, crossing the line with a 1’49 surplus over his team-mate. Both now lie top of the overall race table.

Frenchman Michael Metge and American Ricky Brabec, turned in very swift performances to collect seventh and ninth spots respectively, just over seven minutes behind colleague Barreda. Italian Paolo Ceci finish sixteenth and climbs various slots on the leaderboard.

Once again, the top rider from Honda South America Rally Team was local-boy Kevin Benavides. The youngster opened the track today after becoming yesterday’s winner due to Barreda’s sanction. This marks a new milestone for Argentinean motorcycle racing. Benavides set a hasty pace and posted the day’s fourth fastest time. His HSA Rally Team companions were among the top 35 finishers with fellow Argentinean Javier Pizzolito 28th, Frenchman Adrien Metge 32nd and Brazilian Jean Azevedo 35th.

At the close of the day, the ASO has once more verified that Joan Barreda broke the speed limit at several radar checks and have once again penalized the Team HRC rider, this time with a five minute sanction which means the Spaniard again misses out on the stage victory and drops to third in the general standings. Team HRC’s Paulo Goncalves has been named winner of this, the fourth stage and is now the overall leader.

TOMORROW’ STAGE
2016 January 7. Stage 5: San Salvador de Jujuy – Uyuni
Special sections: 327 km
Total: 642 km

Beware of headaches!
All round vigilance is required for this second part of the marathon stage: in addition to managing mechanics, particularly the tyres, all the drivers will have to pay attention to their own bodies’ reactions. Entry into Bolivia is also marked by an abrupt increase in altitude, rising to 4,600m – the highest point in Dakar’s history – during the day’s special section. Technically, it is also in this stage that the rally steps up a gear, with the first off-piste sections as well as some navigational gems which might be a headache for some navigators…

Paulo Goncalves: The stage went pretty well. It was a long special at more than 400 kilometres with a very high average speed. There wasn’t a lot of navigation but I was in doubt at one point and I lost a few seconds. We arrived without any problems and everything will be ready to set off tomorrow for the second part of the marathon stage. The teamwork has been excellent: to arrive here with everything in order, in a stage like this one, is perfect.

Joan Barreda: We kept up a really fast pace in this stage. Kevin Benavides opened the track and was very speedy, as was Paulo. I tried to catch him up and got past Svitko. In the last kilometres I was riding behind the KTM riders and I had to slow things down due to the dust. We had a great day and took care of the bikes, plus there were no falls or problems that could compromise tomorrow’s start. Now it’s time to rest and prepare the second part of the marathon stage.

Stage 4. San Salvador de Jujuy – San Salvador de Jujuy
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap

1 GONCALVES Paulo 2 POR Team HRC Honda 4:07’19
2 FARIA Ruben 8 POR Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +2’37
3 BENAVIDES Kevin 47 ARG Honda South America Rally Team Honda +3’11
4 BARREDA Joan 6 SPA Team HRC Honda +3’11
5 PRICE Toby 3 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +4’01
6 MEO Antoine 49 FRA Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +4’15
7 METGE Michael 19 FRA Team HRC Honda +5’20
14 WALKNER Matthias 14 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +6’29

Provisional Standings after Stage 4
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 GONCALVES Paulo 2 POR Team HRC Honda 10:35’17

2 BENAVIDES Kevin 47 ARG Honda South America Rally Team Honda +2’17
3 BARREDA Joan 6 SPA Team HRC Honda +3’03
4 SVITKO Stefan 5 SLO Slovnaft Team KTM +5’22
5 FARIA Ruben 8 POR Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +5’24
6 WALKNER Matthias 14 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +7’08

Text/Photo: Team HRC Rally

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Melero holds his nerves

The Finale of the NIGHT of the JUMPs World Championships went down in front of a sold out Armeec Arena in Sofia and delivered the most exciting final ever witnessed. Before the final round of the FIM Freestyle MX World Championships the two adversaries David Rinaldo (FRA) and Maikel Melero (ESP) were separated by a mere two points. The result would come down to the last seconds of this year’s World Cup.

For the two rivals, they were once again safe to qualify into the final. This was especially important for Rinaldo who had the even more difficult task of overcoming his continuing shoulder injury. Despite the battered shoulder he would sit in second place after qualifying. Maikel Melero’s nerves held out, as he performed the California Roll, Flair and Double Grab flip which put him at the head of Qualification. Rob Adelberg, Brice Izzo, Remi Bizouard and Petr Pilat also fought off the challengers to make the final six.

Opening the Final round, Rob Adelberg needed to push for a podium position after his sixth place qualification. Adelberg accented his perfect run by landing his first ever California Roll to No Hand Landing combination without a bar check. Rob’s run was enough to make it to the podium, but he also benefited from the crashes from fellow competitors Brice Izzo who crashed on his Flair in the Double Up and then Remi Bizouard who also landed hard from a Volt body varial.

The riders and crew from NIGHT of the JUMPs now go into a well-deserved Christmas Holiday. The new NIGHT of the JUMPs season starts again on 23rd/24th of January 2015 with the two European Championship competitions in Linz / Austria. The FIM Freestyle MX World Championships will commence the week later at NIGHT of the JUMPs in Basel / Switzerland on 29th/30th January, 2016.

Then the big moment arrived to the 10,000 spectators in the Armeec Arena with the final showdown between the first and second placed qualifiers, Maikel Melero and David Rinaldo. The Frenchman had to show his cards and rode first. Opening his account with a spectacular Volt and then straight into a California Roll, it appeared that Rinaldo was about to put together an impressive run. Until David suffered from nerves and didn’t extend through his Cordova Flip and then subsequently didn’t execute the Clicker-SuperFlip Combo with the usual precision the fans expected. David fought back and showed an extra trick to help his score and then the Double Hart Attack Flip in the Double-Up. His mistakes cost him the lead and he found himself behind Adelberg on the hot seat. It was enough to keep the pressure on Melero to perform a perfect run if he was to still win the World Championship.

The little Spaniard however didn’t disappoint the Bulgarian crowd as he held his nerves and to retain his World Championship title. After landing his own version of the Cali-Roll, Double Grab Backflip and the Flair with Nac-Nac combo in perfect fashion, Melero would his onto his lead until the very end.
With the victory he landed two points ahead of Rinaldo in the overall results and defended his World Championship success and become only the second rider to win two consecutive World Titles in the FIM World Championship history.

NIGHT of the JUMPs/FIM Freestyle MX World Championship
Sofia, 12th December 2015 – Round 12
Results NIGHT of the JUMPs – Final
1. Maikel Melero ESP RFME KTM 423 Points

2. Rob Adelberg AUS MA Yamaha 390 Points
3. David Rinaldo FRA FFM Yamaha 388 Points
4. Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 369 Points
5. Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Kawasaki 334 Points
6. Brice Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 312 Points

Results Qualification
1. Maikel Melero ESP RFME KTM 363 Points
2. David Rinaldo FRA FFM Yamaha 352 Points
3. Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Kawasaki 351 Points
4. Brice Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 348 Points
5. Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 338 Points
6. Rob Adelberg AUS MA Yamaha 338 Points
7. Jose Miralles ESP RFME KTM 322 Points
8. Hannes Ackermann GER DMSB KTM 287 Points
9. James Carter USA AMA Honda 244 Points
10. Fred Kyrillos BRA CBM Yamaha 186 Points

FIM Freestyle MX World Championship
Ranking (after 12th contest)
1. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 200 Points

2. David Rinaldo FRA FFM Yamaha 198 Points
3. Rob Adelberg AUS AMA Yamaha 172 Points
4. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Yamaha 138 Points
5. Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Kawasaki 118 Points
6. Hannes Ackermann GER DMSB KTM 97 Points
7. Brice Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 97 Points
8. Jose Miralles ESP RFME KTM 95 Points
9. Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 72 Points
10. James Carter USA AMA Honda 64 Points
11. Luc Ackermann GER DMSB Husqvarna 47 Points
12. Dany Torres ESP RFME Yamaha 37 Points
13. Filip Podmol CZE ACCR Yamaha 23 Points
14. Taka Higashino JAP Yamaha 16 Points
15. Davide Rossi ITA PZM KTM 14 Points
16. Kai Haase GER DMSB Suzuki 12 Points

Text/Photo: PR IFMXF.com

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Second place for Lüthi in Sepang

Starting from pole-position Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Racing Derendinger) showed a heroic race at the Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang.

He led from the start, just before the new World Champion Johann Zarco could pass on the Swiss. Lüthi stayed behinf him until the final turn, but could not pass Zarco. The two went on such a high level that they had left the remaining opponents behind them. With fading tires Lüthi missed the victory by only 6 tenths of a second.

Tom Lüthi: “That was one of the hardest races of my career, perhaps the most difficult. Not because of the oppressive heat, because I was willing to endure the full distance physically. But the pressure of Johann during the whole race was enormous.”

Text/Photo: PR Derendinger Racing Interwetten

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Jerez Win Extends Sofuoglu’s Championship Lead


After positive machine development work in the summer break from his team, and hard physical preparation from the rider himself, Sofuoglu was ready to face 19-laps around the 4.423km Jerez circuit, particularly as he was starting from pole position.

With his main championship rival Jules Cluzel out through injury Kenan Sofuoglu just had to make sure he finished ahead of Patrick Jacobsen to ensure he extended his championship lead.

At the mid-stage of the race Jacobsen threatened to close in on Kenan’s advantage but upping his pace at a crucial point Sofuoglu widened his leading gap, easing up over the line to finish 1.037 seconds from Jacobsen. Lorenzo Zanetti was third.

Kenan now has 193 championship points, Jacobsen 160 and Jules Cluzel an unchanged 155. These totals give Kenan a 33-point advantage over Jacobsen with only a maximum of 50 points available for any rider from now to the end of the season in Losail.

Kenan lifted his career race wins in WSS to 32, twice as many as the next best rider in the record books Fabien Foret, who was part of the official SRC Endurance team that won the Bol d’Or for Kawasaki this weekend.

Kenan Sofuoglu: “Today the tarmac was very warm but I knew this race was very important for me and I had to take maximum points. I knew I could not crash and I took the lead, according to my plan. I stayed with the group behind for around five laps, but after that my plan was to try and go away a little bit. I knew we were very good on a used tyre. I made a bit of a gap around one second so when Jacobsen came a little bit closer I started to push again. With two seconds of a gap I just rode to maintain it and stay on the bike. We did a lot of work and at Jerez we were fast in every session. We are very happy and today we got the results for all the good work we did in the summer break.”

Race
1. K Sofuoglu

2. P Jacobsen
3. L Zanetti

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
1. K. SOFUOGLU KAWASAKI 193

2. P. JACOBSEN HONDA 160
3. J. CLUZEL MV AGUSTA 155
4. L. ZANETTI MV AGUSTA 129
5. G. REA HONDA 88

Text/Photos: PR Kawasaki Racing

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