On the 24th and 25th of August 2019, NIGHT of the JUMPs will visit the fifth city in China since the longest ever Freestyle Motocross competition series began. 10 of the world’s best Freestyle MX athletes from seven nations will battle for the next two rounds of World Championship points on offer at Rounds 6 and 7 on the NOTJ calendar.
It will be the first time the residents of Daqing will be able to experience Freestyle Motocross live in action. The city in the province of Heilongjiang whose administrative area was only created in 1979 after the merger of surrounding cities, now boasts 2.9 million inhabitants. Although Freestyle Motocross may not currently be a popular sport in the Daqing area, they are still fans of other Freestyle sports. One of Daqing’s best-known athletes is Liu Zhongqing, a Chinese Freestyle Skier who won the Bronze Medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics and the Aerials World Cup in 2013/14. With this in mind, the athletes from NIGHT of the JUMPs can still expect a raucous reception from the crowd on their first appearance in Daqing.
Reigning 5-time consecutive World Champion, Maikel Melero (ESP) and the 2018 European Champion, Luc Ackermann (GER), are set to do battle again for the precious FIM Freestyle MX World Championship points on offer in Daqing. Only three points separate the Top 2 riders of the series so far, and it will be interesting to see what tricks both riders will unleash in Daqing to earn the top spot and championship points after a long summer break.
Currently sitting in third position on the overall leader board, Pat Bowden (AUS) will be looking to upset the party. The Australian has added new variations to his trick repertoire and wants to break up the current battle of the top two players and really get involved in the World Championship fight.
With two podium results at NIGHT of the JUMPs in Munich after many years away from the World Championship arena, the American, Adam Jones will reprise his role as the rider to watch out for in Daqing. His almost effortless style on some of the biggest backflip combinations like the Dead-Body Backflip impressed the judges in Munich and will be looking to do so again in Daqing.
The 2010 Frenchman and runner-up World Champion in 2010, Brice Izzo, struggled to begin the first half of the season. However, Izzo has the experience and knows a championship is won over the season and will be looking to return in form. Hannes Ackermann on the other hand completely surprised the rider’s field and judges alike, with his return to competition for the first half of 2019 after his Wild-Card return. Landing new tricks such as the Front Flip and then premiering the Front Flip Nac-Nac at NIGHT of the JUMPs, he went straight into the final in Munich and Zurich.After the summer break, Hannes will be looking to improve and make the podium in Daqing.
A new face will enter the World Championship arena, with the Japanese newcomer Hitoshi Takahashi making his debut in Daqing at NIGHT of the JUMPs. The young Japanese rider has already impressed his fellow countrymen after winning the “Go Big” FMX competition in Japan in 2017 which was created by the legend, Eigo Sato. With some big tricks in his pocket such as the Rock Solid Backflip, Hitoshi could really shake up the older guard at NIGHT of the JUMPs.
NIGHT of the JUMPs will also see the debut of one of the biggest names in Freestyle Motocross, a living legend of the sport since its inception with the Spaniard, Edgar Torronteras joining the World Championship rounds in Daqing. Edgar was one of the very first athletes when Freestyle MX began in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. The 39-year-old will also hold the title as the oldest competitor at a World Championship round, and of course the oldest ‘rookie’. Edgar has some of the biggest whips in the game, and he will be hoping his unique style can see him making his way to the Final in China on his first attempt.
The German, Kai Haase and Filip Podmol from the Czech Republic will round out the starting field for NIGHT of the JUMPs in Daqing. Haase made the finals for the first time in 2018 at the final round of competitions at Shenzhen. He will be looking for a finals berth again on his return to China. Filip Podmol has recently been landing some Double Backflips on an Airbag Landing at shows. With his already impressive bag of tricks, landing a Double Backflip to dirt in China will almost certainly see Filip fight for a podium spot in Daqing.
With new riders and new tricks on offer, the second half of the season in Daqing will guarantee two explosive rounds of competition for the local Chinese fans.
If you’re not able to make it to Daqing, China, you have the opportunity to follow the World Championship competitions Live on NIGHT of the JUMPs LiveStream at the following link:
NIGHT of the JUMPs / Freestyle MX World Championship
Maikel Melero (ESP)
Luc Ackermann (GER)
Pat Bowden (AUS)
Brice Izzo (FRA)
Hannes Ackermann (GER)
Adam Jones (USA)
Kai Haase (GER)
Filip Podmol (CZE)
Hitoshi Takahashi (JAP)
Edgar Torronteras (ESP)