Rémi Bizouard continues dominance

Rémi Bizouard celebrates his victory in Cologne between second-place Libor Podmol, left, and David Rinaldo, right. NightOfTheJumps.com

French rider Rémi Bizouard has now won six of the 10 events so far in the 2012 FIM Freestyle MX World Championship series after beating out Czech rider Libor Podmol and French rider David Rinaldo on Saturday at the LANXESS Arena in Cologne, Germany.

"The dirt was really good," Bizouard said, in his typical understated fashion, during a podium interview after the competition. "There were a lot of people here. It was very impressive, and they were very loud. They're still singing!"

German motocross fans have had plenty to cheer about lately, after Germany won the Motocross of Nations last week for the first time, and LANXESS Arena was also packed with fans of local rider Fabian Bauersachs, who announced his retirement from active competition this weekend.

Bizouard was the top qualifier for Saturday's event, then scored 407 points from the judges in Cologne, the only rider to pass the 400 mark during finals. He's been dominating competition on the International Freestyle Motocross Federation (IFMXF) Night of the Jumps World Tour this year, winning the 2012 UEM Freestyle MX European Championship in May, and now taking a commanding lead over Podmol and Rinaldo in the overall standings for the 2012 FIM Freestyle MX World Championship.

Bizouard previously won the FIM title in 2008 and 2009 (Podmol won in 2010; Chilean rider Javier Villegas won in 2011 but has missed several events because of conflicts with the 2012 Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour), and is almost certain to win the FIM title this year as the series wraps up with the remaining two events in Riga, Latvia (Oct. 27) and Sofia, Bulgaria (Dec. 15). Still, it's clear that those wins are not enough for Bizouard: he'd like to translate his successes on the IFMXF circuit into wins at X Games and on the Red Bull X-Fighters series, and he knows he has his work cut out for him.

"I tried to do a 360 in practice today but it didn't work out," Bizouard said Saturday, being typically hard on himself. "I'm really p----- about myself, but it means next time we try again so it will be different."

Bizouard now leads in the overall standings with 192 points, ahead of Podmol (172) and Rinaldo (132), with French rider Brice Rizzo close behind at 172, ahead of German rider Hannes Ackermann and Spanish rider Maikel Melero in the top six. Podmol will have his work cut out for him if he's to catch Bizouard for this year's title.

"My riding was not as good as I wanted to," Podmol acknowledged after the competition. "I didn't do some tricks that I wanted to. I would have been happier if David had beaten me, actually, today. But I got second, it's not too bad: I'm not going to give cash back, so that's good!"

Rinaldo was happier with his result, thrilled to be on the podium and staying in the top-three mix as the 2012 FIM series heads toward it conclusion.

"I was happy about my run because I did what I wanted to do today," Rinaldo said. "I landed my double grab flips, so I think my run was good. I'm very happy."

Italian rider Massimo Bianconcini won the Highest Air competition on Saturday, setting the mark at 9.5 meters, and French rider Gregoire Maxime won the Best Whip contest.

FIM Freestyle MX World Championship Round 9, Cologne, Germany

FIM Freestyle MX World Championship rankings to date