World Team wins NIGHT of the JUMPs
Freestyle Motocross came back to Germany with a bang on Saturday night with some of the biggest tricks, crashes and controversy in front of an ecstatic Munich crowd. The first Freestyle Motocross competition in Germany after more than 2 years due to the pandemic, returned to the Olympiahalle with more than 8,000 motorsport fans at the almost sold-out event. For the first time ever in Munich, the fans were treated to the Freestyle of Nations competition format with teams from the Czech Republic vs France vs the World Team, which also featured 3 world champions, David Rinaldo, Maikel Melero and Luc Ackermann.
Led by the 2013 World Champion, David Rinaldo, Team France had a strong field with former vice-World Champion Brice Izzo and the unique style of Maxime Gregoire. Flying the flag for Czechia, former European World Champion, Petr Pilat was joined by Filip Podmol and Matej Cesak. While the World Team was captained by the 9-time world record holder, World Champion, X Games gold medallist Luc Ackermann, with the 5-time World Champion Maikel Melero from Spain and the team completed by not one rider but two on the FMX Tandem duo of Antonio Navas and Rocky Florensa.
With 3 groups of FMX Competition and several disciplines throughout the night of competition, it was important for the World Team to establish a win in the first FMX round. Maikel Melero surprised everyone as the first rider to compete in the World Team, and after stomping a perfect No-handed Front Flip in his Double Up after a solid run including the California Roll, he quickly shunted Brice Izzo (FRA) and Matej Cesak (CZE) into 2nd and 3rd position respectively.
After the 3rd place in FMX, Matej Cesak was the hot favourite in the first of the special disciplines of Best Whip. After taking a huge win over Edgar Torronteras in Basel 2021, all eyes were on the young Czech rider to make short work of everone in this round. However, with a bit of controversy and confusion, Matej was beaten by the World Team’s Luc Ackermann who managed to pip the youngster. However, the confusion came from Luc throwing out a huge 360 as his final jump. With some left blown away by what is technically the biggest whip you could do, turning into a full 360, it actually was not counted and Luc won on his traditional Racer Whip.
In the second round of FMX, Czech Republic had their redemption when Filip Podmol threw down a clean run of Shaolin, Hart Attack and Tsunami Backflips. Maxime Gregoire who was looking for a comeback after his Nac-Flair crash in Switzerland in 2021, had a good run but fell again on the same trick. This time without injury, compared to the Basel crash which left him suffering a fractured wrist. The Tandem team of Navas and Rocky put together a solid run, however lost 30 seconds of valuable time when Rocky was jumping aboard the KX450F and only managed a handful of tricks to take 3rd place in round 2.
The Synchro competition which was one of the special rounds which can really change the rankings with the full 100 points for first place, 75 points for second and 50 points for 3rd position, riders know the importance of winning these special rounds. While Team France looked to be the clear front runner during the qualifying round with big tricks perfectly timed between Brice Izzo and David Rinaldo, they were shut-down in the final by the two World Champions holding 6 World Championship titles between them, Maikel Melero and Luc Ackermann threw the biggest Ruler Flips side by side to seal the win and snatch the full 100 points to continue growing their total throughout the night.
The final FMX round featured some of the best riding seen all night after the showman from Czechia, Petr Pilat brought his usual high level of tricks and enormous extension from his naturally tall frame. David Rinaldo countered with a Rock Solid flip off the Superkicker and the Cali Roll in the middle of his run for what was one of the finest runs of the night. With the World Team in the lead by almost 70 points, it seemed like it was the World Team‘s competition to lose. And unfortunately the local hero, Luc Ackermann riding for the World Team was almost jinxed! Throwing a huge Ruler Flip on the first jump, Luc over-cooked it and whiskey throttled into the wall with a resounding thud. Somehow not injured and managing to get network cables and backstage material caught in his bike. With the crowd nervously watching to see if he was alright and hoping his KTM450 wasn’t bent beyond repair, Luc fired up the 4-stroke and finished his run in pure class amid the drama. With his huge 360 and 540 Flair and finishing with the Double Backflip he somehow won the 3rd group with the biggest total of the night with 93 points.
The final contest of Best Trick featuring Mountain Bike as well, the World Team managed to win both categories with Luc Ackermann and Dawid Godziek both taking the win, with the FMX Double Flip and the MTB Twister.
Overall the World Team had won all of the Joker rounds and took the overall win with 633 points overall. France with 521 points and Czech Republic with 434 points.
The Munich crowd celebrated with the best riders at NIGHT of the JUMPs well after the awards ceremony, and after 2 long years without competition, nobody wanted to go home.
The next NIGHT of the JUMPs will take place on Sunday, May 29, 2022 in the Lanxess Arena in Cologne. Munich FMX fans can look forward to March 25, 2023 when the longest running FMX Competition series returns.
NIGHT of the JUMPs / Freestyle of Nations
München – 23.04.2022
- Team World 633 Points
- Team France 521 Points
- Team Czech Republic 434 Points
Freestyle Motocross Run 1
- Team World – Maikel Melero 88 Points
- Team France – Brice Izzo 78 Points
- Team Czech Republic – Matej Cesak 71 Points
Freestyle Motocross Run 2
- Team Czech Republic – Filip Podmol 80 Points
- Team France – Maxime Gregoire 56 Points
- Team World – Navas/Florensa 52 Points
Freestyle Motocross Run 3
- Team World – Luc Ackermann 93 Points
- Team France – David Rinaldo 87 Points
- Team Czech Republic – Petr Pilat 83 Points
- Team Germany – Luc Ackermann 100 Points
- Team Czech Republic – Matej Cesak 75 Points
- Team France – David Rinaldo 50 Points
- Team World – Ackermann/Melero 100 Points
- Team France – Rinaldo/Izzo 75 Points
- Team Czech Republic – Pilat/Podmol 50 Points
- Team World – Luc Ackermann 100 Points
Team World – David Godziek 100 Points
- Team France – David Rinaldo 75 Points
Team France – Simon Godziek 75 Points
- Team Czech – Petr Pilat 50 Points
Team Checz – Nico Scholze 50 Points