This weekend was stamped into the history books of Freestyle Motocross. 11 riders from 6 nations competed in the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin at NIGHT of the JUMPs in the first of the two German rounds of the FIM Freestyle MX World Championship competitions.
The first night of competition came with an explosive ending, with visitors treated to history being made in front of their very eyes. 20 year old Luc Ackermann landed the first ever Double Backflip in a NIGHT of the JUMPs competition. However, since Luc missed one trick in his normal run, he was still lacking a few points and unable to win over the four-time World Champion, Maikel Melero (ESP). For the second night in Berlin, the local German rider knew he had what it takes to finally dismount Melero from his spot at the top of the leaderboard.
As well as becoming the first rider to land a Double Backflip at NIGHT of the JUMPs Luc also became the first German rider to win a round of the Freestyle MX World Championships, to the delight of the Berlin crowd.
NIGHT of the JUMPs Berlin FMX Highlights
The Championship contenders were visibly impressed by Luc’s Double Backflip and all of the riders knew they were going to have to step up their game. First and foremost was Maikel Melero who made an uncharacteristic mistake after slipping off the side of the landing ramp in the preliminary round and slamming into the fence. In sixth position, the Spaniard was very lucky to just sneak into the final top 6 riders. The rider to miss out was Remi Bizouard on the second day in Berlin when he unfortunately had a dead sailor in his run. Petr Pilat struggled after crashing a flair in qualifying and damaging his recently operated on Shoulder and couldn’t show all of the tricks he wanted to get into the top 6.
David Rinaldo (FRA) and Pat Bowden (AUS) who both missed the final on the Friday with errors in their runs, were able to put it behind them and both cruised through qualifying to go into the finals. Rob Adelberg and Libor Podmol completed the final six riders.
As the first rider to start the final round, Maikel Melero was in unfamiliar territory in the start position for the reigning World Champion who has won 11 of the last 12 NIGHT of the JUMPs events. Although he showed his usual good run, today it would not be enough for the win. Libor Podmol would then replace Melero from the Hot Seat early on in the finals. The Czech Ninja landed a clean California Roll to No Hand Landing in the Double Up to put an exclamation mark on his run with 406 points.
Adelberg was then the rider everyone wanted to watch, while oozing style, he started his run with the Cordova Egg Roll and finishing his run with the California Roll. It was only enough to earn him fourth position with 397 points. While Pat Bowden who was third in the qualifying round, showed a more choreographed run with his first trick being an Upright Trick and then immediately backing it up with the same trick performed in a Backflip. For example, a normal Ruler followed by a Ruler Flip, a normal Cliffhanger followed by a Cliffhanger Flip. However lacking a quarter pipe trick or body varial, he fell back to sixth position.
David Rinaldo was clearly out for redemption after missing the final on the previous day. With an aggressive run, Rinaldo landed the California Roll, Lazyboy Flip and Egg Roll. In the double up he extended out his Double Grab Backflip but it wasn’t enough to bump Podmol from the Hotseat.
Then it was time for the big moment to arrive. Luc Ackermann was the last rider of the evening on the track and with 9,000 fans in the sold-out Arena, he gave the crowd goosebumps as he started his run. Luc treated the run like it was full of ‘Best Tricks’ including his Ruler Indy Flip, Holy Grab, Hart Flip, Flair, 360, Egg Roll, Long distance 360 Nac-Nac and the Surfer Tsunami Flip, while saving his new Double Backflip for the Double Up. The judges rewarded his run full of madness with 432 points. The Mercedes-Benz Arena erupted to celebrate their own local ‘German Wunderkind’. It was Luc’s first ever victory in a World Championship round at NIGHT of the JUMPs as he re-wrote history.
With Luc’s first ever victory, he also took the lead in the World Championship overall standings. After three rounds of the FIM Freestyle MX World Championship series, the German leads with 56 points in front of Melero with 52 points. Libor Podmol is currently sitting in third place with 44 points.
Are we at a point where we are seeing a changing of the guard, after the four years domination by Melero? Ackermann has always shocked the other riders in recent years, but he has never challenged because of inconsistency. If Luc can keep this current run going, it will be interesting to see what happens at the fourth World Championship round in Krakow on March 24th, 2018 at the Tauron Arena.
NIGHT of the JUMPs/FIM Freestyle MX World Championship
Berlin, 16th February 2018 – Round 2 Final Results
1. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 405 Points
2. Luc Ackermann GER DMSB Husqvarna 393 Points
3. Rob Adelberg AUS MA Yamaha 383 Points
4. Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Kawasaki 382 Points
5. Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 381 Points
6. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Husqvarna 263 Points
1. Luc Ackermann GER DMSB Husqvarna 359 Points
2. Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Kawasaki 349 Points
3. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 338 Points
4. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Husqvarna 334 Points
5. Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 326 Points
6. Rob Adelberg AUS MA Yamaha 325 Points
7. David Rinaldo FRA FFM Yamaha 317 Points
8. Pat Bowden AUS MA Yamaha 306 Points
9. Brice Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 300 Points
10. Leonardo Fini ITA PZM KTM 283 Points
11. Kai Haase GER DMSB Suzuki 246 Points
1. Kai Haase GER DMSB Suzuki 8,00 Meter
2. Massimo Bianconcini ITA PZM KTM 7,50 Meter
3. Brice Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 6,00 Meter
Results Team Synchro Contest
1. Kai Haase GER / Maikel Melero ESP
NIGHT of the JUMPs/FIM Freestyle MX World Championship
Berlin, 17th February 2018 – Round 3 Final Results
1. Luc Ackermann GER DMSB Husqvarna 432 Points
2. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Husqvarna 406 Points
3. David Rinaldo FRA FFM Yamaha 404 Points
4. Rob Adelberg AUS MA Yamaha 397 Points
5. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 389 Points
6. Pat Bowden AUS MA Yamaha 374 Points
1. Luc Ackermann GER DMSB Husqvarna 370 Points
2. David Rinaldo FRA FFM Yamaha 365 Points
3. Pat Bowden AUS MA Yamaha 358 Points
4. Rob Adelberg AUS MA Yamaha 355 Points
5. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Husqvarna 346 Points
6. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 337 Points
7. Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Kawasaki 332 Points
8. Brice Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 305 Points
9. Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 298 Points
10. Leonardo Fini ITA PZM KTM 296 Points
11. Kai Haase GER DMSB Suzuki 288 Points
1. Massimo Bianconcini ITA PZM KTM 10,00 Meter
2. Brice Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 8,00 Meter
3. Kai Haase GER DMSB Suzuki 7,00 Meter
Results Best Whip Contest
1. Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Kawasaki
2. Pat Bowden AUS MA Yamaha
FIM Freestyle MX World Championship 2018
Ranking (after 3rd contest)
1. Luc Ackermann GER DMSB Husqvarna 56 Points
2. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 52 Points
3. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Husqvarna 44 Points
4. Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Kawasaki 39 Points
5. David Rinaldo FRA FFM Yamaha 35 Points
6. Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 30 Points
7. Pat Bowden AUS MA Yamaha 30 Points
8. Rob Adelberg AUS MA Yamaha 30 Points
9. Brice Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 23 Points
10. Leonardo Fini ITA PZM KTM 19 Points
11. Kai Haase GER DMSB Suzuki 10 Points
12. Marc Pinyol ESP RFME Yamaha 6 Points
Photo Credit: NIGHT of the JUMPs