On Friday night, NIGHT of the JUMPs entered a new stage of Freestyle Motocross competition inside the Mercedes-Benz Arena with 11 of the world’s best Freestyle Motocross riders from three continents to kick off the FIM Freestyle MX World Championship.
Three World Champions were welcomed into the cauldron of Berlin with the reigning World Champion, Maikel Melero (ESP, 2014-2018), Libor Podmol (CZE, 2010) and Javier Villegas (CHL, 2011). The runner-up World Champion and European Champion from 2018, Luc Ackermann was also invited to the party. Two Australians, and champions in their own right, Pat Bowden and Rob Adelberg, current winners of the Nitro World Games and X Games (Winter) respectively, were ready to bring fireworks to the German capital.
While the 2011 Chilean World Champion failed to reach the final, even after crashing the first Egg Roll Superman in NIGHT of the JUMPs competition, the other two FIM World Champions, Libor Podmol and Maikel Melero battled in the finals. Their positions were secured alongside the Italian, Leonardo Fini, who scored a lot of points with his new Egg Roll Nac Nac and California Roll. Only just in front of the current Winter X Games winner Rob Adelberg, who didn’t unleash his biggest tricks but found enough energy to make it into the Top 6. Rob’s compatriot, Pat Bowden already secured his spot with the look-back Double Hart Attack backflip and One-Hand to Double Hart Backflip.
However all of the riders in qualifying were battling for second position going into the final when the young German, Luc Ackermann unleashed one of the most devastating qualifying runs ever seen in the 19-year history of NIGHT of the JUMPs. Luc’s variation of trickery included the 360, Egg Roll, Flair, Surfer Tsunami Flip, Front Flip and finished with the Double Backflip in the Double Up. The judges rewarded him with a huge 351 points and the leader going into the final.
Pat Bowden took the confidence of his new look back Hart Attack into the Best Whip finale against the local hero, Kai Haase, to throw a huge turn-down whip to defeat the Berliner. Kai wasn’t finished for the night, by taking out the Synchro Competition, riding beside the Italian, Leo Fini.
With all the riders in the Top 6 wanting to stamp their authority on the new season, there were always going to be some nerves fraying. One rider who wasn’t expected to crack under pressure was Rob Adelberg who wasn’t able to land his new body varial in the Double Up, and then also the Italian, Leo Fini, who crashed his Egg Roll combo in the final which decimated his final run score. Pat Bowden also followed suit and made a mistake on his Cliffhanger Backflip where he ultimately missed out on a podium to Libor Podmol who put together a safe run which included his LP Roll, Surfer Tsunami Flip and California Roll for third place on the night.
It was then a showdown between the two opponents of last year’s World Championship.Maikel Melero wasn’t going to submit without giving the final his best crack, landing a Nac Flair, a brand new trick at NIGHT of the JUMPs, the No Hand Front Flip, the California Roll, Lazyflip and Super Flair to finish. All of the pressure was on the German, Luc Ackermann. However in 2019, Ackermann has learned the lessons of 2018 and held his composure when it mattered most, landing the Front Flip also for his first time at NIGHT of the JUMPs, the 360, Surfer Tsunami, Egg Roll and Flair off both quarter pipes. To round out the 9 standard tricks, Luc added a Double Backflip to his run. Luc didn’t stop there, as he upped the ante in the Double-Up by landing his Double Backflip with a Nac-Nac which gave him the unbeatable score of 398 points.
Luc Ackermann took the win in the World Championship opener, and the lead in the overall standings. However, it can all change tomorrow with the second round of the World Championship at NIGHT of the JUMPs in Berlin.
Immediately after the award ceremony, the date for the NIGHT of the JUMPs Berlin round for 2020 was announced. On 21st and 22nd of February, all the best riders will return to Berlin with 1,000 tickets on an early-bird discount, starting on Monday, which are available on www.eventim.de for €10.00 discount in each seating category. There is an all new category of €39.90 and 50% discount for children.
NIGHT of the JUMPs/FIM Freestyle MX World Championship
Berlin, 22nd Februar 2019 – Round 1
Results NIGHT of the JUMPs – Final
1. Luc Ackermann GER DMSB Husqvarna 398 Points
2. Maikel Melero ESP RFME KTM 384 Points
3. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Husqvarna 338 Points
4. Pat Bowden AUS MA Yamaha 317 Points
5. Rob Adelberg AUS MA Yamaha 231 Points
6. Leonardo Fini ITA PZM KTM 100 Points
1. Luc Ackermann GER DMSB Husqvarna 351 Points
2. Maikel Melero ESP RFME KTM 337 Points
3. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Husqvarna 295 Points
4. Pat Bowden AUS MA Yamaha 288 Points
5. Leonardo Fini ITA PZM KTM 275 Points
6. Rob Adelberg AUS MA Yamaha 271 Points
7. Kai Haase GER DMSB Suzuki 249 Points
8. Javier Villegas CHL Suzuki 225 Points
9. Filip Podmol CZE ACCR Yamaha 221 Points
10. Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 212 Points
11. Brice Izzo FRA FFM Husqvarna 207 Points
1. Kai Haase (GER) / Leonardo Fini (ITA)
2. Javier Villegas (CHL) /
Results Best Whip Contest
1. Pat Bowden AUS MA Yamaha
2. Kai Haase GER DMSB Suzuki
Night of The Jumps