On Saturday, Night of the Jumps stormed Mannheim for the eighth time. In the final round of the FIM Europe Championship, the world’s longest running Freestyle Motocross sports series saw its best riders fly through the SAP Arena. Ten athletes from five nations started, most notably the 20 year old German, Luc Ackermann who is leading the Euorpean Championship and could win the title. His biggest opponents were Remi Bizouard (FRA) sitting in 2ndposition and the reigning World Champion from Spain, Maikel Melero.
Kicking the night’s entertainment off was the qualifying round of Freestyle MX. Remi was lucky to make it through to the finals with a sixth position after suffering a hand injury. Whereas Maikel Melero had a solid run and secured his finals berth with second in qualifying. Luc Ackermann wanted to put an exclamation point on the night by qualifying with huge tricks such as the Flair, Surfer Tsunami Flip and the Double Backflip. He secured the pole position into the finals and ended the epic qualification with 32 points ahead of the German.
Pat Bowden also booked his ticket to the final with an incredible Rock Solid Flip. The two former World Champions, David Rinaldo (FRA) and Libor Podmol (CZE) completed the Top 6.
Although the second German star, Kai Haase couldn’t reach the finals despite a Lazyboy Flip and Egg Roll, he found two better reasons to cheer for the night by taking out the Maxxis Highest Air win in a thrilling high jump duel with Brice Izzo. Haase just sneaked over the 9.00 metre mark on his last jump and secured the Maxxis trophy. He also won the Rockwell Best Whip competition with some big Turndown whips but also huge flat racer whips.
In the final of the FMX European Championship, all the riders were hunting Luc Ackermann with their biggest tricks. David Rinaldo pushed through for his Dead Body Flip and finished with a California Roll to jump back on the podium. Libor Podmol landed the Surfer Tsunami Flip and California Roll and Melero landed his Nac Flair and his version of a California Roll. Pat Bowden had a run riddled with errors and Dead Sailors which meant he couldn’t make it to the podium. Remi Bizouard also couldn’t keep the pace and didn’t perform his Volt body varial and had to say goodbye to his European Championship title fight.
As the last rider, the young German had the entire audience behind him, cheering him on to win. Luc showed nerves of steel by landing a massive Ruler Indy Flip, Seat Grab Indy Flip, Surfer Tsunami Flip, Flair, 360, Holy Grab, Nac 360 and finishing with the Double BackFlip. With 418 points, he took the win in Mannheim over Maikel Melero and David Rinaldo. With a clean sweep, Luc Ackermann won his first overall FIM European Championship over Maikel Melero and Remi Bizouard.
Night of the Jumps will now go into the Summer break and return for the second half of the season on October 6th, 2018 with the FIM Freestyle MX World Championship competition in Cologne at the Lanxess Arena. The crowd in Mannheim can hold the date for the next round on the 6thof March, 2020 when Night of the Jumps will return with more fireworks and bigger tricks.