A thrilling duel - Maikel Melero leads the way in the Freestyle MX World Championship at the halfway point ahead of Luc Ackermann! The first shots were fired in 2018 of the next generation of tightly contested competitions with the duel between the-then 4-time Freestyle MX World Champion, Maikel Melero and the young-gun from Germany, Luc Ackermann with the fight for the world title coming down to the last event in Shenzhen, China in 2018 where Melero took out his 5th World Championship title in a row and creating more history along the way.
The fireworks continued at the first round of the 2019 season, where the duel continued, only this time it was the podium hungry 21-year-old, Luc Ackermann who won the first four World Championship competitions at NIGHT of the JUMPs ahead of Maikel Melero. However, by the fifth round of the tour in Zurich, the German crashed out and missed the final which handed the Spaniard his first victory of the season. With Melero’s consistency in the first half of the season, he is sitting on top with 92 championship points in front of the challenger, Ackermann, with 89 points.Pat Bowden follows in third place with 74 points.
The 2019 season started with the FIM Freestyle MX World Championship taking place inside Berlin’s Mercedes-Benz Arena in front of 10,000 spectators. It was only fitting that the home-town kid, Luc Ackermann took out the win on both nights before rapturous applause after landing his Double Backflip Nac-Nac in the Double-Ups to secure the win. Maikel Melero could only sit back and watch as the young German made his intentions known for the new 2019 season.
The World Championship moved from the German capital, to the Bavarian-state capital of Munich at the end of April, where again the showdown between Luc and Maikel would come to ahead. The Spanish World Champion knew that he had a fight on his hands after witnessing Ackermann’s domination in Berlin. With the Egg-Roll, Nac Flair, Seat Grab Flip, California Roll, Ruler Flip, Lazy Flip, Shaolin Flip and a No-Hand FrontFlip, Maikel could have felt confident that after reading the Hot-Seat, he could finally get a win in 2019. Unfortunately though, the German FMX Terminator in front of another German crowd was able to upstage the World Champion again with his own Front Flip, Seat Grab Flip, Flair and Egg Roll.
Luc pushed even further by landing a perfect flat spin 360, Surfer Tsunami Flip and Double Backflip in his run and finished with a Double Backflip Nac-Nac in the Double Up. The roof was blown from the supports of the Olympiahalle as the crowd again saw their own German rider take the top honours. On the second night of competition, Luc Ackermann brought the same run again and had the exact same result by standing on the highest point of the podium, with a defeated Melero needing to re-think his championship tactics.
Only four weeks later, the championship moved to the next battleground inside the Hallenstadion in Zurich, Switzerland. In qualification, Melero put together a relatively safe run to make sure he had the points to advance into the final and some surprises up his sleeve for the judges. It was then Luc Ackermann’s turn for qualifying, and after landing the Front Flip, 360 and Egg Roll, his run was looking reminiscent of the first four rounds of competition. But the wheels fell off the wagon after Luc became twisted up on his signature Surfer Tsunami Flip, which saw Luc take a hard dirt sample with a crash over the 21-metre distance.
Undeterred, Luc tried his best to scramble enough tricks in his run to make it to the final, even finishing with a Double Backflip, while not even knowing if his handlebars were bent. Luc’s valiant effort just wasn’t enough, taking 7th position in qualifying and missing out on the Top 6 final for the first time in 2019.
Melero’s icy cold composure was on full display when he finished the final with a huge run including the California Roll, Flair, Ruler Flip, Egg Roll and No-Hand Front Flip with perfection. Melero sealed his first win of the season, and with so many consistently high results throughout the season, the Spaniard also took control of the World Championship points lead for the first time in 2019. Melero is now three points ahead of Ackermann in the overall standings.
The Summer Break is almost over, and the 2019 season will reconvene on the 24th and 25th of August with NIGHT of the JUMPs returning to China, and visiting for the first time in its history, the Oil-Field city of Daqing. The 2019 Freestyle MX World Championship will be decided in Sofia, Bulgaria in mid-December where the battle between Melero and Ackermann will meet for the final time in 2019.
FIM Freestyle MX World Championship 2019
Ranking (after 5th contest)
1. Maikel Melero ESP RFME KTM 92 Points
2. Luc Ackermann GER DMSB Husqvarna 89 Points
3. Pat Bowden AUS MA Yamaha 74 Points
4. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Husqvarna 42 Points
5. Javier Villegas CHL FMC Suzuki 41 Points
6. Rob Adelberg AUS MA Yamaha 40 Points
7. Leonardo Fini ITA PZM KTM 36 Points
8. Filip Podmol CZE ACCR Yamaha 36 Points
9. Adam Jones USA AMA Yamaha 32 Points
10. Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 29 Points
11. Kai Haase GER DMSB Suzuki 27 Points
12. Hannes Ackermann GER DMSB KTM 24 Points
13. Brice Izzo FRA FFM Husqvarna 17 Points
14. Jeremy Rouanet FRA FFM Yamaha 12 Points
15. Fred Kyrillos BRA CBM Honda 12 Points
16. Mat Rebeaud SUI FMS Alta 7 Points