Berlin, February 22, 2020: Celebrating 20 years of NIGHT of the JUMPs events couldn’t have been more perfect with over 15,000 visitors being enthralled by some of the most insane Freestyle Motocross competition inside the Mercedes-Benz Arena with the first Freestyle of Nations teams event the Berlin crowd had seen on Friday and Saturday night.
Showcasing the new Teams event format for the first time in the German Capital, the action sports stars did not fail to impress, by landing some of the biggest tricks in Freestyle MX and Mountain Bikes, including Trick Premieres in the FMX Competition. After witnessing Friday Night’s‚ Firsts‘ of Marc Pinyol’s Super Flip from the Scissor Lift in Best Trick, and Kai Haase landing his first ever Front Flip to dirt in competition, Round 2 was always going to be even bigger!
After taking the victory on Day 1 for the World Team consisting of Javier Villegas (CHL), Jamie Squibb (ENG) and Josh Sheehan (AUS), the Host Nation Germany with Luc and Hannes Ackermann and Kai Haase were looking to strike back on Saturday. Launching heavy FMX grenades, Kai Haase blew everyone away by stepping up from his first Front Flip to dirt on Friday, to adding a No-Handed combo on the second day to secure the top spot in his Freestyle heat.
While Luc Ackermann tried to get the crowd on his side in the Whip Contest with a 360, he was unable to make it to the finals, but the German crowd were already firmly behind their team and cheered Kai Haase to victory in the Best Whip final against Jamie Squibb and Marc Pinyol.
Jamie Squibb had relegated Marc Pinyol (ESP) and Hannes Ackermann (GER) to 2nd and 3rd places in the Freestyle Heat which gave the World Team the interim lead in the standings. But with Kai Haase’s two triumphs in his Heat and Best Whip, Germany had regained the lead. However that quickly evaporated after the Synchro discipline where Josh Sheehan and Javier Villegas were able to take the win over the German team, with absolutely perfectly timed Seat Grab Indy and Ruler Flips, and Lazyboy Flips in a train on the return jump.
In the final Freestyle Heat of the night, it was up to the German team captain, Luc Ackermann to counter the World Team dominance, and he wasn’t going to be denied. With his 360, Front Flip, Tsunami Flip and Double Backflip in the Double-Up, he was able to beat Josh Sheehan and the Spanish FMX tandem team of Antonio Navas and Rocky Florensa who also showed their incredible two-man Body Varial on one bike, which had forced a tie between the German and World Team.
The night of competition couldn’t have been scripted any better, with the final decision coming down to the last competition as the tie-breaker. With the Best Trick discipline as the final, it was never going to disappoint. Marc Pinyol landed his first ever Surfer Tsunami Backflip over the long distance in competition for Team Spain while Navas and Rocky landed the first 1-Handed Tandem Backflip in a FMX competition. Kai Haase busted out the No-Hand Front Flip again and the German MTB Pro, Lukas Knopf landed the Double Backflip in the Stadler MTB Best Trick. But it was the surprise of Josh Sheehan and Luc Ackermann performing for the first time at NIGHT of the JUMPs, the Double Backflip in a Train for both the World Team and Team Germany that sent the audience into hysterics. The crowd demanded more and chanted for an encore to celebrate the 20th season of NIGHT of the JUMPs after witnessing such a close competition.
With Team Germany taking the narrowest of wins from the Best Trick competition, they sealed their title on Day 2 of Freestyle of Nations in Berlin for Luc Ackermann, Hannes Ackermann, Kai Haase and Lukas Knopf as the MTB rider for the team.
Germany had won with 437 points, only 2 points in front of the World Team and Team Spain galantly taking 3rd position on the podium for the second round.
After such an epic start to the new NIGHT of the JUMPs season, the tour continues to the Bavarian capital of Munich, Germany on April 25th, where the best athletes from around the world will compete in the start of the World Tour Championship.
The riders will return to Berlin of course in 2021 with always something new and a completely new setup. The date will be announced soon.
1. Team Germany L. Ackermann, H. Ackermann, K. Haase 437 Points
1. Team World J. Sheehan (AUS), J. Villegas (CHL), J. Squibb (GBR) 435 Points
3. Team Spain M. Melero, M. Pinyol, A. Navas/R. Florensa 354 Points
Results Freestyle Heat 1
1. Jamie Squibb Team World 51 Points
2. Marc Pinyol Team ESP 49 Points
3. Hannes Ackermann Team GER 40 Points
Results Freestyle Heat 2
1. Kai Haase Team GER 64 Points
2. Javier Villegas Team World 56 Points
2. Maikel Melero Team ESP 49 Points
Results Freestyle Heat 3
1. Luc Ackermann Team GER 61 Points
2. Josh Sheehan Team World 58 Points
3. A. Navas/R. Florensa Team ESP 34 Points
Results Best Whip Contest
1. Kai Haase Team GER 100 Points
2. Jamie Squibb Team World 80 Points
3. Marc Pinyol Team ESP 70 Points Results Synchro Contest
1. Team World J. Sheehan, J. Villegas 100 Points
2. Team Germany H. Ackermann, K. Haase 80 Points
3. Team Spain M. Pinyol, M. Melero 70 Points
Results FMX Best Trick Contest
1. Team Germany Luc Ackermann/Kai Haase 92 Points
2. Team World Josh Sheehan/Javier Villegas 90 Points
3. Team Spain Navas-Florensa/Marc Pinyol 82 Points