Maikel Melero sets new record after becoming the 2018 FIM Freestyle Motocross World Champion
Shenzhen, November 18, 2018: The NIGHT of the JUMPs World Tour for 2018 finished with the eighth and final World Cup round of the year. Following from the first night of competition, 10 riders from 5 nations competed in the Shenzhen Sport Centre to battle for the final points of the FIM Freestyle MX World Championship.
The battleground lines were drawn from the start in the qualification round between Maikel Melero (ESP) and Luc Ackermann (GER). The two riders have dominated the 2018 World Championship season and both riders had every opportunity to win the Gold Medal. But both riders had to survive the preliminary round. In the end, it was the young German who sealed his fate after an electrifying run full of huge tricks, such as the Seat Grab Flip, 360, Ruler Indy Flip and Flair. But it was the Surfer Tsunami Flip which was again his kryptonite on the second night. After pulling too hard on the flip, Luc’s hand slipped off the handlebars and he crashed heavily into the red Shenzhen soil. Luc managed to walk away from his dirt sample relatively injury free. With his 8thplace on the second night of competition in Shenzhen, Luc was relegated to second overall in the 2018 title fight after Melero took a safe run to make it into the Final 6.
Pat Bowden (AUS) took out the qualification round after a stellar run, followed by Libor Podmol (CZE) in second. Melero went into the final 6 in 3rd position, with the two other Czech riders, Petr Pilat, Filip Podmol and Kai Haase (GER) entering the final 6 for the first time
The Rockwell Best Whip competition was dominated on the second day by Kai Haase and Pat Bowden. Although the Australian won yesterday’s competition, on the second night the German rider tasted victory with his huge racer-style whips.
Both rivals met again in the Maxxis Highest Air competition. Tonight however, they were joined by the Brazilian Nicolas Ferreira, who courageously threw himself into his first Highest Air competition. But against the experienced rider of Kai Haase, it was always going to be tough. Although Ferreira knocked Bowden out of the contest, he wasn’t able to beat the German, who won with 9.00 metres. With two victories in China, Haase also won the 2018 Maxxis Highest Air World Championship, with Massimo Bianconcini in second place.
In the final round, the riders lit the Shenzhen Stadium up like fireworks. Everyone wanted to win the final round of the season. Pilat returned with a vengeance, stomping his Flair on the Double Up to seal a solid second position for the night. Bowden, who qualified first brought a new trick to NIGHT of the JUMPs with the One handed Hart Flip to Double Grab Flip, but made a mistake with the Cliffhanger Flip and had to settle for 4th. Libor Podmol Surfer Tsunami Flipped his way to third position, while Melero started his run with the California Roll and finished with the Nac Flair to win the final round of the season.
After the most exciting season finale in the World Championship history, which was decided in the final night of competition of the season, Maikel Melero re-wrote NIGHT of the JUMPs history by claiming his 5th FIM Freestyle Motocross World Championship series in a row. A feat which looks to be almost impossible to replicate. Luc Ackermann fought fiercely with Melero the entire season until his last trick, but it was the Spaniard’s experience which ultimately triumphed over the carefreeness of the German, who at the age of 20 years, can proudly hold the Silver Medal. This looks to be the battle of the 2019 season already, with Ackermann surely to return and aim for the win. Libor Podmol’s third position in Shenzhen on Day 2, sealed his 3rdposition in the overall FIM World Championship season.
The final competition of the FIM Freestyle MX World Championship concludes the NIGHT of the JUMPs World Tour for 2018. The new season will start on the weekend of 22nd and 23rd of February, 2019, when the World Championship will kick-off at NIGHT of the JUMPs Berlin (Mercedes-Benz Arena).
The 2019 Tour marks a milestone in the nearly 20-year history of NIGHT of the JUMPs. Completely renewed, the oldest and only Freestyle MX Championship tour will be launched globally again next year. The great success of NIGHT of the JUMPs in Shenzhen and Wuhan has also caused a stir in many other Asian countries and beyond, with negotiations currently ongoing to include some new nations for 2019.