Pfeiffer successfully defends world championship in Zurich
BMW Motorrad’s Chris Pfeiffer has successfully defended the Streetbike Freestyle World Championship in Zurich, which took place this weekend at the SWISS-MOTO Motorcycle, Scooter and Tuning Exhibition in Zurich, Switzerland.
The 37-year-old German once again dominated proceedings aboard his BMW F 800, winning each of the four rounds across the weekend, to retain the crown he won at the inaugural event in 2007. Second place went to Portuguese rider Humberto Ribeiro, while rounding up the podium was Sébastien Desbonnet from France.
Pfeiffer pitted his skills against 16 competitors from 12 different countries, and once again proved that when it comes to freestyle stunt riding, very few can get close to the BMW Motorrad man.
“I feel great, having retained the title I won last year. Because I was the reigning champion, there was a massive amount of pressure on my shoulders to perform again,” said Chris. “I’m extremely proud to have coped with that pressure and to have come through as champion again – especially with all the strange judging decisions that were made!”
After initial practice rounds, this weekend’s contest started on Saturday and consisted of two runs of four minutes each, with the best score counting. Having experienced stiff competition at last year’s event, Chris knew that he would have to produce an outstanding run in the final rounds to put himself in contention at the top of the leader board. And after pulling off some never-seen-before combinations, the job was done.
“I was delighted to nail the new combinations I was planning, in particular the new donut combo I had never attempted in competition. Then I tried some new wheelie combos that the crowd seemed to enjoy. In the end I managed to produce more tricks in a quicker time than anybody else, and for that I felt I deserved to win over the weekend,” commented Chris.
The victory in Zurich ensures that Chris’s name remains at the top of a sport he has dominated for many years. But even after performing at the pinnacle of his profession for 12 years, the man from Halblech, Germany, admits that he still feels the nerves ahead of a big competition.
“I was really nervous in the lead up to the World Championship, especially as I was feeling unwell on Saturday – the first day of competition. My nerves weren’t helped by what everyone in the paddock recognised as inconsistent judging. I think they (the judges) just started to allocate high scores too early in the contest and when the big guys came up, they had no more space in order to honour those even greater performances accordingly. Because there were several high scores for average performances for some of the riders, this made me feel like I had to perform even better. But in the end, the other riders acknowledged that despite the scoring, I was the better rider over the weekend.”
In this, the second year of the Indoor Streetbike Freestyle World Championships, the organisers have pulled out all the stops the ensure the best possible conditions for those taking part – including the preparation of 70 tonnes of brand new asphalt, costing €30,000, to cover the 15 x 50 metre action area and guarantee perfect levels of grip. It will now have to be scraped off and recycled, but the effort made by organisers of the SWISS-MOTO exhibition to ensure that the perfect environment is created for stunt riding, makes the indoor World Championship Chris’s favourite event.
“This is by far my favourite competition as the conditions are fair. Being indoors there are no problems with the weather and the atmosphere generated by the crowd is sensational. There’s a great vibe here and the Swiss organisers do a fantastic job,” said Chris.
Looking forward to the 2009 competition, Pfeiffer admits he would love to win a third consecutive title, but believes as time goes on, the competition will become tougher.
“Becoming champion can be seen as the easy part. But staying champion is difficult, and it won’t be long before the judges discover a young rider who is capable of winning!” he concluded.
The SWISS-MOTO show at the Exhibition Centre in Zurich focused on the very latest in motorcycles, scooters and quads. Visitors who wanted to kit themselves out for the new motorcycle season were able to take their pick from the huge selection of accessories and clothing on offer. In total, the four-day show attracted 63,000 visitors, not only from all over Switzerland but from right across Europe. More info can be seen at the www.swiss-moto.ch website.
- 1 Chris Pfeiffer (Germany) – 167
- 2 Humberto Ribeiro (Portugal) – 160
- 3 Sébastien Desbonnet (France) – 156
- 4 Antonio Carlos Farias (Spain) – 147
- 5 Mattie Griffin (Ireland) – 146
- 6 Narcis Roca (Spain) – 142
- 7 John Den Ouden (Netherlands) – 141
- 8 Ricardo Domingos (Portugal) – 131
- 9 Balazs Herczeg (Hungary) – 129
- 10 Aaron Twite (USA) – 119