Christian Pfeiffer, if you haven't seen him, brings a rather clean-cut image to stunt riding not often seen in the U.S.
Congratulations to Christian!
At last weekend’s European Stuntriding Championships in Amsterdam, Holland, BMW Motorrad’s Chris Pfeiffer successfully defended and retained his European title for 2007. The 36-year-old German rider won the three-round event, with Brazilian AC Farias taking the runner-up spot, and newcomer Narcis Roca from Spain finishing third.
The event took place on new tarmac at Amsterdam harbor and attracted 37 of the best stunt riders in Europe. Originally scheduled to take place last April, this European Championship contest had been postponed until September and it was lucky that Chris could even make it to the start line, as he had been suffering from a problem with his knee, due to too much time spent practising tricks on his BMW F 800 stunt bike.
As the contest got under way it soon became obvious that Pfeiffer had some serious competition, as almost all the riders had considerably improved their freestyle routines during the past year. “At the free practice I didn’t feel well prepared, as I’d taken a week off to let my knee recuperate,” said Chris. “A lot of young French riders showed up who had never been involved before and they were the biggest surprise to me, as they’ve brought in a lot of new and fresh style – and at a high level. One of them, Seb 5, even took the lead after the first round, as he pulled a 62-meter long stoppie. He told me he was terrified and that he was convinced his bike was going to flip because the rear wheel was so high in the air, but he managed to carry it off ok. I managed 48 meters, which was good, but nowhere near his run.”
The first round consisted of a three-minute freestyle program; a compulsory section including the longest stoppie possible with only a limited acceleration-space; a slow-as-possible wheelie over 50 meters; and a ‘donut’ around a center marking. The second round consisted of four minutes of freestyle, where Chris managed to take the lead and show a brand new trick for the first time – ‘switchback donuts’.
“This is a tough trick and I’d been practising it for a long time before showing it in public. You sit backwards on the tank – or airbox cover in the case of the F 800! It’s pretty hard to clutch in at high revs, as you need to get the rear wheel spinning. What makes it particularly difficult is that everything is back to front because of the way you are sitting, which makes operating the controls confusing, but it helped me take the lead in this round.”
After this, the best ranked 12 riders advanced to the finals, where they had six minutes of pure freestyle riding to perform. Fortunately for Chris, his third and final run was his best of the day and impressed the judges enough to award him the clear victory.
“This run was great – very energetic, dynamic and fast, without any mistakes, which brought me to the top of the leader board. AC Farias, who seems to have improved a lot in matters of speed and dynamics, finished second, while Narcis Roca completed the podium in third. There was lots of interest as usual in the BMW F 800 stunt bike – from the crowd and of course the other riders – and it has been totally accepted into the freestyle world. It’s great to have retained the title and I’m looking forward to performing in front of BMW fans at the Spanish biker meeting in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in a couple of weeks time.”
1. Chris 'CP' Pfeiffer – Germany (209.4 points)
2. AC Farias – Spain (206.7 points)
3. Narcis 'NR' Roca – Spain (192.2 points)
4. John 'Johnnie DO' den Ouden – Netherlands (186.1 points)
5. Bart 'Barth Vader' Van den Eynde – Belgium (183.6 points)
6. Sebasien 'seb5' Desbonnet – France (180.9 points)
7. Mattie Griffin – Ireland (178 points)
8. Demarquette 'Francois' Cyssko – France (174.6 points)
9. Bruno 'la patate' Ferreira – France (165.4 points)
10. Shamil Khabiev Russia (159.7 points)
11. Steven 'Bleuk' Fransen Belgium (153 points)
12. Alexander 'da Liks' Schuit Netherlands (148.5 points)