February 20, 2007 Chris Pfeiffer has become the first Indoor Streetbike Freestyle World Champion at the one-off indoor event last weekend at the SWISS-MOTO Motorcycle, Scooter and Tuning Exhibition in Zurich. The 36-year-old German and his BMW F 800 were up against 16 other competitors from nine nations, yet Pfeiffer went through Saturday's qualifying rounds and both of Sunday's final rounds, posting near perfect results in front of thousands of spectators and winning every round. Second place went to former World Stunt Riding Champion AC Farias from Brazil, with Finnish newcomer Joni Tammela securing the remaining podium slot.
"I'm really proud of this victory in Zurich and can now proudly call myself the 2007 world champion of the 'small area'," said Chris. "First and foremost, it's great that an indoor world championship freestyle event has been organised and I have to say that I wasn't expecting to find such a high calibre of riders capable of performing in such a limited space. The evolution of the riders in terms of their technical abilities is skyrocketing - we had 16 top riders from the US and all parts of Europe and none of them had any problems in performing in the available space, which was only 54 by 15 metres.
"In this limited 'arena', the guys kept circling and throwing trick combinations that most people had never seen before. Over 60,000 spectators attended the show and those who saw our contest were able to witness a new level of indoor streetbike freestyle riding. Tricks that were considered almost impossible just a short time ago have now become standard for many of the top athletes."
This weekend's contest started on the Saturday and consisted of two runs of four minutes each, with the best score counting. On his first run, Chris managed to score 49 out of 50 points and take the lead. This allowed him to take it easy in the second of Saturday's heats and focus on the crowd rather than the judges. That said, he still scored a confidence-inspiring 47 points!
On Sunday, two more rounds were scheduled, but this time both scores - together with Saturday's best - would count towards the overall score. With the pressure on, Chris managed a fantastic 48 points in the first but was still nervous, as he had suffered a couple of minor crashes in recent contests and this was playing on his mind.
"By then, I had won every heat and the gap to second-placed AC Farias was about 10 points. However, I still felt pretty uneasy because just recently, something unexpected has always happened in the final runs of contests. Fortunately though, apart from a loose lever, I made it through, scored 47 points and made it four wins in four heats!"
"All things considered, it was a fantastic showdown in Zurich and we've seen some great examples of 'young blood' innovating our sport, such as Matti Tepsa, Michael 'Maguh' Hilska and Joni Tammela, as well as the Americans Ernie 'E-Dub' Virgil and Alex Flores. These guys are helping to lift our sport onto a new, demanding platform at exactly the right time, and I'm extremely happy and proud of winning this first ever edition."