Pfeiffer Victorious In European Stunt Riding Championship

BMW Motorrad's Chris Pfeiffer reigned supreme at the 2008 European Stunt Riding Championships, taking the title for the third consecutive year and in emphatic style.

Just weeks after sustaining a broken vertebra, Chris was back to full fitness, wowing the judges with an array of stunts designed to achieve maximum points. The competition in Roethis, Austria, witnessed one of his finest performances aboard the BMW F 800 that has brought him so much success in recent years.

Entrants of the European Stunt Riding Championships must first compete in a qualification round, where only the top 18 riders go through to the semi-finals. A further six are eliminated from the semi-finals, before the remaining 12 battle it out in the final for the chance to be crowned champion. In a dominant display, Chris topped the leader board after each round, scoring over 200 points in both the semi-final and final to achieve an overall score of 601. This was almost 50 points ahead of the second-placed competitor, Kawasaki rider Angyal Zoltan.

"This weekend went perfectly," says Chris. "After my recent injury problems I was happy to be back in action and back to winning ways, and it was encouraging to have won all three rounds.

"I had a few problems in my first run though - I managed to touch the kick stand and the engine cut out," he continues. "That's never happened before, but I managed to keep my balance and nerve to continue the run. I also almost lost my grip doing one of the donuts, but I held on. The semi-final went great and by the end of it I was 27 points clear in first place, and after another good run in the final I eventually won by 47 points."

This is Chris's 4th European Stunt Riding Championship title, and his third in succession aboard the F 800. The German-based rider has proved that when it comes to stunt riding, there are still few people who can even come close to his mastery of two wheels. Chris believes that his technical ability shone through and his willingness to integrate new tricks into his routine set him apart from his rivals.

"I just felt great out there and I think it was because my riding had a good flow, consistent speed and no breaks that I won," he says. "I also managed to bring back a few new tricks from a recent trip to California, which seemed to go down really well with the judges."

After achieving all there is to achieve in his chosen discipline, people may think that there are no new tricks for Chris to learn. However, although thinking up unique stunts can be difficult, he believes that persistence is the key to finding something fresh. "There are two ways to learn new tricks," he reveals. "The first is to get inspiration from other stunt riders and put your own mark on a trick. The other way I find useful is to just get on my practice court. When it's just me and my bike, I'll think about what I'd like to do and see if it works. Sometimes you think that there are no new tricks out there, but you've just got to keep trying different things and expanding your horizons."

Not only did Chris defend his European title in some style, he did so just weeks after sustaining a back injury while filming his new DVD. But he says the injury has not hampered his riding. "Although it sounds bad to have suffered a broken vertebra, it's not taken me long to recover at all. After four weeks of rest I was allowed to ride again and now I feel full of energy!"

All that energy will be vital this summer as Chris hits the road, performing at countless shows around the world, entertaining thousands of fans with his unique stunt display. "From now until the end of the summer I'm just performing show after show," he says. "I'll get to see some great places, including Japan, Trinidad and South America. I'm also looking forward to getting in some practice on the G 450 X. I've not got a competition to worry about for a while yet, so I'm just going to concentrate on enjoying my riding!"

2008 European Stunt Riding Championship
Pos. Rider Manufacturer R1 R2 (Semi-final) Final **Overall
1 C. Pfeiffer BMW 193 201 207 601
2 A. Zoltan Kawasaki 182 185 187 554
3 B. van den Eynde {{{Honda}}} 187 178 173 538
4 T. Sagnier Kawasaki 167 155 174 496
5 K. Favrou Honda 157 167 171 495
Flamingo wheelie circle
Chris proudly displays his fourth European Stunt Riding Championship trophy