Olympiahalle, Munich - Pumping rock and techno music, laser light-shows, scantily clad 'go-go' girls, blazing fire rings, and the testosterone-raged revs of motorbikes. That means the ADAC SuperCross Cup made its way to Munich this weekend.
After the dust settled on the dirt track, Matt Goerke took advantage of a restart in the final heat of the SX1 division, held off the contenders, and earned Sunday's title.
His total results from the weekend earned him the "King of Munich", while Frenchman Boris Maillard earned 'Prince of Munich' for his efforts in the SX2 division.
The opening heats were mere formalities for the favorites and points leaders, as they were able to make it through unscathed. There were ooh's and aah's with every crash, making every fan hold their collective breaths with each turn and jump.
In the field for the final was last year's 'King' Florent Richier. He ran the fastest rounds throughout the afternoon, looking to repeat. But American Mike Alessi was also the first in all his rounds.
All was set up for the final that started off to be Alessi's crowning run. He won the event Saturday night and was intent on repeating on Sunday. He jumped out in the lead, earning the 'holeshot' (first rider to the first turn) and jumped out to an insurmountable lead.
Everyone else was racing for second.
Until fellow American Robert Kiniry crashed in the 7th lap on a corner turn. He was not able to get off quickly enough and needed medical attention. As a precaution, the officials stopped the race. However, the race was only 50% complete, and thus the officials ruled a restart. One more lap, the race would have been official and Alessi the champ.
Most of the riders were not aware of this, including Alessi, who tried to get someone to explain what was happening. A visably upset and now desperate Alessi prepared for the restart, while the other riders were happy to get another chance.
"I felt great (in the first run), I was riding well and had a five second lead - I was gone," recalled Alessi. "With the restart, I really wasn't ready and a got a bad start. And I made a lot of mistakes."
And the other riders took advantage.
"With that restart, I was like, 'yes' and I made sure I got a good start," said a satisfied Goerke after his win. "I tried to be smooth and consistent lap after lap and knew it'd pay off."
Czech rider Filip Neugebauer earned the holeshot in the restart. "For the second start, I changed my starting spot and that was important for me."
Alessi started fourth, behind Goerke and Cole Siebler, who would drop back a few laps later.
Neugebauer was not able to hold the lead as Goerke took over in the fifth lap. Meanwhile Alessi was pushing to get back in the lead. And his anxiousness to recover what he lost led to him making many mistakes, including crashing into Neugebauer on a turn in the seventh lap.
"The crash was not necessary, I just wanted to let him pass, I know he is faster than me," admitted Neugebauer. "I knew the podium would be a good result, so when he was next to me, I let him go. But he didn't give me the chance and went into me and I was upset, 'again, no podium'!"
This allowed Goerke to build a lead that he would not lose, and Frenchmen Thomas Ramette and Yohan Lafont passed up the crashed riders.
But the talents of Neugebauer and Alessi would not be denied - the podium was in sight and they gave it their all. They both recovered from the spill, and pushed for an exciting final end spurt, making up lost ground to the leaders.
It was too little, too late. Neugebauer held off Alessi, and joined Goerke and Ramette on the podium. A visibly disappointed Alessi drove straight off the track and into his team area.
"I wasn't really focused for the restart and it caught me off-guard and I made too many mistakes," is all a dejected Alessi could conjure up after losing a chance to build his lead in the overall standings.
While Alessi will return to the States to run in the AMA Supercross in Anaheim, California, Goerke will continue on to the final ADAC Supercross Cup stop in Dortund January 6th.
Meanwhile, Richier would not repeat, and finished a disappointing 10th in the final.
But his teammate and countryman Maillard is running away as the points leader in the SX2 category. The ZAP Kawasaki Elf Team Pfeil member was consistently at the top of all his runs during the weekend and earned the junior title as 'Prince'.
The Supercross returns to Munich next year, December 15 and 16.
Gabriel Nounna contributed to this article.