“I was like ‘this is going to hurt’,” Robbie Maddison told Australia’s Daily Telegraph. “I saw the end of the ramp, I could see I was going too fast so I leant right back to brace for it… I thought ‘this is going to smash me’, but I rode out of it, so I got lucky. It was a pretty brutal impact.” The drop-in apparently remains one of the most difficult jumps for the 29-year-old Australian stunt rider, he had a similar near-miss when he jumped off the 96-foot tall Arc de Triomphe replica in Las Vegas two years ago.
Photo: Christian Pondella/Red Bull Photofiles
Essentially surviving a life-threatening free fall thanks to physics, a successful drop-in requires a front wheel landing on a steep ramp which transforms the vertical movement into horizontal over a period of time that’s acceptable to a human body. Land on the back wheel or too far down the ramp and you risk pogoing out of control or failing to take advantage of the ramp’s angle to reduce the forces. In this practice jump for his performance in Sydney, the ramp was positioned too close to the jump platform and Maddison had a bad launch, meaning he landed on the wrong wheel, too far down the ramp. Somehow, he managed to stick it.
“It’s been hard for me to stay focused and grounded,” said Maddison after admitting that he’d fluffed the ramp’s positioning. “It’s killing me.”