Ever since we were kids, we’ve been told over and over again that practice makes perfect. While we may not always achieve total perfection, that endless horizon is what we strive for—and so, we practice the things we take seriously. That’s extra true for motocross riders, because even if they seem like they’re having the best time all the time, you don’t get good at those jumps without a whole lot of practice.
That’s what freestyle motocross rider Mattia Cavalli wants to make sure that people understand. Big risks can equal big rewards—but they also require big planning, lest you end up with big injuries. Back in June, 2022, he successfully jumped his Kawasaki KX450 over a moving airplane, but it took a whole lot of preparation to get to that point.
24MX made a film about the event, which it posted in September, 2022. One of the first things that Cavalli talks about is how difficult it must be for his parents, watching their son risk his life every time he sets out to do a jump like this. He offers no solution to this quandary, because of course there is none—it's merely a fact that he wants to acknowledge. He’s grateful that they’re so understanding, and that they care and support him so much. Having a supportive family makes all the difference in the world, just in general.
Cavalli has spent countless hours preparing body, brain, and bike for this jump. It was originally planned to take place several times before this—always at the same airfield in Udine, Italy, called Fly & Joy. Unfortunately, they’ve had to cancel three times previously, simply due to unfavorable weather conditions. Although it’s an amazing stunt that they wanted to accomplish, they wanted to control every variable that they could to ensure safety.
In the end, pilot Alberto Cossi—who has over 30 years of flight experience under his belt—successfully flew the craft between the two ramps where Cavalli performed his jump. In the film, we see Cavalli practicing the jump prior to the big event, using those same ramps—simply leaping the vast expanse with no plane. That looks difficult enough, if we’re honest—but having a plane flying underneath as you jump overhead is just a whole lot to wrap your brain around.
How do you train your eyes to not automatically follow the motion of a freaking airplane as it’s passing under you? Not only that, but the wind movement around the plane—as well as the sound—seems like it would be total sensory overload. The level of concentration and determination that Cavalli had to build up had to have been intense, and that’s even before you consider the physical dimensions of what he accomplished.
Congratulations to Cavalli, Cossi, and everyone involved in making this stunt a successful reality. To those of us watching a short video clip online, it may seem like it’s over incredibly quickly—but a lot of work goes into making something like this possible.