2017 FIM Trial World Cham­pi­onship

Trial Magazine - - NEWS - AR­TI­CLE: YOOMEE

The open­ing round of this year’s Trial World Cham­pi­onship ar­rived with the rid­ers wel­comed to Cam­prodon in Spain with an ex­cit­ing 2017 se­ries to look for­ward to, as the in­tro­duc­tion of a new pro­moter Sport7 would bring many changes with it. The area for the trial world cham­pi­onship of­fered a vast range of chal­leng­ing con­di­tions in­clud­ing rivers, rocks and steep climbs found in abun­dance in this moun­tain­ous re­gion in the Pyre­nees close to the French bor­der. Mo­tor­cy­cle tri­als has wit­nessed many changes over the years. The sport started to gen­er­ate Euro­pean in­ter­est in the early six­ties and a new cham­pi­onship was in­tro­duced ti­tled the ‘Chal­lenge Henri Gouthars’ se­ries in 1964. In 1968 the se­ries was granted FIM Euro­pean sta­tus and was won by Sammy Miller, rid­ing a Bul­taco. With mo­tor­cy­cle tri­als be­com­ing bet­ter recog­nised in­ter­na­tion­ally the FIM granted full world cham­pi­onship sta­tus in 1975. Spain has hosted a round ever since as the se­ries has grown, but the venue this year is a new and vir­gin one where the new pro­mot­ers would in­tro­duce some rad­i­cal changes.

Bring­ing tri­als in line with the other FIM mo­tor­cy­cle world cham­pi­onship dis­ci­plines, TrialGP is the top cat­e­gory fea­tur­ing the most elite rid­ers. The other classes are as fol­lows: Trial2, Trial125, TrialGP Women and Trial2 Women, with these cat­e­gories mak­ing up the rest of the cham­pi­onship. The lat­ter three classes would only con­test six of the eight events. The 2017 FIM Trial World Cham­pi­onship will be con­tested over eight rounds in venues all around the globe. Six events will take place on a sin­gle day, with the other two far away rounds in Ja­pan and Amer­ica hav­ing two days of points scor­ing rounds, mak­ing a to­tal of ten points-scor­ing cham­pi­onship events for TrialGP and Trial2. Qual­i­fy­ing will take place the day be­fore to de­cide the com­pe­ti­tion day’s start­ing or­der, with ob­ser­va­tion and time de­cid­ing the bet­ter start po­si­tions mak­ing for an ex­cit­ing start to each event.

Pro­mot­ers Sport7 have also in­tro­duced a new for­mat for the TrialGP classes. Each day’s com­pe­ti­tion will in­clude fif­teen sec­tions con­tested over two laps with a max­i­mum time al­lowance of five hours. This will be al­lo­cated as two-and-a-half hours per lap, with a twenty-minute break af­ter the first lap is com­pleted.

Another ‘first’ for the cham­pi­onship is changes to the man­u­fac­tur­ers’ cham­pi­onship and the way the points are scored. Mon­tesa/Honda has dom­i­nated this cat­e­gory with 23 vic­to­ries since its in­tro­duc­tion in 1975. For 2017, man­u­fac­tur­ers that have reg­is­tered for this cham­pi­onship are able to choose a max­i­mum of two rid­ers per con­struc­tor, from the two cat­e­gories TrialGP and Trial2, with the top rid­ers in each class awarded points to­wards the con­struc­tors’ cham­pi­onship.

The ac­tion started in this new era of world tri­als in the bright sun­shine. Start­ing on time the new elim­i­na­tion pro­ce­dure over the qual­i­fy­ing sec­tion was soon un­der way and added a new di­men­sion to the sport. Af­ter watch­ing some spir­ited at­tempts from the Trial125 fol­lowed by the Trial2 class it was time for the TrialGP rid­ers. The start­ing po­si­tions of­fered were de­cided by bal­lot and, as you would ex­pect from Takahisa ‘Full­gas’ Fu­ji­nami he soon set the bench­mark, but parted with a sin­gle foot down to ham­per his progress up the or­der. Toni Bou was then the one to lead the way be­fore a very smooth but spec­tac­u­lar Jamie Busto raised the bar as the last rider, Ed­die Karls­son, went out to claim the last po­si­tion af­ter he also parted with a mark.

Af­ter the event opened to a fine start dur­ing the qual­i­fy­ing round on day one the con­di­tions on race day took a turn for the worst as a thun­der­storm half­way through the open­ing lap changed the na­ture of the 15 dry haz­ards. Heavy rain and hail came down and the con­di­tions de­te­ri­o­rated quickly, af­fect­ing all three classes. Tak­ing full ad­van­tage of this sit­u­a­tion af­ter a poor qual­i­fi­ca­tion, Albert Cabestany on the Sherco took a very slen­der lead go­ing into the se­cond lap just one mark in front of the ten-time FIM World Cham­pion Toni Bou and two marks ahead of Adam Raga on the TRS. The youngest mem­ber of the Rep­sol Honda team, Jamie Busto, was the last rider out on the course but was not able to take ad­van­tage of this sit­u­a­tion as the weather favoured the ear­lier rid­ing num­bers. Af­ter fin­ish­ing the first lap just out­side the top four on very close marks in a group which in­cluded Jeroni Fa­jardo on the Ver­tigo and Fu­ji­nami and Jorge Casales on the Beta, the podium dream for Jamie came crash­ing down with nine five-mark penal­ties in­curred on the se­cond lap.

On his way to another clear vic­tory and his 90th out­door world cham­pi­onship win Toni Bou just got bet­ter, open­ing up a win­ning twelve­mark ad­van­tage from his ca­reer-long ri­val Adam Raga. De­spite the changes to the event for­mat it was very much a podium as seen be­fore, as fel­low Span­ish rider Albert Cabestany took the fi­nal step. The bat­tle for fourth po­si­tion was much closer as Jeroni Fa­jardo fin­ished just one mark in front of Ja­pan’s Fu­ji­nami, who was the first non-Span­ish rider. Af­ter a poor 2016 sea­son by his stan­dards Casales showed much bet­ter form to push a very dis­ap­pointed Busto into sev­enth. Great Bri­tain’s James Da­bill on the Gas Gas res­cued a poor open­ing lap to move into eighth, fol­lowed by another of the hot young tal­ents from Spain, Miquel Ge­labert on the Sherco, in ninth with Ital­ian cham­pion Mat­teo Grat­tarola round­ing off the top ten on the Gas Gas.

De­spite the many changes at the top level of the sport the reign­ing cham­pion Toni Bou has once again thrown down the gaunt­let as he took a clear-cut win on home soil in Spain. His lat­est vic­tory also gained valu­able points for Mon­tesa in the new-for­mat con­struc­tors’ cham­pi­onship, with an im­por­tant win for Trial2 rider Gabriel Mar­celli who is also four-stroke mounted on the Cota 4RT.

The ac­tion started in qual­i­fi­ca­tion, with Nor­way’s Hakan Ped­er­sen set­ting the stan­dard with the fastest time as three rid­ers did sub-26-se­cond times. But as with Busto in the TrialGP class Hakan could not turn this ad­van­tage into a solid race day re­sult. Ev­ery­one knew at the start of the sea­son that this very com­pet­i­tive class would throw up some sur­prises as po­ten­tially you have ten rid­ers who can all win a round dur­ing the course of the cham­pi­onship. Now of­fi­cially a world cham­pi­onship and not just a ‘Cup’ class the 2016 win­ner Jack Price had moved up into the TrialGP class for 2017, so a few fire­works are ex­pected as we look for a new world cham­pion.

Hav­ing moved through the world cham­pi­onship into the Trial2 class with sup­port from the Span­ish Fed­er­a­tion, Gabriel Mar­celli on the Mon­tesa had not looked any­thing spe­cial in the qual­i­fi­ca­tion, tak­ing eleventh po­si­tion. Fel­low team rider and also four-stroke mounted on the Cota 4RT, Francesc Moret used all his ex­pe­ri­ence to gain an open­ing lap ad­van­tage, part­ing with just nine marks. A round win­ner last year, Luca Pe­trella was next on twelve on the TRS, fol­lowed closely – just a sin­gle mark be­hind – by the el­der of the two Peace broth­ers from Great Bri­tain Dan on the Gas Gas. Last year’s run­ner-up in the ‘cup’ class was Welsh rider Iwan Roberts on the Beta, who trailed Peace by just a sin­gle mark. Even­tual win­ner Mar­celli was a lowly eighth, on 21 marks lost.

In the rapidly de­te­ri­o­rat­ing wet and cold con­di­tions Spain’s Gabriel Mar­celli fi­nally man­aged to gain the ad­van­tage on sec­tion eight to take a sin­gle-mark win from Roberts, who was far from happy with his fi­nal score claim­ing he had parted with fewer marks than had been recorded. The se­cret for Mar­celli was his two con­sis­tent laps of 20 and 21 to give him the close vic­tory over Roberts. In third po­si­tion, and show­ing his cham­pi­onship cre­den­tials, Pe­trella kept in front of a chas­ing pack on the TRS. The next po­si­tions were sep­a­rated by sin­gle marks, with Moret fourth fol­lowed by the Gas Gas pair­ing of the two broth­ers Dan and Jack peace.

It was the same for the re­main­der of the top ten that in­cluded another Span­ish Fed­er­a­tion rider Marc Riba on the TRS fol­lowed by yet another 2016 round win­ner Gael Chatagno from France, who has moved from Sherco to Gas Gas in his quest for a world ti­tle. The last two re­main­ing top ten po­si­tions would be taken by reg­u­lar world se­ries rider Filippo Locca from Italy on the Beta. Great Bri­tain’s Toby Mar­tyn made his world cham­pi­onship de­but on the Ver­tigo and should be happy with his top-ten per­for­mance as he con­tin­ues the process of learn­ing at this high level of com­pe­ti­tion.

Pro­moted by Sport7, the new TrialGP FIM Trial World Cham­pi­onship opened its doors for the first time in Spain.

Franz Kadlec (Gas Gas-GER) en­ter­tains the crowd with his qual­i­fy­ing at­tempt that yielded 5th po­si­tion. Jamie Busto (Rep­sol Honda-ESP) recorded his­tory as the first win­ner of the newly in­tro­duced qual­i­fi­ca­tion process in the FIM Trial World Cham­pi­onship. Toni Bou (Rep­sol Honda-ESP)

Hakan Ped­er­sen (Gas Gas-NOR) set the stan­dard in qual­i­fy­ing with a time of 25.46, fol­lowed by Filippo Locca (Beta-ITA) at 25.61 and Francesc Moret (Mon­tesa-ESP) 25.83. Gabriel Mar­celli (Mon­tesa-ESP) may have only fin­ished eleventh in qual­i­fy­ing, but took the first vic­tory in Trial2 of 2017. Iwan Roberts (Beta-GBR) was frus­trated to fin­ish se­cond with the marks so close to the even­tual win­ner.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.