TONI BOU • 11 X-TRIAL WORLD TITLES • 673 FATBAR
With a full house of twenty riders from seven nations the Trial125 class certainly has an international feel about it. This class is where the TrialGP adventure begins, and the young riders on the 125cc capacity machines can catch you out with surprise winners. In truth, interest from both the riders and the manufacturers has been lost over the last few years, and that is in no way removing any credit from its previous winners. As with the Trial2 class the qualification section was made a little more flowing and did not follow the lines of the TrialGP class. French rider Fabien Poirot on the Gas Gas posted the fastest time, but only just. His time of 29.34 was followed closely by Germany’s Jarmo Robrahn, also Gas Gas mounted, at 29.83 with all the other times over 32 seconds.
Eventual winner Lorenzo Gandola from Italy on the Scorpa had posted the fifth fastest time in qualifying and rode a very solid event. His opening lap score of 13 was followed very closely with a single mark separating him from France’s ‘Pocket Rocket’ Hugo Dufrese on his Gas Gas. These two riders were the only ones with scores of fewer than 20 marks, with Fabien Poirot on 21 followed by fellow French rider Kieran Touly on the Sherco. A round winner in 2016, Great Britain’s Billy Green was next on the Beta, on 25.
The wet conditions proved very difficult for the 125cc machines. Billy Green came bouncing back into contention for the win with the best second-lap score of 26 but the damage had been done on the opening lap and Gandola was a worthy winner. The size and stature of Hugo Dufrese should never be confused with his ability and he stood very proud on the final step of the podium. The positions after the top three were still very close, with Kieran Touly fourth on 55 followed by Norway’s Vold Gunvaldsen on 56, Spain’s TRS mounted challenger Eric Miquel on 58 and Fabien Poirot on 59. After qualifying well in fourth position Oliver Smith took the final point in fifteenth.
Hugo Dufrese (Gas Gas-FRA) could be the next ‘Mighty Atom’ after a very slightly built Michael Brown from Great Britain was christened with the nickname originally. Small in stature but big on ability — remember the name. Billy Green (Beta-GBR) is a breath of fresh air to the new series and will sense the smell of victory after the first round. Kieran Touly (Sherco-FRA) comes with support from the French federation. Vold Gunvaldsen (Beta-NOR) will be happy with the top five.