A Lampkin Leg­end

Trial Magazine - - TRADITIONAL - AR­TI­CLE: JOHN HULME

Win­ners are a rare breed; such is the strength of their de­sire to fin­ish in that trea­sured first po­si­tion. Then we have the win­ners who want to break records which, as you would ex­pect, comes with ac­cu­mu­lat­ing vic­to­ries. Dougie Lampkin came to the ‘Scot­tish’ as a very young child know­ing his fa­mous un­cles and cousins had com­peted, with un­cles Arthur and Alan tak­ing vic­to­ries be­fore the win­ning years of his fa­mous fa­ther Martin. He made his first com­pet­i­tive ap­pear­ance in 1993, tak­ing the Ian Pollock award for the Best New­comer in 7th po­si­tion. In 1994 he would take the first vic­tory, fol­lowed by more in 1995 and 1996 be­fore com­mit­ting his rid­ing to the world cham­pi­onship se­ries. In 2008 he started a win­ning run, tak­ing fur­ther vic­to­ries in 2009 and then from 2012 dom­i­nat­ing the event un­til his lat­est vic­tory in 2017. His sin­gle-mark win­ning score equalled that of Gor­don Jack­son in 1961 but Lampkin parted with his on the fi­nal day. I think you will agree that the ti­tle ‘Leg­end’ sits very com­fort­ably on the shoul­ders of the 41-year-old York­shire­man.

Glo­ri­ous sun­shine was cast over the whole event, in­clud­ing the tra­di­tional ‘weigh in’ day and the six days of com­pe­ti­tion. The event or­gan­ised by the Ed­in­burgh & Dis­trict Mo­tor Club Lim­ited re­ceived a huge vote of suc­cess for all con­cerned, agree­ing that this year’s event had been one of the best for many years. The team who makes it all hap­pen is headed by the Clerk of the Course Jeff Horne and the Sec­re­tary of the meet­ing Mieke de Vos who de­liv­ered a su­perb event, it’s a sim­ple as that. They had lis­tened and taken on board how to take the event for­ward, and aided by the ex­cel­lent weather re­ceived very few com­plaints – and quite rightly so.

AC­TION ALL THE WAY

The scores had been close all week be­fore Dougie Lampkin went clean on his early day, Thurs­day, to make his chal­lenge for the 11th vic­tory. As with many Scot­tish Six Days Tri­als a new star is born, and this year that ti­tle goes to 19-year-old Jack Price. He tried all he could but in truth he knew that Lampkin would take some beat­ing. With no marks lost Lampkin ar­rived at the Lower Mamore haz­ards on the fi­nal with the record set by Gor­don Jack­son in 1961 the one to beat. Bar­ring a dis­as­ter the vic­tory would be his any­way. He spent a good five min­utes check­ing out the line he would choose, be­fore mak­ing his at­tempt at the fi­nal haz­ard of the group. He was inch per­fect around the tight rocky corner in the boul­der strewn river and he would gen­tly open the throt­tle of the ma­chine. He knew his front wheel was off line and took the safety ‘dab’. The two ob­servers had noted it and it went into the scor­ing book. Lampkin paused at the top of the haz­ard for a few sec­onds, no words spo­ken ei­ther dur­ing his at­tempt or af­ter. Show­ing a truly pro­fes­sional at­ti­tude to it all he picked his ruck­sack up and rode off. Yes that is the tri­als leg­end that is Dougie Lampkin, a role model for any as­pir­ing young tri­als rider.

DAY 1: CLEANS GA­LORE

The event started in the glo­ri­ous sun­shine as the first of the 275 rid­ers de­parted from the trial’s base at the West End car park in Fort Wil­liam. The Mediter­ranean-like weather was wel­comed by ev­ery­one in­volved with the six days of ac­tion. The en­try would take in 30 haz­ards on the 66-mile course. Such was the dry con­di­tions that no less than five rid­ers tied for the lead, hav­ing all com­pleted day one clean. The de­fend­ing Scot­tish Six Days Trial cham­pion Dougie Lampkin (Ver­tigo) was one of these rid­ers, with his fault­less per­for­mance matched by lo­cal favourite from Kin­lochleven and re­cent win­ner of the Pre-65 Scot­tish Gary Mac­don­ald (Scorpa). The 2016 FIM Trial2 World Cup win­ner Jack Price (Gas Gas) was joined by Andy Chilton (Scorpa) and Jack Shep­pard (Beta) as the other early chal­lengers who never parted with a mark.

DAY 2: SO CLOSE

Dougie Lampkin re­mained un­pe­nalised on day two as he edged him­self into a small lead, hav­ing shared the top spot with four other rid­ers go­ing into the day. One other rider re­mained feet-up on the se­cond day of com­pe­ti­tion and that was Spain’s Jordi Pas­cuet, who moved into se­cond po­si­tion over­all hav­ing parted with a sin­gle mark the day be­fore. Teenager Jack Price kept his sights on a first vic­tory with a daily loss of three marks to slot into third place over­all. In close com­pany was his even younger com­pa­triot Thomas Minta, who was chas­ing the Best New­comer award. He held fourth po­si­tion in the over­all rank­ings so far and was just one mark in front of the much more ex­pe­ri­enced duo of Jack Shep­pard and Gary Mac­don­ald. A many times run­ner-up in this event, Michael Brown made his chances of fi­nally clinch­ing a vic­tory more dif­fi­cult as he slipped fur­ther away from the lead­ers de­spite mov­ing up to sev­enth spot over­all fol­low­ing a daily to­tal of five marks on the day’s 88-mile course.

DAY 3: ALL TO PLAY FOR

With the sun con­tin­u­ing to shine and an 85 mile course to ride Dougie Lampkin kept his feet firmly on the footrests to record yet another clean per­for­mance to con­tinue to hold the lead at the half­way stage of this year’s Scot­tish. Hav­ing come close on other oc­ca­sions in the past Spain’s Jordi Pas­cuet con­tin­ued to pur­sue his dream of a vic­tory, sit­ting just three marks back from Lampkin af­ter he added two marks to his to­tal. Whilst Pas­cuet was us­ing his ex­pe­ri­ence to keep in con­tention nine­teen-yearold Jack Price re­mained locked on three marks over­all with his Span­ish ri­val in third place. Suf­folk-based Jack Shep­pard mir­rored Lampkin’s and Price’s clean per­for­mance on the day to move up to fourth spot, on a to­tal of four marks which matched Thomas Minta who con­tin­ued to im­press in his first SSDT. Show­ing his best rid­ing of the week Michael Brown was one of the five rid­ers to stay clean on the day and re­mained in touch with the lead­ers de­spite sit­ting in sev­enth place.

DAY 5: ON TAR­GET

Clos­ing in on a his­toric record-break­ing eleventh Scot­tish Six Days Trial vic­tory the for­mer 12-times FIM Trial World Cham­pion Dougie Lampkin re­mained feet-up for a fifth day in suc­ces­sion as the sun con­tin­ued to shine on his back. Jack Price could be the one to pounce if the leader parted with any marks as Lampkin had his eyes on be­com­ing the best ever rider in the ‘Scot­tish’ in his quest to re­main clean and beat the low­est-mark scor­ing vic­tory of a sin­gle mark set by Gor­don Jack­son in 1961. In only his se­cond six days trial, Price was putting in a very ma­ture ride as he fought to keep his fel­low ri­val to Lampkin Michael Brown at bay. Jack Shep­pard lost five marks but still held fourth po­si­tion, un­for­tu­nately los­ing sight of a top three po­si­tion. The top for­eign rider Jordi Pas­cuet parted with just three marks to climb back up the or­der to fifth po­si­tion over­all. The six days new­comer Thomas Minta re­mained steady in sixth po­si­tion, with Scot­land’s best per­former Gary Mac­don­ald next, leav­ing fel­low Scorpa rider Andy Chilton in eighth fol­lowed by Sam Haslam and Richard Sadler.

DAY 4: CON­FI­DENT

A strong and con­fi­dent Dougie Lampkin is al­ways hard to beat, and he ended day four hav­ing rid­den 120 sec­tions with­out part­ing with a mark. In a solid dis­play on his early start day, as the rid­ing num­bers are ro­tated on a daily ba­sis, he looked to­tally fo­cused on a record-break­ing eleventh vic­tory and chas­ing the new record of com­plet­ing the event part­ing with no marks.

Thurs­day is the long­est day of the 2017 event, tak­ing in 97 miles, as Sam Haslam used this late start­ing num­ber to equal Lampkin’s clean ride to move into ninth po­si­tion. Fel­low Gas Gas rider Jordi Pas­cuet started the day as the overnight run­ner-up but slipped to eighth place as he added a ten-mark loss to his over­all score. In con­trast Jack Price moved into a clear se­cond po­si­tion just five marks be­hind the much more ex­pe­ri­enced Lampkin with two days re­main­ing. Price now had a two-mark ad­van­tage over Michael Brown in third po­si­tion who had made good progress up the leader board over the pre­vi­ous two days and was still in con­tention for a much sought-af­ter vic­tory.

DAY 6: A ONE-MARK WIN­NER

Forty-one-year-old Dougie Lampkin rewrote the his­tory books as he claimed an un­prece­dented eleventh Scot­tish Six Days Trial vic­tory with his best per­for­mance ever in this iconic event. Los­ing just one mark on the sixth and fi­nal day, he equalled the feat of Gor­don Jack­son who fin­ished on the same score back in 1961 on an AJS. He needed just one steady­ing dab in the se­cond sec­tion of the two at Lower Mamore, as his front wheel moved off his cho­sen line, to run out a clear and com­fort­able win­ner af­ter stay­ing feet-up in the other 179 haz­ards. He was fol­lowed home by Jack Price who showed ma­ture com­po­sure through­out the week to fin­ish as a very wor­thy run­ner-up. A reg­u­lar on the podium at the event, Michael Brown se­cured third po­si­tion as he en­joyed a much im­proved se­cond half of his week’s rid­ing af­ter he had slipped down the or­der mid-week of the com­pe­ti­tion. Brown’s strong rid­ing kept Jack Shep­pard off the ros­trum, much to his dis­ap­point­ment. En­joy­ing his six days of rid­ing Thomas Minta rounded off his week in fifth po­si­tion.

Just look at the 100% con­cen­tra­tion in those eyes! Dougie Lampkin gives the haz­ard a very close in­spec­tion, us­ing his pho­to­graphic mem­ory for ev­ery part of the haz­ard.

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