WHO IS? Lorenzo Gon­dola

Trial Magazine - - CONTENTS -

At the start of this year’s Trial125 World Cham­pi­onship Italy’s Lorenzo Gandola was not even on the radar of Trial Mag­a­zine – to the point that at round one of the five-round series in Spain we never even got any ac­tion pic­tures! ‘Who is this young rider?’ was my im­me­di­ate thought when I spot­ted him on the top step of the podium. He had eas­ily won the last two rounds of the 2016 cham­pi­onship in Italy at Chi­ampo, but maybe this had been due to a lit­tle bit of home ad­van­tage? Over the course of the 2017 cham­pi­onship we be­came more and more aware of this shy young rider. We apol­o­gised at round two for not tak­ing any pic­tures, and I promised him: “If you win the Trial125 World Cham­pi­onship I want an in­ter­view”. He smiled and in a quiet unas­sum­ing man­ner replied: “I will try”. For such a young man he is very calm and thought­ful with his an­swers. Speak­ing with Mario Can­del­lone, the ex­pe­ri­enced mo­tor­cy­cle tri­als jour­nal­ist who runs the Ital­ian web­site: www.pho­to­trial.it, he said that Lorenzo was most cer­tainly a good prospect for the fu­ture of Ital­ian riders in the Trial World Cham­pi­onship

I must firstly once again apol­o­gise for not tak­ing any pic­tures of you in Spain!

No prob­lem, you were not the only one! It just makes the podium pic­tures more valu­able – he says, grin­ning! Maybe I need to be more ex­cit­ing with my rid­ing so that you do no­tice me. At the first round I was not sure how strong the other riders would be but I re­mained fo­cussed on my own rid­ing and was more than happy to take the twenty points.

Tell us about your in­tro­duc­tion to the world of tri­als

As with most young riders it came from my fa­ther and a friend. I am sure you can imag­ine that com­ing from Italy we have a strong in­ter­est in any­thing with wheels. Valentino Rossi has done so much for the two-wheeled sport that we are all very pas­sion­ate about mo­tor­cy­cles. My fa­ther had seen mo­tor­cy­cle tri­als and knew it would be a good in­tro­duc­tion for me.

Did you ride in cy­cle tri­als first or was it straight onto a mo­tor­cy­cle?

Elec­tric mo­tor­cy­cles are very much a part of the fu­ture of tri­als and I started my ca­reer on one. As I pro­gressed with it I also started to ride a cy­cle tri­als bike. It was quite in­ter­est­ing to see how much the elec­tric mo­tor­cy­cles have pro­gressed at the Tri­alE Cup in France; I was very im­pressed.

Is there a youth sys­tem in Italy run by the fed­er­a­tion?

Yes, we have Team Italia which is sup­ported by the Ital­ian Fed­er­a­tion. It gives youth riders a way to en­ter into the Trial World Cham­pi­onship and the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship as well.

How did your ed­u­ca­tion go?

I know just how im­por­tant ed­u­ca­tion is for later on in life, and I ac­tu­ally en­joy school which makes ev­ery­thing just a lit­tle bit eas­ier. At school we do not prac­tice or train for any par­tic­u­lar sport but if you start to ex­cel at any par­tic­u­lar dis­ci­pline the school does show an in­ter­est and en­cour­age you. Vo­ca­tional ed­u­ca­tion is in place that pre­pares you to work in a cho­sen trade and to learn its skills, which is what I en­joy the most.

When did you start to com­pete in the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship?

I started rid­ing In the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship last year and re­alised just how com­pet­i­tive I could be. I had pre­vi­ously won sev­eral ju­nior ti­tles and the 125cc Cham­pi­onship. The at­mos­phere was very good with the other riders and I ex­plained to my fa­ther that it would be good to do the fi­nal two rounds of the World Cham­pi­onship on the 125cc.

Were you sur­prised to win at Chi­ampo?

I ap­proached the two-day event the same as I have for ev­ery event but with it be­ing my ‘home’ round I did train that lit­tle bit harder on the run up to the event. On day one I was a lit­tle ner­vous but took a clear vic­tory. Be­lieve it or not I was more ner­vous on day two and nearly lost the win af­ter a very poor sec­ond lap! My fel­low Ital­ian rider, Mirko Spreafico, pushed me all the way. With the Ital­ian na­tional an­them play­ing it was a very proud day for both of us. The ic­ing on the cake was the cel­e­bra­tion of my birth­day on the same day!

Tell us about 2017

I knew Billy Green would be good, and the one to beat if I was to be world cham­pion. He is a very strong, de­ter­mined rider, and at ev­ery round I would have to be at my very best. For some rea­son I could not set­tle to a good rhythm in qual­i­fy­ing but I did not re­ally let this bother me. The wins in Ja­pan on day two and An­dorra had Billy on the back foot and I opened up a small ad­van­tage. In France both Billy and I were beaten by Fa­bien Poirot, who stood very proud in his home GP on the top spot of the podium. De­spite the dis­as­ter in Great Bri­tain in qual­i­fy­ing, where I fin­ished last, I knew that a good sen­si­ble ride would give me the ti­tle and that’s ex­actly what I did, de­spite rid­ing at the very front of the en­try and hav­ing to ride the haz­ards first.

What is the level of sup­port from Scorpa, is it di­rect with the fac­tory or with the Ital­ian im­porter?

The Scorpa deal is di­rect with the fac­tory. They had seen my two wins in Italy in 2016, which must have im­pressed them. We talked about my am­bi­tions in mo­tor­cy­cle tri­als, which re­sulted in the three-year con­tract run­ning from 2017–2019. I was very pleased to sign for this term as it gives me some sta­bil­ity know­ing that I will not be swap­ping and chang­ing ma­chin­ery. The 125cc Scorpa is a su­perb ma­chine which re­sulted in me win­ning the 2017 Trial125 World Cham­pi­onship. It’s very much a stan­dard ma­chine with small changes made to suit my rid­ing style.

Your min­der is your fa­ther?

Yes, my fa­ther Cris­tiano is my min­der and fa­ther. We work very well to­gether as he un­der­stands what I am think­ing – well, most of the time!

Tell us about your plans for 2018

I will move to the big­ger en­gined Scorpa as soon as pos­si­ble. The win­ter months will be all about train­ing and set­ting up the Scorpa. It’s quite a change from the 125cc to the 250cc so it will all be about ad­just­ing my tech­nique and rid­ing style. I have al­ready ridden the 250cc and, along with the ex­tra power, the sus­pen­sion starts to work more ef­fi­ciently so we will fo­cus on get­ting this set cor­rectly as well. Be­fore I close I would like to thank ev­ery­one who has made this World Cham­pi­onship win pos­si­ble – thank you!

62 TRIAL MAG­A­ZINE Gold: 2017 Trial125 World Cham­pion.

Spain; on the way to win num­ber one.

2017: The win in An­dorra opened up a small ad­van­tage.

TRIAL MAG­A­ZINE

2016: Chi­ampo Italy – Podium time.

64 TRIAL MAG­A­ZINE

2017: A dis­as­ter in qual­i­fy­ing in Great Bri­tain put him last.

2017: France was a tough round.

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