Scot­tish Six Days


Who could have pre­dicted the drama that was to un­fold on the slopes of Ben Ne­vis in the sun­shine at the con­clu­sion of the 2018 Scot­tish Six Days Trial as Dougie Lampkin snatched the vic­tory from James Da­bill, who had led the event from day one? Look­ing very much like a heavy­weight box­ing match, these two top tri­als rid­ers fought ev­ery day to gain an ad­van­tage over one another, nei­ther giv­ing any­thing away in their quest for vic­tory. With six rid­ers part­ing with no marks on day one Lampkin was in close con­tact on one mark lost. They both re­mained clean on day two and on Wednes­day Da­bill opened up a small ad­van­tage. Re­main­ing calm and col­lected Da­bill had his early day on Thurs­day, with Lampkin his on Fri­day, but the ad­van­tage re­mained in Da­bill’s favour. It was all to play for on Satur­day morn­ing as the weather shone prop­erly on the trial for the first time in the week. All was go­ing to plan for Da­bill to break the hold of Lampkin on the event, un­til in a cruel twist of fate he fived the fi­nal haz­ard. In a calm ex­e­cu­tion of the trial Lampkin parted with one more mark to ex­tend his to­tal of vic­to­ries at the event to a record twelve.

It was a change of event con­di­tions for the 2018 ‘Scot­tish’ as the glo­ri­ous sun­shine of 2017 was re­placed by the cold, wind and wet for the ma­jor­ity of the week. Satur­day was the only day blessed with sun­shine, which was a fit­ting con­clu­sion for the rid­ers to fi­nally en­joy a dry day.

Once again, it was or­gan­ised by the Ed­in­burgh & District Mo­tor Club with Clerk of the Course, Jeff Horne, at the helm of the ‘ship’. He was sup­ported by the Sec­re­tary of the meet­ing, Mieke de Vos, and, with a hard-work­ing team be­hind them, they once again de­liv­ered an event very much en­joyed by a large ma­jor­ity of the rid­ers.

A few changes had been made to the routes, with some new haz­ards added. It ap­peared to be a lit­tle on the eas­ier side with the haz­ards rid­ing well and the top rider part­ing with very few marks but if you look at the bot­tom half of the re­sults it shows that the trial still took many marks from the rid­ers.

Where’s the Challengers?

It’s a fact that the younger rid­ers were pushed away from the podium for what­ever rea­son. Dougie Lampkin is 42 years old, the old­est ever win­ner of the trial and yet it was re­ally only James Da­bill that chal­lenged him for the vic­tory.

Gary Mac­don­ald sel­dom com­petes as often as he should yet these three rid­ers held the podium po­si­tions af­ter six days of com­pe­ti­tion.

Where are the world cham­pi­onship con­tenders, we may also ask? At a time when the man­u­fac­tur­ers are look­ing to try and sell more ma­chines and cre­ate in­ter­est in our sport of mo­tor­cy­cle tri­als surely the fact that the Scot­tish Six Days Trial pro­vides the largest shop win­dow with 282 com­peti­tors their top rid­ers should be com­pet­ing. Yes, times change and you can ar­gue the sports are now di­vided, but in truth, it’s all about rid­ing a tri­als mo­tor­cy­cle in dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions.

It was noted and com­mented that the trial was miss­ing the in­ter­est it usu­ally holds. One thing is for sure, if the top rid­ers come to the event then the fol­low­ers of tri­als will re­turn to wit­ness the ac­tion in what is still the great­est test of man and ma­chine in the world of the tri­als mo­tor­cy­cle.

Dougie Lampkin: A mas­ter of his art: ev­ery inch of each haz­ard is in­spected, and pho­to­graphic de­tail kept in the mem­ory banks.

James Da­bill: Rid­ing very calm and col­lected, the win slipped from his grasp at the fi­nal hur­dle in the event.

Gary Mac­don­ald still chases that elu­sive first vic­tory, but he should be ev­ery proud of his per­for­mance as he led the Scorpa team to the coveted and much sought-af­ter man­u­fac­tur­ers’ tro­phy.

It was a very happy James Da­bill who looked to be on track to add his third SSDT tro­phy to the cab­i­net as he held the lead for five of the six days.

282 rid­ers started out with 239 fin­ish­ers; well done one and all.

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