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.