An elec­tri­fy­ing start for Tri­alE

Trial Magazine - - INTERNATIONAL - AR­TI­CLE: TRIAL MAGAZINE

The time­line is France 2017, at the in­tro­duc­tion of the FIM Tri­alE Cup at Laudes as a sin­gle round event. The pro­moter of the FIM Trial World Cham­pi­onship, Sport7, dipped their toes in the wa­ter to gauge re­ac­tion to these new gen­er­a­tion elec­tric pow­ered ma­chines. As it hap­pened it proved a huge hit with the public, in both the qual­i­fy­ing and the event it­self the fol­low­ing day. Span­ish man­u­fac­turer Gas Gas had em­braced this op­por­tu­nity and pro­duced a game-chang­ing new elec­tric tri­als ma­chine to be rid­den by the 1996 FIM Trial World Cham­pion and three-time FIM In­door Trial World Cham­pion Marc Colomer; he is now the man­u­fac­turer’s Com­pe­ti­tion Rac­ing Man­ager. The vic­tory went to Marc on the Gas Gas and quite rightly so, based on the amount of ef­fort and in­no­va­tion that had gone into the new ma­chine. Wind the clock for­ward to 2018 and it’s now a two-event world cham­pi­onship, with this first round in France fol­lowed by the sec­ond round in Bel­gium one week later. Has the se­ries got a fu­ture, you may ask? Yamaha cer­tainly think so, as the new Yamaha TY-E model from Ja­pan was un­veiled for the first time in Europe with its num­ber one rider Kenichi Kuroyama hold­ing the han­dle­bars. I must take this op­por­tu­nity to apol­o­gise to the read­ers be­cause, due to pro­duc­tion sched­ules, we had to go to print be­fore round two, so the next time you read the magazine we will have a new Tri­alE World Cham­pion; will it be from Ja­pan?

The sun was out on the new era of the Trial-E cham­pi­onship for the first of the two-round cham­pi­onship in France. Rid­ing on home soil Loris Gu­bian had the home sup­port but af­ter cruis­ing through qual­i­fy­ing one, which would have given him the bet­ter start­ing po­si­tion, an un­ex­pected stop was re­warded with no time recorded and five marks putting him as the sec­ond rider to start be­hind fel­low coun­try­man Bastien Hieyte in qual­i­fy­ing two. As it hap­pened this played into the hands of Yamaha and Ja­pan’s Kenichi Kuroyama. Many of you will re­mem­ber the Ja­pa­nese rider from when he was res­i­dent in Europe rid­ing a fac­tory Beta in the world cham­pi­onship be­fore an in­door ac­ci­dent stalled his ca­reer. His usual mount is the devel­op­ment four-stroke Yamaha on which he has al­ready scored TWC points. In qual­i­fy­ing two he set the fastest time, putting a huge smile on the fac­tory per­son­nel who had trav­elled from Ja­pan to see their new cre­ation in ac­tion.

The only ca­su­alty of the timed qual­i­fy­ing ses­sions was Takumi Narita, who re­tired from the event hav­ing ag­gra­vated an old back in­jury he car­ries from his world cham­pi­onship days.

First away

Rid­ing any tri­als com­pe­ti­tion with an early start num­ber can ei­ther work for you or against you, and in Gu­bian’s case it went the wrong way. The open­ing haz­ard was quite a se­vere ex­posed jumble of rocks on a steep hill­side. Bastien Hieyte opened the ac­tion part­ing with two marks be­fore Gu­bian fol­lowed his line and had to part with three marks to keep for­ward mo­tion. Kenichi Kuroyama made his at­tempt on the haz­ard, tak­ing a new line and with it the ad­van­tage of keep­ing his feet firmly on the footrests to record a clean ride. Christophe Bruand opened his day also with a clean pas­sage through the haz­ard. Gain­ing con­fi­dence on ev­ery sec­tion rid­den, the Ja­pa­nese rider recorded a clean lap part­ing with no marks fol­lowed by Gu­bian on that soli­tary three marks lost and Bruand with his only loss which was a five on sec­tion twelve.

No way back

Know­ing he had the ad­van­tage Kuroyama rode a very cal­cu­lated sec­ond lap, part­ing with just two marks in the knowl­edge that Gu­bian was the one un­der pres­sure. Gu­bian parted with one more mark on sec­tion four but he knew rid­ing against the Ja­pa­nese top rider there was no way back from his ear­lier disas­ter. Look­ing very dif­fer­ent in his black and white rid­ing kit Christophe Bruand came home, pretty happy with his day’s rid­ing, in third.

The other big loser of the day was the un­for­tu­nate Joan Cor­don on the Me­cate­cno. The Span­ish rider had some is­sues with the me­chan­ics of the ma­chine and strug­gled to fin­ish, but at least he scored some points be­fore the ac­tion moves to Bel­gium in one week’s time.

The ter­rain in France was very dry with wheel grip at its very best, but we will have to wait and see what hap­pens in Bel­gium as last time the Trial World Cham­pi­onship vis­ited this same venue the heav­ens opened!

Look­ing very dif­fer­ent in his black and white rid­ing kit, Christophe Bruand cer­tainly en­tered into the spirt of the event. He also made his way to the podium with some in­spired rid­ing on the Elec­tric Mo­tion ma­chine. Hav­ing been in­volved in elec­tric tri­als ma­chines for some time now Bas­tian Hieyte (Elec­tric Mo­tion-FRA) will be dis­ap­pointed with his re­sult. Us­ing all his years of ex­pe­ri­ence in world cham­pi­onship events Loris Gu­bian came home a close sec­ond on the new Gas Gas. The mo­ment Loris Gu­bian lost the trial on the very first haz­ard, when he parted with three marks. The open­ing haz­ard was pretty dif­fi­cult as an opener for the E class.

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