2018 TRI­ALE WORLD CHAM­PI­ONSHIP

Trial Magazine - - INTERNATIONAL -

Yamaha were out in force for round two as they fo­cussed on their very first FIM Trial World Cham­pi­onship tro­phy, hav­ing won round one. The nar­row streets around the mar­ket town of Comblain Au Pont in Bel­gium were full of the fac­tory sup­port trucks, in­clud­ing a huge pres­ence from Yamaha which gave some added ex­cite­ment to the de­cid­ing round.

Qual­i­fy­ing

Af­ter his dis­as­ter in the qual­i­fy­ing for round one in France, where he parted with a five-mark penalty to put him at the head of the field to ride the haz­ards first in the trial, the even­tual world cham­pion Loris Gu­bian was put un­der more pres­sure in Bel­gium. Played out in hot con­di­tions, the qual­i­fy­ing sec­tion was held in the mid­dle of the mar­ket square on a rock-filled man-made hazard. He was the third fastest in Qual­i­fy­ing One be­hind Christophe Bruand and Kenichi Kuroyama as he parted with one mark. When it all mat­tered in Qual­i­fy­ing Two to de­cide the start po­si­tions for the trial the fol­low­ing day it was once again Kuroyama who took the Jit­sie ‘Hot Seat’ for the quick­est time, but Gu­bian was just two sec­onds down to fol­low the Ja­panese rider home. FASTEST: 1: Kenichi Kuroyama (Yamaha-JPN) 36.85; 2: Loris Gu­bian (Gas Gas-FRA) 38.70; 3: Christophe Bruand (Elec­tric Mo­tion-FRA) 43.86; 4: Takumi Narita (Elec­tric Mo­tion-JPN) 50.32; 5: Joan Cor­don (Me­cate­cno-ESP) 55.82 + 3; 6: David Oliver Blasco (On Rac­ing Tri­alE-ESP) 5; 7: Jerome De­lair (Elec­tric Mo­tion-FRA) 5; 8: Bastien Hieyte (Elec­tric Mo­tion-FRA) 5.

Wide Open

It was al­ways go­ing to be a tense bat­tle of nerves be­tween the two world class rid­ers Kenichi Kuroyama and Loris Gu­bian. Could the Ja­panese come to Europe and walk away with the world cham­pi­onship from un­der the nose of Gas Gas? As early as the sec­ond hazard it looked like Kuroyama was in trou­ble with a ‘Feet-Up’ five mark penalty as Gu­bian used his vast ex­pe­ri­ence to part with just four sin­gle marks around the 15 haz­ards. Big rocks and steep climbs were put in front of the elec­tric ma­chines but the two very tal­ented rid­ers con­tin­ued to amaze the watch­ing crowds with the ‘silent’ ma­chines, look­ing very im­pres­sive as they were head and shoul­ders above the rest of the en­try. Kuroyama parted with just two more to leave the open­ing lap scores at four and seven in favour of the French rider.

So Close

On the sec­ond lap it was the turn of Gu­bian to have a ‘Feet-Up’ five for stop­ping on the very first hazard. Would he crack un­der the pres­sure? As he watched Kuroyama fail the sec­ond hazard on the sec­ond lap he knew that all he had to do was ride con­ser­va­tively and the ti­tle was his. They both parted with a sin­gle mark on the sixth hazard and, de­spite the pres­sure they were both feel­ing, they com­pleted the lap los­ing no more and the ti­tle was go­ing to Gas Gas and Gu­bian by three marks. With a rel­a­tively small en­try and only two rounds in 2018 let’s hope that the other man­u­fac­tur­ers take note and that in 2019 we will see more rounds and more man­u­fac­tur­ers in­volved. RE­SULTS: 1: Loris Gu­bian (Gas Gas-FRA) 10; 2: Kenichi Kuroyama (Yamaha-JPN) 13; 3: Joan Cor­don (Me­cate­cno-ESP) 28; 4: Christophe Bruand (Elec­tric Mo­tion-FRA) 37; 5: Takumi Narita (Elec­tric Mo­tion-JPN) 39; 6: David Oliver Blasco (On Rac­ing Tri­alE-ESP) 82; 7: Bastien Hieyte (Elec­tric Mo­tion-FRA) 83; 8: Jerome De­lair (Elec­tric Mo­tion-FRA) 98. 2018 TRI­ALE WORLD CHAM­PI­ONSHIP PO­SI­TIONS: 1: Loris Gu­bian (Gas Gas-FRA) 37; 2: Kenichi Kuroyama (Yamaha-JPN) 37; 3: Christophe Bruand (Elec­tric Mo­tion-FRA) 28; 4: Joan Cor­don (Me­cate­cno-ESP) 24; 5: Bastien Hieyte (Elec­tric Mo­tion-FRA) 22; 6: David Oliver Blasco (On Rac­ing Tri­alE-ESP) 20; 7: Jerome De­lair (Elec­tric Mo­tion-FRA) 19; 8: Takumi Narita (Elec­tric Mo­tion-JPN) 11.

Look­ing like a new era Me­cate­cno us­ing the colour scheme from the eight­ies ‘Dragon­fly’ model, Spain’s Joan Cor­don made the podium in Bel­gium.

Tri­alE Top Three: Kenichi Kuroyama, Loris Gu­bian and Christophe Bruand

Christophe Bruand fin­ished third in the two-round cham­pi­onship com­pe­ti­tion and headed home the other Elec­tric Mo­tion ma­chines rid­den by Bas­tian Hieyte, Jerome De­lair and Ja­pan’s Takumi Narita who strug­gled with an old back in­jury he car­ries from his world cham­pi­onship days.

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