Classic Trial - - FRONT PAGE -

I love any­thing mo­tor­cy­cle re­lated; it’s like an ad­dic­tion, a drug that needs feed­ing to me, but the tri­als side of the sport is where my main in­ter­ests lie, and that’s why we have both the Trial

Mag­a­zine and Clas­sic Trial Mag­a­zine ti­tles — pub­li­ca­tions I am very pas­sion­ate about. These are two ti­tles that can cater for the sport in many dif­fer­ent ar­eas. If you are won­der­ing where this story is go­ing, I am about to race to the con­clu­sion — and that’s the well-es­tab­lished two-day trial on the Costa Brava in Spain, as it’s a trial for every­one. It’s a clas­sic com­pe­ti­tion held at the end of Novem­ber in S’Agaro at Platja de Sant Pol, Sant Feliu, where the tri­als world comes to­gether; young and old in both rid­ers and ma­chines, who em­brace this op­por­tu­nity to en­joy our beloved sport. Old friends re­unite, and new ones are made, year after year — it does not mat­ter where you are from, what lan­guage you speak or the colour of your skin as we all em­brace these meet­ings to en­joy the sport we love. Around Europe, and in Great Bri­tain, the two- and three-day clas­sic tri­als for­mats are go­ing through a pe­riod of great times, with the cal­en­dar be­com­ing in­creas­ingly busy year after year. Four years ago the name Joan Co­mas and his fam­ily was not one I was fa­mil­iar with but as we left the S’Agaro ho­tel and said our good­byes the part­ing words were: “Please book me the same room again for 2019!” Ar­ti­cle: John Hulme

So pas­sion­ate

The word soon got around after the event in 2017 that it had been, in my own words, a ‘Bel­ter’. It was made even bet­ter by the sup­port of some of the Tri­alGP class rid­ers, with Takahisa Fu­ji­nami and Mat­teo Grat­tarola adding to the fun. I had en­cour­aged my good friends Steve Saun­ders and John Lamp­kin to ride, and they came along with some of their friends, and soon the whole event had gained mas­sive mo­men­tum!

Three-time FIM World Tri­als Cham­pion Yrjo Ves­ter­i­nen, his fel­low Bul­taco team rider from France, Charles Coutard, and Spain’s Jaime Su­bira were rid­ing. What was in­ter­est­ing is just how com­pet­i­tive they all were. They would all re­turn in 2018 and the en­try list read very much like a ‘Le­gends of Tri­als’ meet­ing.

The great Dougie Lamp­kin was en­tered on his late fa­ther Mar­tin’s 370 Bul­taco. His cousin James was on his fa­ther Alan’s Bul­taco. Nigel Bir­kett was bring­ing his fac­to­ry­sup­plied Suzuki RL 325 to ride. Throw in around an­other 100 rid­ers from Great Bri­tain and you soon get the pic­ture. Gilles Bur­gat, Jaime Su­bira and John Lamp­kin, all Fan­tic team rid­ers to­gether in the ’80s were re­united and, yes, all on their Ital­ian ma­chin­ery.

Ev­ery level of rider

Both days cov­ered the same area for the haz­ards but you have a choice of nine routes to cater for rid­ers of all abil­i­ties.

The red route is the most de­mand­ing and pro­vides the very best rid­ers with a chal­leng­ing day. The blue route is still very test­ing, how­ever the green and yel­low routes are the most pop­u­lar due to the less se­vere haz­ards. Un­for­tu­nately, this year, some of the haz­ards on the top two routes were quite dif­fi­cult to ma­noeu­vre the ma­chines around. Such was the sever­ity of the turns, the or­gan­is­ers were only made aware of it after the event as rid­ers con­struc­tively voiced their opin­ions.

One of the main prob­lems this year was the weather as the sun­shine de­serted the area on both days. The Moto Club 2d Trial Costa Brava coped very well with the dif­fi­cult con­di­tions, es­pe­cially with rain on the Sun­day, mak­ing the dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion to re­move some of the haz­ards close to the an­gry seas as the wind lashed the wa­ter at the rocks. There were quite a few re­tire­ments, mainly due to the harsh weather, but on the whole, every­one en­joyed them­selves.


Yes, it’s not re­ally that far off. Many new two-day events have emerged over the last few years (and Clas­sic Trial Mag­a­zine in­tend to at­tend them) but we will print here a rough guide just in case you fancy your first trip to a for­eign trial to be the Costa Brava Two Day in 2019.

Barcelona air­port is around a 90-minute drive with Girona around 35 min­utes by car. The trial is based at the Ho­tel S’Agaró, which is a Spa cen­tre, and just a stone’s throw from the beach and the lo­cal town where cafés and restau­rants can be found. The ma­jor­ity are open but it is out of sea­son. The restau­rant at the ho­tel is quite good.

The en­tries open for 2019 on the 1st Septem­ber on­line: www. tri­al­ The en­tries will fill up quickly, so if you want to ride, take note of the date. Once you have had your en­try con­firmed you can also book your ho­tel, with con­tact de­tails once again on the club’s web­site. There are two main ho­tels. The one I use is at the tri­als head­quar­ters, it con­tains the pad­dock and the race of­fice, which is lo­cated at the Ho­tel S’Agaró, Platja de Sant Pol, Sant Feliu: www.ho­tel­sagaro. com. Reser­va­tions: 0034 972 325 200. Email: [email protected]­tel­ Just around the cor­ner, 200 me­tres from the pad­docks, is the Ho­tel Bar­carola: www.hotel­bar­ Reser­va­tions: 0034 972 32 69 32. Both ho­tels are very good, and are ideally lo­cated and very ac­com­mo­dat­ing for the rid­ers and their fam­i­lies.

Ma­chine trans­porta­tion from Great Bri­tain can be made very easy by con­tact­ing Clas­sic Trial Mag­a­zine by email for the de­tails of the car­ri­ers and the price for each ma­chine next year. Email eng­[email protected]­ and we will pass on your en­quiry.

As we gather more in­for­ma­tion on two- and three-day events, we will print them in the mag­a­zines in 2019. Pack your bag and en­joy!

To say that French rider Mederic Delannoy on the Fan­tic was a happy win­ner of the red route was an un­der­state­ment. This is the first time that the Elite course was run at the event, and the haz­ards were very test­ing for the twin-shock ma­chin­ery to say the least.

Show­ing the same de­ter­mi­na­tion that his late fa­ther Mar­tin al­ways did, Dougie ‘bul­lied’ the Bul­taco around the haz­ards with a smile on his face such was the en­joy­ment of par­tic­i­pat­ing in the event and win­ning the blue route. It was so good to see him in the cool ‘retro’ cloth­ing pro­vided by his spon­sor Jit­sie, which even car­ried the Ham­mond Sauce name as a re­minder of one of his fa­ther’s spon­sors!

Rid­ing with so much pas­sion and com­mit­ment, Os­car Mill and the Bul­taco were at the front push­ing for the win all the way.

Ma­chine prob­lems cost Takahisa Fu­ji­nami dearly on the first day as he stopped in the very first haz­ard. Never one to con­cede de­feat ‘Fu­ji­gas’ was back to form on the Honda on Sun­day to post the low­est score of just two marks lost to move back onto the fi­nal step of the podium.

Next time you see Kieran Hankin just ask him about his fastest lap at the TT! A very keen mo­tor­cy­cle en­thu­si­ast in many dis­ci­plines, his rid­ing on the BSA Ban­tam was a plea­sure to watch.

Very much a new rider to the pop­u­lar twin-shock scene, Dan Hem­ing­way looked com­pletely at home on his 240 Fan­tic. Out­point­ing his cousin Dougie on day two will no doubt be sub­ject to some jovial ban­ter for the next few weeks.

After the end of the com­pe­ti­tion on the Sun­day af­ter­noon I was sat re­lax­ing with Rob Bowyer, hav­ing a beer, when we heard his Tri­umph roar into life. The Span­ish loved the sound so much that they had started it up just to hear the ex­haust note for one last time be­fore he loaded it into the truck for the jour­ney home!

I had a smile on my face when I saw James Lamp­kin’s rid­ing kit on the open­ing day. The last time I saw it was, I think, 1975 when his fa­ther Alan ‘Sid’ Lamp­kin had it on as a works Bul­taco rider. Rid­ing one of his fa­ther’s fac­to­rypro­vided Bul­ta­cos here, we see the roles re­versed as cousin Dougie ‘minds’ for James. Dur­ing his world-cham­pi­onship win­ning years Dougie had James as his min­der.

The Costa Brava ex­pe­ri­ence was one that Nigel Bir­kett very much en­joyed. Com­pet­ing on his very rare Suzuki RL 325 it was so nice to see him re­united with so many old rid­ers, friends and of­fi­cials who re­mem­bered him from his world cham­pi­onship days in the 70s and early 80s.

Prov­ing last year’s vic­tory was no fluke, Michel Ranc once again took the BSA to vic­tory on the green Pre-65 ex­pert route.

Stretch­ing to the very limit, Paul Dixon forces the Majesty over this rock step on day one; the pic­ture does not do jus­tice to the size of the step on the blue route for the twin­shock ma­chines.

Miss­ing the vic­tory by a sin­gle mark on the green Pre-65 ex­pert route was John Max­field on his im­mac­u­late BSA Ban­tam.

Just check out the tongue and con­cen­tra­tion of Gra­ham Wig­nall on his Fan­tic! He was just one of a huge con­tin­gent of rid­ers who crossed the wa­ter from Great Bri­tain to en­joy his ‘Costa’ week­end.

Full of en­thu­si­asm for the sport of tri­als, the S3 af­ter­mar­ket parts and cloth­ing sup­plier Michel Kauf­mann was in ac­tion test­ing his new cloth­ing range to the limit on this bor­rowed Tri­umph Tiger Cub.

This Bul­taco owned by Jose Dasi was pre­pared to a very high stan­dard and re­ally shows just how com­pet­i­tive the ma­chines and rid­ers are in clas­sic tri­als.

Dodg­ing the sea waves on the beach sec­tion is the green route Pre-80 win­ner Jean Val­let (Honda) on his Honda. As the weather de­te­ri­o­rated the waves started to crash onto the rocky haz­ard.

Clas­sic tri­als are not just for the older rider and men. World num­ber five in the FIM Tri­alGP Women’s class was the sev­en­teenyear-old Neus Mer­cia from Spain, who rode this Honda TLR with a cer­tain style that took her to the win in the green route masters’ class. Very im­pres­sive at all times, she was best in her class on both days.

Show­ing the style that took him to so many French na­tional cham­pi­onships is Charles Coutard on the Bul­taco.

Keep­ing the Union Jack flag fly­ing on the green Pre-80 route was Mark Wat­more on the Yamaha, who took the fi­nal step on the podium.

Look­ing very much the ‘Pro’ rider, An­drew Brown not only en­joys rid­ing his twin-shock ma­chin­ery he also pre­pares it at his AG Bikes work­shops. Very much a Bul­taco and Fan­tic spe­cial­ist, he is fast be­com­ing the man to visit for all your twin-shock prepa­ra­tion.

An­other very com­pet­i­tive fe­male mo­tor­cy­cle tri­als rider from the UK on the clas­sic scene is Har­riet Shore, seen here in to­tal con­trol of her Mon­tesa Cota 330 model.

En­joy­ing the spirit of the event was the Ital­ian tri­als jour­nal­ist Mario Can­del­lone hav­ing one of his rare tri­als out­ings on the Fan­tic. Mario and his wife Agnes are very much a part of the suc­cess of our two pub­li­ca­tions, hav­ing sup­ported us with pic­tures and ar­ti­cle con­tent from day one.

A man of many ma­chines, Ossy By­ers took his DOT to ninth po­si­tion on the yel­low route Pre-65 class.

Tak­ing some time off from or­gan­is­ing the suc­cess­ful Kia Twin-Shock Cham­pi­onship, Gerry Min­shall on the Fran­cis Bar­nett will be very happy with his eighth-place fin­ish on the yel­low route Pre-65 class.

Just to hear this ex­works Eddy Le­juene fourstroke Honda in ac­tion in the hands of French rider Pa­trick Pis­sis was well worth the visit to Spain. De­spite the pass­ing of time it still sounds like a clock­work mas­ter­piece.

This very stan­dard­look­ing Ossa 310 model took Lau­rent Baatz to vic­tory on the yel­low Pre75 route.

This pic­ture of fa­ther and son en­cap­su­lates the true spirt of the clas­sic tri­als scene. Scott Jack­son on the right rode his Grand­fa­ther’s Bul­taco, sup­ported by his proud fa­ther Tim on the right. At the end of the event they were sep­a­rated by a sin­gle mark lost, with Tim just hav­ing the up­per hand.

Clas­sic Trial Mag­a­zine, proud to be a part of such an en­joy­able event, thank you and see you in 2019.

Joan Valls would like to thank Gas Gas for the loan of this brand-new elec­tric-start model to al­low him to travel around the event and be able to ac­cess so much of the event.

Two of the main peo­ple who sup­ply Trial Mag­a­zine and Clas­sic Trial Mag­a­zine with some su­perb pic­tures are my two very good friends Joan Valls, on the left, and on the right Jean-Claude Com­meat or Claudio to all his friends.

With sup­port from the Mon­tesa fac­tory with Cota 4Ride mod­els it al­lows peo­ple such as the son of Joan Co­mas, Nils, to keep his eye on the event and keep it run­ning like clock­work.

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