1998 World Championship
Having seen and conquered all that was in front of him in 1997, Great Britain’s Dougie Lampkin was riding with supreme confidence at the start of the Trial World Championship in 1998 on the Italian Beta. Travelling to 10 countries to contest 20 pointsscoring days in 1997 he had finally broken the deficit of a British world champion since the last Union Jack winner in 1975, who just happened to be his late father Martin on a Bultaco. Times were changing at the cutting edge of the sport, after the riders protested in Italy in 1997 on day one by going on strike with a protest letter signed by all the leading contenders. This action forced the governing body of the sport, the FIM, into making the decision not to penalise the riders for a non-intentional ‘stop’ and the consequent five-mark penalty that went with it. Lampkin just got on with the job in hand, taking 13 victories from the 20 points-scoring days. His winning total of 354 to second-placed Marc Colomer’s 301 told the story. Colomer had given Montesa the title in 1996, restoring the Spanish brand’s sporting heritage with the Cota models. He had given Lampkin a hard fight and the fact that he only won three rounds does not tell the full picture of some titanic battles for supremacy. Japan’s Kenichi Kuroyama secured two victories but in the final round in Germany a new name won, the not be forgotten Takahisa Fujinami! Could Lampkin carry his winning form into 1998, was the question? ARTICLE: TRIAL MAGAZINE – WE WOULD ALSO LIKE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE HELP OF CHARLY DEMATHIEU AND HIS WEBSITE: WWW.TRIALONLIN.ORG AND MARIO CANDELLONE: WWW.PHOTOTRIAL.IT • PICTURES: GREAT BRITAIN AND ITALY, PETER J BEARDMORE
The great Spanish rider Jordi Tarres won the last of his seven world titles in 1995 riding the Gas Gas, before bowing out gracefully after finishing a strong 3rd in 1996 and 5th in 1997, when he retired from competing in the world championship. Having dethroned Colomer in 1997 Lampkin went to the opening round in Spain knowing he would be on his case in 1998 like a rash!
Dougie Lampkin was ‘On It’ from the opening day at the opening round in Spain in late March. The format for each of the world rounds was 15 sections to be ridden over two laps. The organisers had put on a good variety of hazards including a fast flowing river, and a man-made log indoor one as the final hazard for each lap. On day one he would take an eight mark victory over Colomer who had Gas Gas riders Amos Bilbao, Marcel Justribio and David Cobos in close attendance all separated by the odd single mark. On day two having secured the morale boosting first win of 1998 under his belt no one had an answer for Lampkin, who took a clear victory from the surprise package of the season Takahisa Fujinami who kept Colomer down in 3rd position.
ROUND TWO: GREAT BRITAIN, HAWKSTONE PARK
The famous and challenging motocross circuit at Hawkstone Park welcomed the world’s best trials riders back in 1995 when it gave Lampkin a lesson in just how difficult the large loose gritstone rocks could be to ride on; the steep wooded climbs and descents took no prisoners neither. In 1995 he finished 14th after a very testing day before putting the demons to sleep in 1996 with a double victory; there was no world round in Great Britain in 1997. He approached the double-header 1998 rounds with a level of riding that no one could event get near to, and the winning margins on both days can be seen in the results. Starting to become a world force Graham Jarvis backed him up on both days, where he finished on the podium followed closely by Steve Colley. The fact that Lampkin had given Great Britain new recognition on the world stage had encouraged a new breed of English riders to become involved in the separate European Championship as well as the World Championship. Sam Connor, Mark Harris, Martin Crosswaite, Dan Clarke and Ben Hemingway, to name but a few, looked up to Great Britain’s top three riders. Marc Colomer tried all he knew to hang on to the runaway Lampkin but the inconsistency in his results was not helping his cause. The championship also had so many new fresh young riders from around the globe that were starting to challenge for the top five, meaning any rider not on the top of his game would be pushed down the order.
108 TRIAL MAGAZINE Dougie Lampkin (Beta-GBR) : The crowd came to see Great Britain’s new Trials World Champion and they were not disappointed. Marc Colomer (Montesa-ESP) : Quiet and studious with a very methodical approach, the 1996 World Champion put...
: Riding the Rotax-engined Scorpa Graham used his sheer determination and natural ability to find his way onto the podium. After a change to the world of Enduro, ‘G-Force’ Jarvis can now be found competing as arguably the best Extreme Enduro rider in...