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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!

ON IT

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...

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