Trial Magazine - - INTERNATIONAL -

Classed by many as the most com­pet­i­tive of the Trial World Cham­pi­onships, T2 has seen a change for 2018 in the fact that Tri­alGP rid­ers are al­lowed to drop down to this class. Two rid­ers who have taken ad­van­tage of this rule are Mat­teo Grat­tarola from Italy and Loris Gu­bian from France. This year’s ac­tion started with the qual­i­fy­ing rounds, where some sur­prises were thrown up as Gu­bian clearly topped the ses­sion de­spite com­ing very close to dis­as­ter on the tricky en­try to the section. Fif­teen rid­ers all posted times without drop­ping any marks, the big­gest loser be­ing the even­tual win­ner Grat­tarola with a very costly two-mark loss.

Sun­shine greeted the open­ing of the day and with Grat­tarola rid­ing close to the front of the en­try he soon used it to his ad­van­tage be­fore the rain came. Look­ing very com­fort­able since the move to four-stroke power with the Montesa af­ter years on the Span­ish two-stroke Gas Gas, his open­ing lap score of a mere three marks lost was the only sub-ten mark as ev­ery­one else handed their score­cards in with over 10-mark losses. Great Bri­tain’s Jack Peace, the younger of the two brothers, had his lap spoilt by a sin­gle five-mark loss but re­mained strong all day to fin­ish sec­ond.

With Loris Gu­bian fin­ish­ing third fol­lowed by one of the pre-cham­pi­onship favourites Toby Mar­tyn it was once again a younger brother, this time of the Gel­berts, as Aniol on the Scorpa rounded off a mix­ture of ex­pe­ri­ence and youth in the top five po­si­tions. The fol­low­ing marks, from fifth to tenth, re­mained very close show­ing just how com­pet­i­tive this class is with ev­ery mark lost count­ing. With only one round gone, it is a brave man who could de­ter­mine the out­come of this cham­pi­onship in 2018!

This class re­mains quite unique to the Tri­alGP one as it’s not a Span­ish dom­i­na­tion, with five dif­fer­ent na­tion­al­i­ties fin­ish­ing in the top fif­teen po­si­tions. Great Bri­tain has had a strong pres­ence here, pro­duc­ing many world cup cham­pi­ons, but what is no­table is the resur­gence of Italy as a tri­alling na­tion. Yes, Grat­tarola has moved down a class, but Italy has a new breed of younger rid­ers com­ing through the ranks as well as rid­ers from Nor­way.

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