Trial2 Italy 2018


First and fore­most, before I go fur­ther with this ar­ti­cle, I want to say a mas­sive thank you to all the or­gan­is­ers, pro­mot­ers, mar­shals and ob­servers around the globe who make the world of tri­als hap­pen. Just re­mem­ber all those as men­tioned above when you have a lousy ride, maybe a bad day, and that the vast ma­jor­ity are un­paid and out to en­joy their day just as much as you, dur­ing my time in tri­als, I have seen some very good de­ci­sions and some very bad ones, at all lev­els of the sport. Dur­ing my com­pet­i­tive rid­ing days, I have had some de­ci­sions go against me, some that I have ben­e­fit­ted from and oth­ers I have not. What I saw un­fold right in front of my very eyes at the 2018 fi­nal world round in Italy left me won­der­ing just who had won! In the end, his­tory would record it was Italy’s Mat­teo Grat­tarola who was crowned the 2018 FIM Trial2 World Champion. The scene is set in the 2018 Trial2 World Cham­pi­onship class for a fan­tas­tic fi­nale to see who would be­come the world champion. Hav­ing moved down from the Tri­alGP class Italy’s ex­pe­ri­enced Mat­teo Grat­tarola started the eight-round se­ries, mean­ing nine points-scor­ing days as Ja­pan was a two-day event, on a high where he dom­i­nated all the way through to round four in An­dorra with three wins from four starts. The only in­ter­rup­tion was Toby Mar­tyn from Great Bri­tain, who won in Ja­pan on day two. The points were in favour of Grat­tarola on 77 to Mar­tyn’s 59. Dan Peace won in Por­tu­gal on the Gas Gas at round five, the only two-stroke to win in 2018 in this class. Both Grat­tarola and Mar­tyn were off the pace, but Mar­tyn started his fight back here as he fin­ished in fourth po­si­tion com­pared to Mat­teo in tenth! In France, Toby was bang on form to take an­other win, as Grat­tarola once again fin­ished be­hind him as the ad­van­tage closed. Mar­tyn won again in both Bel­gium and Great Bri­tain to bring us to the last round in Italy. If Grat­tarola won and Toby was sec­ond, it would be the English rider who would take the ti­tle, but if he fin­ished third they would tie on points and the Ital­ian would take the ti­tle, it was that close.

Sport­ing gentle­man

They both shook hands in a very sport­ing man­ner as they set off on their quest to win the 2018 Trial2 World Cham­pi­onship. Fair dues to Grat­tarola, he was in fan­tas­tic form part­ing with a sin­gle mark on each of the two laps of 15 sec­tions to take a con­vinc­ing, clear vic­tory. For Toby Mar­tyn he was on the back foot from sec­tion one, with a five-mark penalty recorded as things went from bad to worse with an­other five in sec­tion two – his ti­tle hopes were al­ready slip­ping away. Throw the talented Span­ish rider Gabrielle Mar­celli into the equa­tion. Mar­tyn held sec­ond po­si­tion after the open­ing lap with Mar­celli in third, but on the fi­nal lap the Span­ish rider pro­duced the form that he had been promis­ing all sea­son as he ap­proached the fi­nal haz­ard on four marks lost to Mar­tyn’s nine, and it looked like it was all over for the English­man. All Mar­celli had to do was clean the last sec­tion, and he would fin­ish sec­ond.

‘Pause’ For Thought

Now get this clear in your mind: Mar­celli rode into the fi­nal haz­ard and after a pause, was awarded a ‘feet-up’ five by the ob­server who held the board up and blew the whis­tle; Toby Mar­tyn was the 2018 Trial2 World Champion! By the time Mar­celli had fin­ished the haz­ard, Mat­teo Grat­tarola was the 2018 Trial2 World Champion though, as the ob­server – re­mem­ber the un­paid guy hav­ing a sport­ing day out ob­serv­ing at an FIM Trial World Cham­pi­onship round – had changed his mind.

The pa­tri­otic Ital­ian crowd had ver­bally demon­strated about the five-mark penalty, and the ob­server had buck­led un­der the pres­sure; maybe any­one else would have done, imag­ine this at a world round where the home rider is be­ing de­nied the cham­pi­onship ti­tle. At the prize-giv­ing cer­e­mony, Mat­teo Grat­tarola was crowned the 2018 Trial2 World Champion as Toby Mar­tyn gra­ciously shook his hand in a very pro­fes­sional man­ner.

Before I close this ar­ti­cle re­mem­ber that none of the three rid­ers in­volved – Mat­teo Grat­tarola, Toby Mar­tyn or Gabrielle Mar­celli had any­thing to do with the ob­server’s de­ci­sion. On the podium, they at all times re­mained very pro­fes­sional with one an­other, and the 2018 sea­son was over.

The top three rid­ers in the 2018 FIM Trial2 World Cham­pi­onship: (2nd) Toby Mar­tyn (Mon­tesa-GBR), (1st) Mat­teo Grat­tarola (Honda-ITA), (3rd) Gabrielle Mar­celli (Mon­tesa-ESP)

25 Toby Mar­tyn Mat­teo Grat­tarola – 2018 FIM Trial2 World Champion

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