Motorcyclist - - Framed - PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY SHAN MOORE

Amer­i­can tri­als stand­out Pat Smage was locked in a heated bat­tle with 2016 US Na­tional Mo­to­tri­als Cham­pion Marc Freixa of Spain, both rid­ers trad­ing wins and grasp­ing for each precious point in the race for this year’s ti­tle. Af­ter eight gru­el­ing rounds of com­pe­ti­tion, Smage clinched his ninth na­tional ti­tle at the Ex­eter, Rhode Is­land, sea­son fi­nale, but it was at this event a week prior in Gar­rettsville, Ohio, where the Sherco USA rider threw down the gaunt­let and made it all but im­pos­si­ble for the de­fend­ing champ to re­peat.

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