World Trials Back in Full Swing

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
Montesa HRC rider Dougie Lampkin made a strong opening to the defence of his World Outdoor Trials title by dominating both days of the first Championship round on the holiday island of Majorca.

Lampkin’s double victory was not achieved without a fight, as on both days he was forced tofend off strong opposition, first from his Honda - HRC team mate Takahisa Fujinami and then Gas Gas mounted Adam Raga on the second day. Although the margin of victory was far closer during Sunday’s competition, with Dougie eventually only defeating Raga on a tie breaker, the British rider having accumulated two more clean rides than his younger Spanish rival...

Unusually cold and wet weather welcomed the World Trials Championship to Majorca, the rain and lack of sunshine adding extra severity to the fifteen sections, the majority of which were located around the island’s rocky coastline. The normally dry and dusty rock faces that lead down to the edge of the sea became increasing difficult as the damp soil was dragged onto their steep surfaces.

Despite the outstanding skill displayed by the World’s best trials riders, there was little they could do in the difficult conditions to offset the lack of traction, resulting in some of the sections on Saturday’s opening lap not being completed for less than three marks.

With no further rain, and slightly warmer weather, conditions did improve throughout Saturday’s competition, allowing the rider’s the chance toimprove on their earlier scores during their second visit to the sections.Lampkin and Albert Cabestany used this opportunity to best effect, withboth riders posting considerably better final lap scores. Dougie’s finallap was enough to give him a clear victory, but Cabestany had to settle forthird place overall, his late charge still not being sufficient to demoteFujinami from the runner’s up position.

A combination of sections the becoming easier due to natural drying effect, and five overnight alterations made by the jury in an attempt to reduce the severity of the trial, always meant that Sunday’s competition was going to be a battle of nerves. Lampkin’s change in approach was clearly apparent, with the reigning Champion adopting a far more cautious approach than he had employed during the previous day’s trial. With many riders separated by only a few marks, a single mistake threatened to have a serious effect on the overall result. Dougie held the early advantage, but a poor three mark ride towards the end of the first lap left him tied with Raga at the halfway point in Sunday’s trial.

The pair remained locked together, matching each other’s every move throughthe final fifteen hazards. Incredibly despite the intense pressure, bothimproved on their earlier performances, completing the last lap for only five marks in total. Lampkin took his second victory in as many days by virtue of having recorded more clean rides than Raga.

Dougie’s two wins notonly gave him the Grand Prix victory, but a healthy ten point lead in theChampionship over the chasing pack. Lampkin was suitably pleased with his weekend’s work:“ Saturday was a good win and to have won in such difficult conditionstoday, and that is not a reference to severity of the sections, plus whenI’m still not 100% fit is a great bonus and leaves me feeling confident forthe rest of the season. I just hope we get events worthy of the Worldchampionship status the series has, that way we will have a fair fight forthe title between all the riders.”

Saturday had obviously been a better day for Fujinami and this reflected inhis comments:

“ To be second to Dougie in the wet and slippery conditions was good resultfor me, but today it was impossible to make a good result. With thesections being so easy, the observing was going to be very important. Iwatched the Spanish riders in front of me and then repeated the same moves,but on many occasions the observers gave me more marks than them. This innot a good situation especially when the marks are so close.”

Raga was disappointed at being narrowly beaten, but remains positive aboutthe rest of the season.

“ This weekend we have shown that the bike and team are working well, andthat all the hard work we have done this winter has made us a seriouscontender this year. After today, I am confident if we continue with theway we are working, it will not be long before we start to win some GrandPrix. “

Recently crowned World Indoor Trials Champion Albert Cabestany was alsooptimistic about his title chances.“ During the last weeks I have spent only five days practicing, as much ofmy time has been spent on media duties regarding winning the World IndoorChampionship, so I was not confident coming here this weekend. But,considering this my results have been strong and have shown me that I candefinitely win races later this year.”

RESULTS:Saturday1. Doug Lampkin (GB-Montesa),41 ;2. Takahisa Fujinami (J-Honda),50 ;3. Albert Cabestany (E-Beta),52 ;4. Adam Raga (E-Gas Gas) 55;5. Marc Freixa (E-Sherco),62 ;6. Josep Manzano (E-Beta),69 (10x0) ;7. Graham Jarvis (GB-Sherco),69 (9x0) ;8. David Cobos (E-Montesa),71 ;9. Marc Colomer (E-Gas Gas),74 (8x0, 5x1);10. Marcel Justribo (E-Sherco),74 (8x0, 4x1) ;11. Kenichi Kuroyama (J-Beta),77 ;12. Jordi Pascuet (E-Gas Gas),89 ;13. Taichi Tanaka (J-Gas Gas), 91 ;14. Steve Colley (GB-Gas Gas),92 (6x0) ;15. Jose Manuel Alcaraz (E-Scorpa),92 (5x0)Sunday1. Doug Lampkin (GB-Montesa),13 (20x0) ;2. Adam Raga (E-Gas Gas) 13 (18x0);3. Albert Cabestany (E-Beta),16 (23x0) ;4. Takahisa Fujinami (J-Honda),16 (18x0) ;5. Graham Jarvis (GB-Sherco),19 ;6. Marc Freixa (E-Sherco),23 ;7. David Cobos (E-Montesa),24 ;8. Josep Manzano (E-Beta),28 ;9. Kenichi Kuroyama (J-Beta),31 ;10. Jose Manuel Alcaraz (E-Scorpa),45 ;11. Marcel Justribo (E-Sherco),49 ;12. Marc Colomer (E-Gas Gas),50 ;13. Fumitaka Nozaki (J-Scorpa),55 ;14. Taichi Tanaka (J-Gas Gas),57 (9x0) ;15. Jordi Pascuet (E-Gas Gas),57 (7x0)World Championship positions after 1 rounds;1. Lampkin,40 ;2 . Raga,30 ;3. Cabestany,30 ;4. Fujinami,30 ;5. Freixa,21 ;6. Jarvis,20 ;7. Mazano,18 ;8.Cobos,17 ;9. Kuroyama,12 ;10. Justribo,11 ;11. Colomer,11 ;12. Alcaraz,7 ;13. Tanaka,5 ;14. Pascuet,5 :15. Nozaki,3 ;16. Colley,2Next event : 2nd round at Douglas (Isle of Man) on 18 and 19 May
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Brent Avis
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