Dreams will come true but dreams will also be shattered as the 2020 Hertz FIM Trial World Championship comes to a thrilling climax at the fourth and final round of the series – the Italian TrialGP – at Lazzate this coming weekend.
The purpose-built Trial Park, located 20 miles north of Milan in the country’s industrial heartland, promises a diet of rocks, rocks and more rocks that will provide the best Trial riders on the planet with a fitting finale to a super-tough season.
With both women’s classes wrapped up at the previous round in Andorra, the premier TrialGP crown along with the Trial2, Trial125 and TrialE titles will be decided at Lazzate. The venue is new to the Hertz FIM Trial World Championship calendar but is a regular stop on the Italian Trial Championship tour and hosted a round of the FIM European Championship in 2017.
Reigning champion Toni Bou (Repsol Honda) sits in pole position to claim his 14th consecutive TrialGP title with a clear 10-point advantage over his fellow Spaniard Adam Raga (TRRS) but with a maximum of 40 points up for grabs over the two days of competition it’s by no means a done deal.
Bou hasn’t been beaten at an Italian TrialGP event since 2009 so must start favourite but Raga has claimed the top step of the podium twice this season and will not go down without a fight.
Jaime Busto (Vertigo) holds third and is the only other rider still in with a mathematical chance of dethroning Bou but the 22-year-old went off the boil last time out in Andorra, carding a pair of disappointing sixth-placed finishes that badly dented his title hopes.
Jorge Casales (Gas Gas) and class newcomer Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa) – who’s enjoying a sensational debut season in the blue ribbon class – complete an all-Spanish top-five with former champion Takahisa Fujinami (Repsol Honda) from Japan the best of the rest in sixth.
Matteo Grattarola (Beta) could sew-up the Trial2 title on the opening day of competition. The Italian has won four out of the six days of points-paying action contested so far with a couple of runner-up finishes his worst scores of the season to open up a commanding 27-point lead over France’s Alexandre Ferrer (TRRS) with Britain’s Jack Price (Sherco) a further 13 off the pace.
Grattarola won the Italian Trial Championship round at Lazzate earlier this year so he knows his way around the venue and a fourth-placed finish on day one – even if Ferrer wins – will be good enough for him to reclaim the crown he last won in 2018.
In Trial125 it’s Spain’s teenage talent Pau Martinez (Vertigo) who is setting the pace at the front of the field. The 17-year-old won the opening four days of competition in France and Spain and although he had to settle for two second-placed finishes in Andorra he still holds a healthy 23-point advantage over French rising star Leo Guiraud.
Guiraud won on the opening day in Andorra but surrendered the points he had clawed back on day two when he slipped to fifth as Britain’s Ben Dignan (Vertigo) leapt from sixth to third in the standings with a famous victory in the Pyrenees.
At the start of the season, defending FIM TrialE Cup champion Albert Cabestany (Gas Gas) looked – on paper at least – to be a shoo-in to make it two titles in a row in the class for electric machines.
However, the veteran Spaniard was on the receiving end of an electric shock on both days at the French TrialGP as home hero Gael Chatagno (Electric Motion) claimed a double win. It’s far too close to call between the pair and it will be a case of winner takes all this weekend.
The 2020 Hertz FIM Trial World Championship concludes on October 9-11 at the Italian TrialGP at Lazzate. For regular updates and live results go to the new-look www.trialgp.com website or check out our social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – just search for TrialGP.