After less than a week to regroup, the TrialGP, Trial2 and Trial3 competitors are back in action this coming weekend (16-18 June) for the TrialGP of Andorra – round five of the 2023 Hertz FIM Trial World Championship – when for the first time this season the Trial2 Women riders will be in action.
- Toni Bou leads Jaime Busto in elite TrialGP class
- This weekend marks Andorra’s twenty-fifth Hertz FIM Trial World Championship event
- Trial2 Women get their championship under way
Celebrating the twenty-fifth Hertz FIM Trial World Championship event in Andorra, headquarters will be in the town of Sant Julià de Lòria which lies a lofty 900 metres above sea level – although riders will have to contend with altitudes rising up to 1400 metres over the course of the weekend as they negotiate the towering rocks and super-steep climbs synonymous with the Pyrenean principality.
Following last weekend’s TrialGP of San Marino, defending champion and Andorra resident Toni Bou (Montesa) has pulled clear of his main challenger and fellow Spaniard Jaime Busto (GASGAS). After the first three rounds the pair were locked together on points with neither able to gain an advantage, but this all changed at Baldasserona where Bou’s double win – coupled with Busto’s three-two finishes – allowed him to open up an eight-point lead in the premier TrialGP class.
However, Busto’s new-found consistency this season has seen him maintain a one-hundred per cent podium record and he was just a few marks from victory on day two in San Marino so the title battle is by no means over.
There is also a fascinating fight for third in the championship where Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa) and Adam Raga (TRRS) are currently engaged in their own personal battle for supremacy. At very different stages in their careers, young gun Marcelli scored his best-ever TrialGP class finish with second on the opening day in San Marino before slipping to sixth on day two, while veteran Raga – a two-time champion – went five-four.
Following his return to Beta at the start of the month, Matteo Grattarola claimed his first podium finish of the season on Sunday in San Marino and the thirty-five-year-old Italian will be aiming to maintain his momentum as he bids to overcome a disappointing start to the series.
Consistency is key at this level and current Trial2 leader Jack Peace (Sherco) from Britain has been pushing for podiums since the opening round. He has only scored one day win so far this year, but his four second-placed finishes coupled with a third have handed him a five-point advantage over compatriot Billy Green (Scorpa) who relinquished his championship lead with an eighth-placed finish on day one in San Marino.
The points table does not accurately reflect how incredibly competitive this class is this year and four other riders have also tasted victory so far with Spain’s Pablo Suarez (Montesa) currently the best of the rest in third, but only narrowly ahead of his fellow countryman Arnau Farre (Sherco) and defending champion Sondre Haga (GASGAS) from Norway.
Just four points separate the trio – it really is that close – and following his first career win at this level on Sunday, Britain’s Jack Dance (GASGAS) must also be considered a contender this weekend.
Very much the man in form in Trial3, George Hemingway (Beta) from Britain has recorded double wins at the last two rounds and starts favourite in Andorra, but he is still only eight points ahead of Norwegian newcomer Jone Sandvik (Sherco) who will be going all-out to repeat his two victories at the opening round in Spain.
Alfie Lampkin (Vertigo), son of Trial legend Dougie, is another in contention along with fellow British rider Jamie Galloway (TRRS) while Mirko Pedretti (Beta) from Italy and Poland’s Pawel Ryncarz (GASGAS) will also be hoping to add to their podium tally.
Getting their season under way this weekend, competition among the riders in Trial2 Women is likely to be close and hard-fought with nine different nationalities represented, but at this stage it is impossible to predict the eventual outcome.
However, we have already seen France’s Alycia Soyer (TRRS) score solid points in TrialGP Women this season. As the highest-placed rider from 2022 in this year’s field the seventeen-year-old from Le Mans will want nothing less than a podium and expect Spain’s Laia Pi Ramirez (Beta) and Seline Meling (Beta) from Norway among others to build on their experience from last year.
The action gets under way at 09:00 CET on Saturday and will be streamed LIVE on FIM-MOTO.TV.
The cost is for €7.99 for full weekend coverage or €34.99 for the entire season, including the FIM Trial des Nations.
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