With its annual influx of ambitious young prospects, at the start of the season it is never easy to predict who is going to make a big impact in the Trial3 class of the Hertz FIM Trial World Championship – although, once you take into account the riders leaving the class and graduating to Trial2, the previous year’s finishing order is a good indication.
So it is rare that a rider appears ‘out of the blue’ and immediately makes their presence felt, but that is exactly what Jone Sandvik (Sherco) has done this year.
The seventeen-year-old from Norway stunned the paddock when he made his championship debut at the opening round in Spain and stormed to a pair of wins ahead of many more established riders.
“I think it is really cool that I won as a newcomer and also won my two first rounds,” said Sandvik. “My goal before the season started was to be among the top five and get some podiums in between but it has changed now. I am absolutely overwhelmed by my experience of the world championship and I have so much fun when I race and the paddock is also a good vibe.
“I did not expect to win immediately. The feeling was unbelievable and it gave me a lot of confidence for the rest of the season. The winning feeling is what I love chasing.”
Following further rounds in Portugal, San Marino and Andorra, Sandvik has added another day win to his record and this victory along with three more podium finishes sees him sitting second in the championship chase, just seven points behind leader George Hemingway (Beta) from Britain with two rounds and four scoring days remaining.
“I think I can win [the title]. I am so close in the standings and I know I am able to win rounds when I have a good day. The goal is to win Trial3 this year. We will see what happens and I will give it my very best.”
Sandvik was introduced to Trial by his father and began competing at the age of five. After watching YouTube videos he drew early inspiration from riders including Toni Bou, Adam Raga, Albert Cabestany and Dougie Lampkin – although he’s now aiming to emulate younger role models.
“I really admire Jaime Busto and his riding style, it seems so easy when he rides, but my biggest role model and inspiration is Sondre ‘Gekko’ Haga. He is hardworking and showed that it is possible even if you are Norwegian and he is also a great person who gives tips and helps others to improve as Trial riders.”
While Sandvik is still in the very early stages of his Trial career, setting goals is an important strategy for riders aiming to progress in the sport and the young Norwegian is aiming high.
“I have always said that I want to become as good as possible. I want to become a TrialGP rider in the future and of course it would be awesome to become the first Norwegian Trial World Champion!”
The next round of the Hertz FIM Trial World Championship is the TrialGP of Italy at Sestriere on 21-23 July which will be streamed LIVE on FIM-MOTO.TV.
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