Following the opening three events hosted by major countries, Spain, Japan and Germany, the 2016 FIM Trial World Championship travels to the small principality of Andorra this coming weekend for round four of the series.
Andorra nestles between Spain and France, high in the Pyrenees mountain range and is home to just nine thousand inhabitants, but it has played its part in no fewer than eighteen FIM Trial World Championship events since it held its inaugural round in 1992. The winner of that first single day event was Spain’s very own and great seven times outdoor champion Jordi Tarres.
The first five events were staged at La Rabassa, but since 2000 St Julia de Loria has shared hosting duties and in fact this year will see St Julia stage the event for the eleventh time.
St Julia de Loria, a small town at the southern edge of the principality, near the Spanish border, sits at an altitude of nine hundred metres and while the relative lack of air makes things more difficult for the human competitors it is absolutely crucial for the performance of the bike making a well set-up engine for altitude essential for a good result in Andorra. The respective mechanics in each team will be working on compression ratios, ignition timing and either carburetion or mapping in the case of the fuel injected engines.
Seven times FIM Trial World Champion Dougie Lampkin is the most successful rider in Andorra having taken a total of seven victories, fifteen podiums and amassed a total of three hundred and eight championship points.
But two riders, veteran Takahisa Fujinami – Repsol Honda and Adam Raga – TRS could overhaul Lampkin’s points total this weekend as they currently sit on three hundred and five and two hundred and ninety points respectively.
Last year Raga, riding in very hot conditions when temperatures reached over thirty degrees, won both days in Andorra quite comfortably from eventual champion Toni Bou – Repsol Honda and if he is to put pressure on the current title holder in the 2016 campaign Adam will need at least one win and preferably a repeat of last year’s fantastic double to achieve that interim goal.
This year of course Adam is campaigning the all-new TRS motorcycle, a project headed by Jordi Tarres – the man who won the very first FIM Trial World Championship event staged in Andorra. Jordi won three times in Andorra and Adam has five victories to his name. So this victorious duo know all about winning high in the mountains and will be looking to do that again this weekend coming as the 2016 FIM Trial World Championship returns to St Julia de Loria.
After the opening two rounds of the current campaign, in Spain and Japan, Franz who will only turn nineteen years old in July, currently sits inside the top ten, occupying a useful ninth place and looking forward to scoring some heavy points riding his home Grand Prix this coming weekend.
Andorran GP – Key Facts
- First Andorran Trial Grand Prix held in 1992 – Winner Jordi Tarres
- Last Andorran Trial Grand Prix held in 2015 – Winner Adam Raga
- 18 x Andorran Trial Grand Prix events in total
- 7 x Winner of Andorran Trial GP – most victories – Dougie Lampkin 1997 / 1998 x 2 / 2000 x 2 / 2002 / 2003
- 85000 x People live in Andorra
- 900 x Altitude in metres at St Julia de Loria – Highest sections at 1300 metres
photo – FIM/G2F Media