The Gas Gas team athletes emerge as the chief protagonists in the last race of European trial competition contested in Italy. Hugo Dufrese won the European Youth Championship on Saturday and, one day later, Arnau Farré conquered the absolute European title with a new victory in this Italian race
The European Trial Championships came to a close this weekend in Lazzate, Italy, with the season culminating in one last, decisive race. Hugo Dufrese and Arnau Farré, both athletes from the Gas Gas Trial Factory Team, arrived with high hopes of conquering the Youth and absolute categories in the European Trial Championships.
Of the two athletes, the one who had the toughest battle prior to arriving in Lazzate was the young Frenchman, ranked second in the provisional Youth category following the last race in Bilstain (Belgium). However, Gas Gas’ young hope—only 14-years-old—, managed to take a win on Saturday aboard his Gas Gas TXT 125. The victory brought with it his first international title as European Trial Youth champion—contested by athletes between 12 and 16 on 125 cc bikes. Meanwhile, British teammate, Oliver Smith, took second in the Italian race.
ARNAU FARRÉ SEWS UP A VICTORY IN THE EUROPEAN TRIAL ABSOLUTE CLASS
A day later, the moment of truth arrived for Arnau Farré. The young Catalan athlete came into the final race on the calendar as leader in the European Absolute category. Even with a 25-point advantage over his closest rival, Farré didn’t rest on his laurels, given that a championship victory was closer than ever.
Farré came through in Lazzate, where he rounded off the season with a new victory aboard his Gas Gas TXT 300 and where he was crowned European Trial champion. This victory was the most important in the young Catalan’s career thus far, having learned the ins and outs of racing in the Gas Gas School of Champions at their factory in Salt. His teammate, Britain’s Dan Peace, took third place on the podium of this last European event of the year, where his brother Jack Peace finished fourth and Czech Martin Matejicek eighth
With this European Championships title, Arnau Farré follows in the fruitful footsteps of his current Gas Gas teammates. Athletes like James Dabill (2006), Matteo Grattarola (2012), Franz Kadlec (2014) and Gianluca Tournour (2015), who, like the young athlete from Vilanova de Segrià, also took the top prize in European trial competition.
Arnau Farré: “At 10:00 AM, the race kicked off with a storm. It had rained. The course got a lot more difficult, especially in the first turns in the first race. Initially, we were a bit nervous and the early bits weren’t easy at all. I got fifth place in the fifth round. However, from there, I managed to put together a series of zeros, and everything started to go much better. In the second race, the conditions got better. The ground dried up, we overcame the pressure and managed to finish off the race with only 11 points. That was enough to finally give us the victory and title. We felt really good in Lazzate. We came into this last race with a 25 point advantage over my main rival, so we needed to win or finish just behind him to guarantee the title. Gas Gas supported us 100% throughout the European Championships. There were three races and we knew that we could take it. I want to thank Gas Gas and the SPEA team of the RFME for all their support this season. I also want to thank our sponsors, without whom this championship wouldn’t have been possible.”