Sublime Spaniard Toni Bou (Montesa) and battling British rider Emma Bristow (Sherco) put in champions’ performances on the opening day of round two of the 2023 Hertz FIM Trial World Championship – the TrialGP of Portugal – at Gouveia today.
- Defending champions on top in TrialGP and TrialGP Women
- Billy Green and Jack Peace lead home British one-two in Trial2
- British riders George Hemingway and Jamie Galloway set the pace in Trial3
After both riders suffered defeats at the opening round in Spain one week ago, normal service was resumed as Bou ran out winner by thirteen marks in TrialGP and Bristow enjoyed a cushion of seven in TrialGP Women.
Bad weather the previous day meant water levels were high in the stream sections where grip over a series of imposing boulders was hard to come by on the opening lap.
Bou, who’s targeting his seventeenth consecutive title, picked up just one maximum on the opening lap after failing to crest the triple rock steps of section five that remained unconquered all day and his score of nine at the halfway point put him seventeen clear of his Spanish team-mate Gabriel Marcelli.
A single mark further back, Jaime Busto (GASGAS) from Spain – who shared the series lead with Bou at the start of the day – put in a solid second lap of twelve to improve to second and close on Bou who incurred seventeen additional penalties on his final lap.
“I started with a very good first lap,” said Bou. “The river sections were very slippery and on the second lap I didn’t start with a great feeling but I’m super-happy with this victory.”
Another five adrift, Marcelli claimed his second podium finish of the season with Adam Raga (TRRS) completing the all-Spanish top-four in front of Italy’s Matteo Grattarola (Vertigo).
After a tough opening round in Spain where she scored three-two finishes, defending champion Bristow demonstrated her resolve as she ran out winner in TrialGP Women.
The British rider, who has her sights set on a ninth crown in ten years, is campaigning a new 300cc fuel-injected machine this season and demonstrated how well she has gelled with it with a seven-mark winning margin.
Leading at the halfway point on thirteen, one ahead of Naomi Monnier (GASGAS) from France and three clear of Spain’s Berta Abellan (Scorpa) who won both days in Spain, Bristow put in a champion’s performance of just four on lap two to take a decisive victory and close the gap at the top of the table.
“It didn’t feel easy today but I rode a lot better on the second lap,” said Bristow. “I think it helps being out here in the week and being able to ride without travelling. I feel much more together with the bike.”
Abellan also shone on the second lap with her total of eight elevating her above Monnier as Italy’s Andrea Sofia Rabino (Beta) and Norwegian rider Huldeborg Barkved (TRRS) completed the top five.
There was a British one-two in Trial2 with Billy Green (Scorpa) parting with a total of eight to come home five ahead of Jack Peace (Sherco). Peace, who won on the second day in Spain, held a narrow one-mark lead after the opening lap but had no answer to Green’s form on lap two which saw the twenty-one-year-old add only two more marks to his total.
“It was a good day,” said Green. “I felt very happy with the bike and everything was working well in the sections. The conditions made it feel very much like riding at home.”
Following his disappointing weekend in Spain, Norway’s defending champion Sondre Haga (GASGAS) found his form in third eight marks further back.
Spanish rider Pablo Suarez (Montesa) had led the series heading into Portugal but a fifth-placed finish behind Hugo Dufrese (GASGAS) from France means he slips to third in the table, one point behind Peace and two behind Green.
Continuing the run of strong performances by British riders, a career-first victory in Trial3 went to George Hemingway (Beta) whose total of twelve saw him finish three ahead of his compatriot Jamie Galloway (TRRS).
“It feels amazing,” said Hemingway. “The day started off well with a first lap of eleven and then I signed off with a single mark on lap two.”
Series newcomer Jone Sandvik (Sherco) from Norway, who claimed a double win last out in Spain, ended the day in third on nineteen to maintain a comfortable series lead.
The action from Gouveia resumes tomorrow at 09:00 CET 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.