The 2023 Hertz FIM Trial World Championship resumes this coming weekend with round two of the series – the TrialGP of Portugal – at the scenic venue of Gouveia on the edge of the beautiful Serra da Estrela Natural Park.
- Toni Bou and Jaime Busto tied at the top of TrialGP after opening round
- Double win on home ground in Spain gives Berta Abellan lead in TrialGP Women
- Pablo Suarez heads Trial2 and Norwegian newcomer Jone Sandvik tops Trial3 class
Situated 300km north of Portuguese capital Lisbon, Gouveia’s big rocks offer no respite following last weekend’s opening round at Arteixo in Spain and courage and commitment will be called upon from the world’s best Trial riders as the series returns to the venue following a gap of one year.
With sixteen consecutive titles, Bou (Montesa) is the rider with a target on his back in the premier TrialGP class. Bou has won on the previous three occasions the series has visited this venue but his Spanish compatriot Busto (GASGAS) inflicted a rare defeat on him on the opening day in Spain.
After ending day two just three marks adrift in second, Busto is a genuine threat to Bou’s dominance and the pair head into this weekend locked together on thirty-seven points.
Of course, the 2023 series is still very much in its infancy with another six rounds to run and expect Spain’s two-time world champion Adam Raga (TRRS), who finished second behind Bou every year from 2008 until 2021, to be contesting wins and podiums.
Lying fourth following the opening round tied on twenty-eight points with Raga, Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa) scored his second career-podium on day one in Spain and you can be sure that the aggressive twenty-two-year-old will be aiming for more visits to the box this weekend.
The undisputed Queen of TrialGP Women with eight titles in the last nine years, Britain’s Emma Bristow (Sherco) had to suffer the rare taste of defeat on both days at Arteixo at the hands of Spanish rider Abellan (Scorpa).
Abellan, runner-up to Bristow four times in the last five years, showed great form on home ground last weekend and came away with a double win and an eight-point lead as Bristow recovered to second on day two in Spain after finishing third on the Saturday behind Italy’s Andrea Sofia Rabino (Beta).
Trial2 is shaping up to be a classic contest with Suarez (Montesa) drawing first blood with victory on the opening day before leaving Spain with a five-point advantage after posting a third-placed finish on Sunday.
The twenty-two-year-old from Oviedo in the north-west of Spain, who was second last year, will face fierce opposition from the British pairing of Jack Peace (Sherco) and Billy Green (Scorpa) who finished one-two on the second day following disappointing results on the Saturday.
Reigning champion Sondre Haga (GASGAS) currently sits sixth, thirteen points behind Suarez after a troubled start to his title defence.
Trial3 is headed by rising Scandinavian star Sandvik (Sherco) who takes a commanding twelve-point lead into Portugal thanks to a dominant double win.
His closest rivals are Britain’s George Hemingway (Sherco) and Alfie Lampkin (Vertigo) and Mirko Pedretti (Beta) from Italy who are tied on twenty-eight points each.
To check LIVE results from Gouveia follow the link here.