Albert Cabestany – Sherco took a surprise win at the closing round of the 2015 FIM X-Trial World Championship held in Oviedo, Spain. After a poor qualifying showing, the thirty-four year old who last won a round of the series back in 2010 held his nerve brilliantly in the final section of the night to demote Adam Raga – Gas Gas into second spot. If Cabestany’s victory was a surprise, Toni Bou – Repsol Honda finishing down in third position was an even bigger shock. Although best on the opening lap, Bou was completely off form in the final and just managed to keep Jeroni Fajardo – Beta down in forth place on the night.
Jamie Busto – Repsol Honda made his second appearance as a wild card entrant in the series and again was forced to open qualification alongside Eddie Karlsson – Montesa. The young pairing faired better than in they did in Barcelona with the Swedish rookie again coming out on top, much thanks to his superb ride in the second section where he lost one on time. Busto finished on twenty-five marks compared to the twenty scored by Eddie.
James Dabill – Vertigo was next out, but did not enjoy the best of evenings. His five on the log section when he failed to stop on the initial descent was to cost him dearly. Dabill ended his 2015 campaign with a lap of twenty- three marks and seventh spot. His riding partner Alexandre Ferrer – Sherco was again the stronger of the duo and not for the first time this season came very close to breaking the Spanish stranglehold of the finalists. In the end Ferrer would miss out going through by a single mark, his total of nineteen being just slightly too high.
Fajardo made sure he would keep the fight for third place in the series alive as he made relatively light work of qualification. His final tally of eleven marks proved to be the second best performance of the initial lap and only one more than Bou would achieve later in the process. Fajardo’s only failure came at the impossible third hazard where non of the riders managed the final sequence of steps. With his rival easily through, in contrast Cabestany endured a heavy passage with three maximums in his total of eighteen, which allowed him to steal the last place in the final.
Neither Raga nor Bou were to shine as they were the last pairing to take to the floor in qualification. Both riders clocked up fives in sections three and five as they failed to match Fajardo’s two mark ride in the latter of these two hazards. Despite this Bou was still the best qualifier with a score of ten compared to the thirteen marks lost by Raga.
Cabestany versus Raga began the race process in the final to determine the starting order for the main event, with Raga winning through the first sprint. His reign was to be short lived as Fajardo then beat him in the next dual lane encounter. Finally Bou would succeed to start last as he defeated Fajardo in the concluding duel.
Both Cabestany and Raga passed through the first of six sections in the final, which this time were ridden in the reverse direction, for the loss of one mark apiece. In contrast Fajardo and Bou notched up early maximums as the Repsol rider stalled his four stroke machine. From this point there was no road back for Bou, as he was unable to make amends in any of the closing hazards. Raga and Cabestany arrived on the same marks going into the last hazard of the night, and having seen the Sherco rider escape for a single mark Adam tried to hold onto the death, but in the end crashed out at the final moment to lose the Trial.
This marked Cabestany’s first win since Marseille, France 2010 and was enough for him to secure third in the final ranking behind Bou and Raga respectively.
Photo credit – FIM/Goodshoot