Factory Vertigo rider James Dabill once again took his place as one of the seven fixed riders in the 2015 FIM X-Trial World Championship, this time in the French city of Pau. Proud to be part of this elite and tough series, James went into battle for only the third time aboard the prototype Combat machine that continues to show improvement in what must be described as hostile conditions.
With just five sections spread on the arena floor in Pau, and each with a time limit of one minute, the opportunity to discover any kind of rhythm was severely restricted especially for a bike and team that would dare to use such an occasion to develop an all new motorcycle. After another productive week of testing and training close to the Vertigo HQ in Barcelona, James arrived in Pau confident in the continued progress that both he and the bike had made since the last outing in Marseille.
All looked to be coming into place as Dabill leapt delicately across the opening two rocks in section one during qualification, but before the initial applause from the capacity audience had died down James had over balanced on the very next boulder as his nerves took over. This early set back did not prevent Dabiil and the Combat attacking the towering concrete tubes in the second hazard, and although he failed to reach the ends cards again, he was one of five riders who suffered a similar fate here.
A single dab ride by James on the huge and slippery logs in the third hazard was a performance that was on par with the best and once again showed the true potential of the still young Vertigo Combat / Dabill combination. Brave assaults in the final two sections were not to bring their rewards as Dabill again learned from yet another competitive outing on his new mount.
Vertigo Sports Team Manager Dougie Lampkin was on hand again to watch the evening unfold and said this post event. “The actual result does not reflect the improvements we have made again in the short time we have had since Marseille. Nor how well James is riding in practice. I know from my own experience just how cruel it can be out there. Unfortunately for James he seems to be feeling the pressure, as he is getting used to being the focus of all the teams efforts. Not only is he dealing with adapting to and developing a new bike, but he is also trying to cope with being closely watched by the whole of the trials World.”
“Inside the team we remain confident both in James and the work we are doing and we will continue to work in the same way in the next few weeks to be ready for the next round. We always knew that the FIM X-Trial World Championship was not going to be the ideal place to start the competitive life of the team and the bike due to its short and sharp format, but we knew we must start somewhere and took the brave step to be part of this elite series.”
James added his own comments “In terms of training and testing it has been another very positive week, so I am frustrated that I let my nerves get the better of me in section one. After that I think if you look through the qualification results, except Adam (Raga) and Toni (Bou), everyone else has struggled with the hit and miss nature of the sections here in Pau. Step by step we are moving forward, and I am confident that in the coming weeks that we will start to show the progress we have made with a much better result.”
James and the Vertigo Combat ended the night in seventh place, and will now use the month long break in the series ahead of the next round in Barcelona to continue to develop the prototype model.