The Gas Gas Trial Factory Team makes its first mark in the new TrialGP World Championship. Camprodon is host to a complicated, almost extreme, first GP because of the storm, the mud and the rain. James Dabill overcomes nature’s adversities to win an eighth place in the maximum category. Dan Peace finishes fifth in Trial2, and the young Hugo Dufrese is the star of a pleasant surprise with a promising third place on the podium in Trial125. Once again Gas Gas is the brand with the biggest representation on the World Championship.
James Dabill was the best-classified rider of the Gas Gas Trial Factory Team in the new era of TrialGP. The championship now has different new characteristics including a new classificatory round on Saturday. Also it is to have a timed zone, which from now is to establish the starting order on the day of the race. The race is now reduced to only one day, the Sunday, for t events held in Europe and two days for overseas events: Japan y and the USA.
The problems of the new format were added to in Camprodón, with the difficulties from the rain and hail. Just before the end of the first two laps the conditions of the terrain were completely changed by the heavy storm. From that moment on conditions were extremely muddy and slippery. This provoked a rather chaotic and at the same time epic end to the race due to the appalling conditions in the zones. Some of them were completely impassable.
Dabill managed to turn round a GP which hadn’t started too well for him and where he finished the first lap in a position further down than he is used to. However, as the going got tougher and tougher, the seven times British trial champion, showed off his best riding in the rain and mud to finish in eighth place, with very little difference between him and the four riders just ahead of him.
His teammate, Matteo Grattarola, classified in tenth position, after what was a very complicated GP for the Italian rider. After his slip in Saturday’s classification round it was his tricky job to open the zones in en TrialGP, without the advantage of having any previous reference from other riders.
Following the current Italian trial champion, who finished in the ‘top ten’ of the maximum category, his Gas Gas co-riders were right behind him: the MRW Gas Gas Trial Team rider Oriol Noguera (11th), and the German rider Franzi Kadlec (12th) and Jack Price, thirteenth in his first event in TrialGP after making the leap to the maximum category after winning the title in Trial2 in 2016. Meanwhile, Arnau Farré, in the SPEA RFME federative team in the World Championship, finished the first GP of the season in nineteenth place after suffering from the difficulty of the last lap.
The space left by the British rider Jack Price in the old Junior category of the World Championship has been filled by the fellow British rider Jack Peace, who this year is sharing the same engine size as his brother Dan. The oldest of the ‘Peace Brothers’ finished the first event of the season in fifth place, just in front of Jack, sixth, in his promising debut in Trial2. Meanwhile the French rider Gael Chatagno, one of the new faces in the Gas Gas Trial Factory Team this year, finished eighth and the Norwegian rider Häkon Pedersen was thirteenth.
Something to highlight in this category is Jie Jeng’s debut in the World Championship. Gas Gas kindly gave this young Chinese rider the chance of riding in the World Trial Championship as a ‘wild card’ in the Spanish GP on one of their Gas Gas TXT250s in Trial2. This has been an experience to remember for Jeng, despite the conditions and the result and who has become the first rider from the People’s Republic of China to ride in the Trial World Championship.
And although the entry of the rider from the orient was the note of exoticism in the first GP event of the season, the big surprise was without a doubt that of Hugo Dufrese. The promising young French rider, one of the new faces in the Gas Gas team marquee, completely won over the public at the Spanish Trial GP with a great performance and received an ovation from his team after a podium finish for a very happy Hugo which, after his third position has made him one of the possible winners in the quarter litre class.
His brand mate, the French rider Fabien Poirot and the German rider Jarmo Robrahn, one of the latest additions to the Gas Gas Trial Factory Team in the Trial125 category, finished off a complicated day in seventh and eighth places respectively. Meanwhile another young member of the MRW Gas Gas Trial Team, Pau Martínez, was eleventh, followed by his fellow countryman Martín Riobo, twelfth.
After the event in Camprodón, the World Championship sets its sights on Japan, where on 26th, 27th and 28th May the second round of the World Championship is to be held at the Motegi circuit. This time there are to be two days of racing for the Japanese GP.
|1. T. Bou||46|
|2. A. Raga||58|
|3. A. Cabestany||72|
|8. J. Dabill (Gas Gas)||93|
|10. M. Garttarola (Gas Gas)||96|
|11. O. Noguera (Gas Gas)||103|
|12. F. Kadlec (Gas Gas)||107|
|13. J. Price (Gas Gas)||107|
|16. A. Farré (Gas Gas)||110|
|1. G. Marcel·lí||41|
|2. I. Roberts||42|
|3. L. Petrella||48|
|5. D. Peace (Gas Gas)||51|
|6. J. Peace (Gas Gas)||52|
|8. G. Chatagno (Gas Gas)||58|
|13. H. Pedersen (Gas Gas)||69|
|22. J. Geng (Gas Gas)||150|
|1. L. Gandola||46|
|2. B. Green||51|
|3. H. Dufrese (Gas Gas)||53|
|7. F. Poirot (Gas Gas)||59|
|8. J. Robrahn (Gas Gas)||74|
|11. P. Martínez (Gas Gas)||79|
|12. M. Riobo (Gas Gas)||83|
|15. O. Smith (Gas Gas)||90|
|17. J. Cammas (Gas Gas)||102|