Germany’s Franz Kadlec goes into the opening round of the 2017 TrialGP series in Spain on 13/14 May with one clear objective – to break into the top ten.
It will be the nineteen-year-old Gas Gas rider’s third full season of Trial at the very highest level. After a very promising debut in 2015 when he finished eleventh it was widely expected that he would climb higher up the ladder the following year, but instead his progress stalled and he again ended the season in eleventh.
Now, however, he intends to attack the completely revamped TrialGP series and has set himself a tough, but achievable goal.
“I was really disappointed at the last event of 2016 in Italy because there I lost tenth position,” he said. “I could have got ninth if my riding had gone well that weekend, but I had two bad rides. I was unhappy to finish in the same position as 2015.”
“So this year I have a strong goal to get top ten, maybe top eight, maybe more. I have confidence that I can do this.”
With best finishes of seventh on day two in the Czech Republic in 2015 and eighth on day one in England in 2016 Kadlec has shown he has the skills to break into the top ten, now he must prove he has the consistency as well.
Franz is certainly no stranger to winning. He was the 2013 FIM Youth European Champion and in 2014 was crowned FIM European Champion, the same year he won the first of a hat-trick of German national titles.
The most successful rider on the World stage that his country has ever produced, Franz has put himself through a punishing winter training programme in a bid to realise his dream.
“Since the middle of October I’ve been in Spain most of the time training for the new season. I’ve been home only maybe for one week every month. All the time I’ve been training.”
“I can see an improvement over the winter and I have a good feeling on the bike.”
His skills were tested to the full in February and March when he competed in the FIM X-Trial World Championship, finishing the ultra-competitive series in eighth to equal his finish in 2016.
With a revamped format introduced by new series promoter Sport7, TrialGP is set to experience the biggest shake-up in World Championship history. One of the biggest changes will be a timed qualification section the day before the main competition to decide starting order.
Although excited by the prospect of competing against the clock, Franz is remaining cautious.
“We will see how the new qualification works at the first race. It’s the first time we have this rule so I don’t know.”
Still one of the youngest competitors in TrialGP, Franz is continuing to grow in experience and this could be the key to him finally breaking into the top ten this season.
Follow Kadlec’s progress and the entire 2017 TrialGP series by visiting www.trialgp.com.