Michelin riders, Toni Bou (Repsol Honda-ESP) and Adam Raga (TRRS-ESP) once again dominated the Sheffield Indoor Trial 25th year celebration.
In memory of its founders Martin Lampkin and Neil Crosswaite, the Indoor Trial once again delivered an excellent display of trials riding in front of an enthusiastic crowd. Both families worked together to ensure a fitting event on this historic occasion in celebration of the two men responsible for bringing the World Indoor Trial to Britain when they hosted their competition at the Sheffield Arena in 1996.
The standalone event has its own rules and uses a separate format from the FIM X-Trial World Championship series, providing a challenging and intense night of competition with six hazards and a dual-lane race.
A new format for the event would see the evening open with the four invited young riders Toby Martyn, the Peace brothers Dan and Jack joined by the Spanish rider Pau Martinez to battle it out for two places in the main event alongside the six pre-selected riders. These eight riders would then compete in the qualifiers where the best four proceed to the final.
There is a one-minute time allowance for the hazards with riders penalised a single mark for every other minute that exceed this allowance, which adds to the action and excitement of the event. A dual-lane race decides the starting positions and in the final the same hazards are ridden in the opposite direction providing a very challenging course which included the huge Michelin earth moving tyres, steel skips, rocks, logs and a HGV flatbed vehicle.
Michelin and Toni Bou have dominated the event since 2007 and the undisputed 26 time FIM world champion arrived in the UK with his mind focused on another victory at the invitation-only indoor competition in Sheffield.
Qualifying was tough and the eventual top three finishers Toni Bou, Adam Raga and Jaime Busto from Spain all made mistakes, conceding five-mark penalties as they worked out the best lines through the hazards. Britain’s Toby Martyn (TRRS-GBR) made his intentions clear as he finished third much to the delight of the crowd.
Raga was in front by just two marks, while the defending champion Bou had parted with 16 marks lost, as Busto and Martyn were separated by a single mark on 25 and 26 marks lost. Toby Martyn was in the final and the home crowd loved the fact that he looked very much up for the challenge to make the podium.
In the final, Busto rode the hazards first followed by Martyn, Bou and then Raga last giving him a slight advantage as he could watch his rival’s passage through the hazards. The huge Michelin earth moving tyres had proved a formidable hazard in the qualifying, but in the final in the reverse direction all four riders in conquered it.
The steel skips formed the final hazard and when Martyn failed at the final hurdle he knew he would not be joining Busto on the podium. Toni Bou rode the hazard before Raga and his fantastic display single mark display raised the roof. Adam tried all he knew, but stopped in the steel skips and conceded defeat as Bou remained the undisputed ‘King of Sheffield.
Toni Bou said, “Adam kept me under constant pressure tonight, as he always does and the hazards were more difficult than in recent times. It took me a while to find my rhythm in the qualifying, but in the final I really enjoyed the tense action between the two of us. Riding the hazards in the reverse direction in the final proved more challenging, but once again I knew I could rely on the formidable traction from my Michelin tyres which gave me the confidence to take the victory”
“I know this has been a very emotional night for both the Lampkin and Crosswaite families, but they should be very proud of what they have achieved over the last 25 years and I thank them for allowing me to be a part of this event during my riding career”
Results Sheffield GBR – Sheffield 25
Final – 1: Toni Bou (Repsol-Honda-ESP) 10; 2: Adam Raga (TRRS-ESP) 17; 3: Jamie Busto (Vertigo-ESP) 25; 4: Toby Martyn (TRRS-GBR) 28.
Qualification – 1: Adam Raga (TRRS-ESP) 14; 2: Toni Bou (Repsol-Honda-ESP) 16; 3: Toby Martyn (TRRS-GBR) 25; 4: Jamie Busto (Vertigo-ESP) 26; 5: James Dabill (Beta-GBR) 26; 6: Jeroni Fajardo (Sherco-ESP) 27; 7: Jack Price (Gas Gas-GBR) 30; 7: Jack Peace (Sherco-GBR) 30.
Shoot Out – 1: Toby Martyn (TRRS-GBR) 0; 2: Jack Peace (Sherco-GBR) 2; 3: Pau Martinez (Vertigo-ESP) 6; 4: Dan Peace (Sherco-GBR) 11.