Again it was a solid weekend of results for Vertigo factory rider James Dabill as he took seventh and sixth spots respectively on the two days of the Swedish Grand Prix which marked round three of the 2015 FIM Trial World Championship. With the series having not visited Scandinavia since 2008, this weekend’s event close to the city of Boras marked an important moment with many of the riders pleased to be tested by a different type of terrain.
Intermittent rain on both days added to the already soaked ground, caused by heavy rain in recent weeks, to provide a course that was both slippery and traditional in the main. Various modifications were made to the twelve sections spread around the neighbouring forest at the motocross track facility as the organisers responded to both the changes in the weather and the ground conditions.
Unlike the previous weekend in the Czech Republic where James had started so strongly on board the prototype Combat and literally put himself on top of the World, this Saturday saw the reigning British champion struggle in places on terrain that was much like that found in his home country. Dabill was not the only one who was adjusting to the muddy conditions and as a result still found himself in the hunt for a top five placing with two laps remaining.
James’ second lap was his best of the day as he continued to threaten to match the fifth place he had claimed just seven days earlier. However, despite Dabill fighting hard in the now heavily rutted hazards, his closing lap was not quite good enough for him to equal his best GP result of the season so far and he had to settle for seventh position, just two marks off sixth spot.
Sunday saw similar weather with several rain showers in the morning ensuring that the sections were equally greasy on day two. Having gained valuable experience during Saturday’s trial Dabill looked much more comfortable on the prototype Combat in the mud on Sunday’s opening lap. His initial tour for the loss of twenty marks put him in the running for another potential top five placing.
The nature of the hazards allowed no room for error and punished any small mistake severely throughout the weekend and James was again to learn this on his second lap on day two. Without doing too much different from his previous tour, Dabill score was eight marks more this time round and left him with work to do on the last lap of the GP. James responded well and finished the Swedish Grand Prix strongly to claim sixth place just two marks off fifth placed Takahisa Fujinami. Dabill remains seventh in the general standings after three GPs.
Speaking after the event Vertigo Sports Team Manager Dougie Lampkin said. “It’s been a very different type of trial this weekend and although it has been a good event it has been the first time that James has really had the chance to ride the Vertigo in these type of conditions. A bit like last weekend he has had some amazing rides and really shown what the prototype Combat can do, even in the mud, but again he has cost himself places with some small mistakes.”
“No one should be mistaken, the competition for the places behind Bou at the moment is very strong. You don’t have to do a lot wrong and you can find yourself way down the results. On both days James has lost out by a couple of marks on an extra placing. With a bit more luck and a few less mistakes he could have easily been sixth and fifth, which we would have been well pleased with. As it is he has ended up seventh and sixth, which is still good in terms of consistency. Each GP we have seen improvement, so it would be nice to continue that in Great Britain next weekend.”
Adding his own comment Dabill said. “One place higher each day would have been great, but a few silly mistakes spoiled that. Having not ridden the bike in this type of going before means I was learning on the job on Saturday. On Sunday I felt much more confident, I started and ended well but my second lap spoiled the day a bit as it would have been great to have been top five again. Anyway I can now look forward to my home GP next and I hope I can do something there to make it a special weekend for the British fans.”
Next weekend sees James and the Vertigo team travel to Great Britain for round four of the 2015 FIM Trial World Championship, and the third GP on the bounce.