After the long traditional summer break the 2015 FIM Trial World Championship resumed this weekend with round eight held in Pacos de Ferreira, Portugal. Continuing its path of development with the prototype Vertigo Combat the new factory team had two official riders at the penultimate event of the 2015 series in the form of James Dabill and Francesc Moret.
Absent from the calendar since 2010 the Portuguese Grand Prix made a welcome return to this year’s campaign with the familiar venue at Pacos de Ferreira providing a good variety of natural terrain to test the riders and more specifically for the Vertigo team another opportunity to assess and refine the performance of their already proven fuel injected two stroke machine.
Under almost clear skies and with temperatures in the late twenties, Saturday’s Trial played out with the sections proving to be easier than expected which resulted in a low scoring event for the leading riders, and punished the other competitors heavily for any errors they committed.
Whilst the hazards were not of the highest level their actual length along with the overall distance of the course caused a problem with almost all of the top ten World Pro riders incurring time penalties including both Moret and Dabill as they were to finish in this order respectively.
Moret started the better of the two factory Vertigo riders and despite suffering his worst score on the second lap he recovered well during his last visit to the twelve sections to finish in ninth place and equal his best ever GP result, the same position he achieved on day one in Andorra.
For Dabill it was a day when he did not begin well and one when he was unable to recover fully. Throughout each of the three laps James fought hard but endured some unforced mistakes that were to cost him dearly. A single mark more than his teammate Moret, was to see him take tenth spot come the close of play on the opening day at the Portuguese GP.
Day two was to prove to be one of the toughest encounters of the season for the Vertigo team as both Moret and Dabill suffered different problems. After his strong showing on Saturday Moret crashed heavily early on during Sunday’s competition and whilst escaping injury himself did damage to his prototype Combat that was to force him to retire from the Trial.
Although Dabill managed to make it through to the end, it was a struggle as he fought the effects of a knee injury, again as a result of a crash on lap one, that was to hinder his performance on the closing two laps. Another tenth place finish was the reward for James’ brave efforts.
Having watched the events unfold first hand Vertigo Sports Team Manager Dougie Lampkin said. “It has certainly not been the best of weekend’s for us, but given the incredible first season we have had as a team we have perhaps been due a bit of bad luck. Moret’s result on Saturday has been the highpoint on a tough couple of days. We now need to regroup this week and make sure we end the championship strongly next weekend in Spain.”
Dabill remarked. “To have not ridden well on Saturday and then to injure myself today is a big disappointment for both me and the team. Hopefully we can turn things around at the final GP in Spain next weekend.”
Moret explained. “Saturday was a great result for me, today has been a real disaster, but sometimes in sport you have those kind of moments. I am sure we can be better again next weekend.”
The final round of the 2015 FIM Trial World Championship will take place in Teo, Spain next Saturday and Sunday.