- Hertz FIM Trial World Championship returns to San Marino for the first time since 2010
- Jaime Busto and Toni Bou share TrialGP lead
- Trial3 class back in action after sitting out Taisei Rotec TrialGP of Japan
For almost all of the entry it will be their first visit to San Marino for a World Championship event, but Spain’s Toni Bou (Montesa), Adam Raga (TRRS) and Jeroni Fajardo (Sherco) along with Matteo Grattarola (Beta) from Italy are all veterans of the 2010 event – although after such a long absence from the calendar it is debatable if this will prove to be an advantage.
With a seventeenth consecutive TrialGP title on his bucket list for 2023, Bou finds himself in the unusual position of not holding a clear lead in the premier class after the opening three rounds. Instead he is tied at the top of the standings with his compatriot Jaime Busto (GASGAS) after the pair traded wins and second-placed finishes in Spain, Portugal and Japan.
So far this season it has been a compelling showdown between the thirty-six-year-old champion and his much younger rival who has returned to GASGAS for 2023 and is demonstrating the sort of consistency needed to elevate himself from chaser to challenger.
Currently joint third in points with Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa) after a stuttering start to his campaign, two-time champion Raga found his form last time out in Japan to tie the twenty-three-year-old in the championship battle and although the pair are already twenty-seven behind the leaders, both will be pushing for the top step of the podium.
Spain’s Aniol Gelabert (Beta) currently sits a distant fifth in the points, narrowly ahead of Grattarola who just a few days ago parted from his factory team by mutual consent and will compete in San Marino on a Beta.
It is almost as close in Trial2 where Billy Green (Scorpa) leads a British one-two by two points from Jack Peace (Sherco) with Spain’s Arnau Farré (Sherco) still in contention in third.
Peace actually led the title fight after the opening day in Japan, but a very expensive maximum on the final section of day two at Mobility Resort Motegi cost him victory and what should have been a five-point advantage at the top of the class.
Defending champion Sondre Haga (GASGAS) from Norway has also been inconsistent and is fifth in the points behind Spain’s Pablo Suarez (Montesa) who won on the opening day of the championship in Spain, but is yet another rider unable to post consistent finishes.
The surprise package in Trial3, seventeen-year-old Norwegian Jone Sandvik (Sherco) holds a four-point lead in his debut season in the Hertz FIM Trial World Championship after backing up his double win in Spain with third and second-placed finishes in Portugal.
However, British hopeful George Hemingway (Beta) – the brother of 2022 Trial3 champion Harry – closed the gap in Gouveia with a double win of his own and will be looking to leave San Marino with the championship lead.
Best of the rest is Mirko Pedretti (Beta) from Italy who is eighteen points behind Sandvik and just two ahead of Britain’s Alfie Lampkin (Vertigo), the son of seven-time TrialGP champion Dougie.
The action gets under way at 09:00 CET on Saturday and will be streamed LIVE on FIM-MOTO.TV.
The cost is for €7.99 for full weekend coverage or €34.99 for the entire season, including the FIM Trial des Nations.