The Spanish town of Oviedo saw the 2015 FIM X-Trial World Championship come to a close after a three-month campaign across six events throughout Europe. The factory Vertigo Combat prototype successfully completed a 100% debut at the highest level of competition with James Dabill making it six solid finishes from six starts on board the brand new machine. Using the tough and hostile stage of this elite series Vertigo have used James’ experience and skill to further develop the Combat over more recent weeks and very much in the public eye, such is the team’s confidence in their product.
Out on the six sections that were packed into the modest arena Dabill showed moments of brilliance on a night that was again a story of fractions of a difference, which is always the case due to the short and sharp nature of these events. James actually completed the opening section feet up but fell foul to the highly debated ‘leaning’ rule that penalises riders for touching their sump guard as they pass through the hazards. Three touches and one mark on time resulted in a cruel and early maximum for James despite his precise riding.
The polished surface of the logs in section two were to catch out the factory Vertigo rider when he lost his front wheel as he jumped down the initial descent. The final series of steps in the next hazards stopped all the riders without exception, which was also a similar story in section five where only one of the eight competitors escaped with less than a five.
An inch perfect passage in section four for the loss of a single mark and a further two marks dropped in the closing hazard of qualification, the second of these coming as the section broke beneath James’ wheels, brought an end to the evening for the Vertigo factory rider.
The close of the event in Oviedo however marked only the start of three events in three days for Dabill who then drove back through the night to Madrid so he could take a plane to London from where he was then whisked off to the opening round of the British Trial Championship today. Round two of the series will also take place tomorrow as James looks to defend his national crown, a title he has already won five times before.
Although not personally in Spain, Vertigo Sports Team Manager Dougie Lampkin was on hand to welcome James back to the UK earlier today and offered his thoughts about his riders tough schedule. “There is no doubt that James has got his work cut out this weekend. It was good to see the bike come through the last round of the X-Trial Championship. Six finishes from six starts is a good statement for a bike that is still very young. Hopefully despite his lack of sleep James can put in two strong rides over the next couple of days to get his domestic title defence underway in a positive fashion.”
Although facing a difficult couple of days ahead Dabill was in good spirits as he boarded the plane to the UK. “We were never in any doubt how tough it was going to be taking a new bike to the X-Trial World Championship, but in the end as a team we can be proud of what we have managed to achieve. Tonight has again shown just how close it is between qualifying and not. We have learnt a lot in the six rounds, which was always the idea and I hope we can now use that as we switch to the outdoor events starting this weekend with the two British rounds.”
James and the Vertigo Combat finished sixth overall in the final standings of the 2015 FIM X-Trial World Championship with a 100% debut record.
photo – good-shoot