Following a four-week break in the schedule, the best riders on the planet spring back into action this coming weekend (19-21 May) for round three of the Hertz FIM Trial World Championship – the Taisei Rotec TrialGP of Japan – at the legendary Mobility Resort Motegi.
- Hertz FIM Trial World Championship returns to Japan after a three-year absence
- Jaime Busto and Toni Bou tied at the of TrialGP class
- KiSS MOTEGI FIM sustainability programme to be launched in Asia at the Taisei Rotec TrialGP of Japan
Competitors in TrialGP, TrialGP Women and Trial2 will make the eleven-thousand-kilometre journey from Europe to the Land of the Rising Sun and it is too close to call in all three classes as top-flight Trial returns to Japan for the first time since 2019.
Until the pandemic, the country had enjoyed an unbroken twenty-year run on the Hertz FIM Trial World Championship calendar so there is a tremendous sense of excitement surrounding the event and this eager anticipation is amplified by the points situation following the four scoring days held so far in Spain and Portugal.
It’s currently all-square at the top of the premier TrialGP class where Jaime Busto (GASGAS) and defending champion Toni Bou (Montesa) are locked together with each having claimed two wins and two runner-up finishes so far this season. Bou has won eighteen times in Japan so his track record is unparalleled, but Busto also has happy memories of the steep hillside sections after taking his debut win there on day two in 2018.
Former Trial2 champion Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa) is still looking for his first career-win, but the twenty-three-year-old has been on the podium three times this season and sits third in the standings, narrowly ahead of Adam Raga (TRRS) who is also no stranger to savouring victory in Japan having stood on the top step of the podium on six occasions.
Aniol Gelabert (Beta) completes the all-Spanish top-five, but he has not beaten the leading four riders yet this season and will need to bring his A game if he is going to have a chance of a podium finish.
Spain’s Berta Abellan (Scorpa) got her TrialGP Women campaign off to a great start on home ground when she won both days, but Emma Bristow (Sherco) fought back with a double win in Portugal and the British rider – who is bidding to claim her ninth title this year – has never been beaten in Japan with a pair of victories in both 2018 and 2019.
While the pair look to be in control of the class, there are a number of talented riders pushing them hard including Italy’s Andrea Sofia Rabino (Beta), Naomi Monnier (GASGAS) from France and nineteen-year-old British rider Alice Minta (Scorpa) who have all been on the podium this year.
Trial2 is shaping up to be a season-long battle with three different winners from the opening four days of competition and a pair of victories in Portugal have given Britain’s Billy Green (Scorpa) a narrow lead over his compatriot Jack Peace (Sherco) who won on the second day in Spain.
Spain’s Pablo Suarez (Montesa) sits third after winning on the opening day in Spain and defending champion Sondre Haga (GASGAS) is looking strong in fourth thanks to three podium finishes.
The Taisei Rotec TrialGP of Japan will also feature the first-ever KiSS programme in Asia. Launched ten years ago by the FIM and standing for Keep it Shiny and Sustainable, the main objective of KiSS is to encourage organisers to develop sustainable events by framing and amplifying all the environmental actions already put in place by the organisers and incorporating other innovative activities.
The serious action gets under way at 08:30 local time on Saturday. The Taisei Rotec TrialGP of Japan 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.