This coming weekend celebrates the eighth and final round of the 2011 SPEA FIM Trial World Championship as the series arrives in Isola 2000, France. Absent from last season's calendar, the French venue makes a welcome return to the series and will ultimately decide this year's two remaining titles that are yet to be settled. Marking the third two-day event to feature in the 2011 campaign and with double points on offer, all is still to be played for with several key battles yet to be determined.
Four months after this year's title race commenced and having passed through seven different countries, Toni Bou – Repsol Montesa is tantalisingly close to lifting his fifth consecutive outdoor World crown. With a comfortable thirteen point advantage over his nearest rival, the twenty-four year old is in a strong position entering the final round of the series, although history would suggest that the experienced Spaniard will not rest until he is declared victorious once again.
Spanish compatriot Adam Raga – Gas Gas will look to carry his good form on from two weeks prior when he claimed 2 -1 at the Japanese GP. The twenty-nine year old ex FIM World champion shares a successful relationship with Isola 2000 after reaching the top step of the rostrum at this venue in 2009. On that occasion Bou could only manage fourth, a situation that Raga will be hoping is repeated this time around if he is to have one last gasp at snatching the title from the reigning champion.
Veteran campaigner Takahisa Fujinami – Repsol Montesa currently finds himself positioned third in the general standings, twenty-three points behind Raga. Despite the sizeable gap Fujinami is all too aware that anything can happen in this extremely unpredictable discipline and is sure to continue to fight until the very last section.
After experiencing a largely frustrating season to date, Jeroni Fajardo – Ossa will look to put his bad fortune behind him and strengthen his current fourth place position in the championship. With Albert Cabestany – Sherco trailing Fajardo by only three points in fifth spot, the final leg of the series may turn out to be one of the most important battles yet for this Spanish duo.
Further down the championship standings the competition remains as close as ever, with Loris Gubian – Gas Gas, Michael Brown – Gas Gas and James Dabill – Beta in sixth, seventh and eighth respectively. With only five points separating these three young pretenders the championship remains wide open and it is perhaps Michael who is favourite to come out on top after recording fifth in Japan, which was his best ever GP result.
As has been the case since the opening round of the series, Spain's Alfredo Gomez – Montesa continues to lead the highly competitive Junior category, currently holding a healthy nineteen point advantage over his nearest rival. Although Gomez maybe favourite to lift the title, countrymen Francesc Moret – Montesa and Pol Tarres – Gas Gas are placed second and third respectively and with only four points between the pair there is still everything to play for this weekend.
After an intense battle during the first seven rounds of the series, Britain's Jack Sheppard – Beta claimed the 2011 SPEA FIM Youth Trial World Championship in Japan. With this in mind Cedric Tempier – Sherco will be keen to produce two strong performances on home soil in order to secure the runners-up position. Whilst the title may have already been decided, just four points separate Giacomo Saleri – Beta and Steven Coquelin – Gas Gas who are currently third and fourth respectively, meaning that the fight for the final championship rostrum position is far from over.
So with two-days of action ahead, Isola 2000 is set to stage a fitting climax to the 2011 SPEA FIM Trial World Championship.