Reigning champion Toni Bou (Repsol Honda) bounced straight back from a rare mistake in Q1 to top the TrialGP class in Q2 at TrialGP Netherlands – round three of the 2019 FIM Trial World Championship – at Zelhem today.
The number one objective in Qualification is to stay feet-up and then to complete the section in the fastest time possible. Riders are balloted for starting positions for Q1 and their results in this then determine the running order for Q2 with their best performance from both sessions determining where they begin Sunday’s main competition. The highest-placed finishers earn a valuable position at the back of the field.
The man-made Qualification section, comprising a series of towering rock slabs and huge logs, was anything but easy but after losing a single mark first time out Bou – who has won all three days of points-paying competition held so far this season – was inch perfect at his second attempt, skipping and hoping his four-stroke machine to a time of 0:37.71.
“I’m really happy with my first pole of the year,” said Bou. “In the second session I put in the best time and I’m very happy because it is important to start in the last position for tomorrow.”
His compatriot Jeroni Fajardo (Gas Gas) was next best in an all-Spanish top three with a time of 0:39.13 in Q2 as Jaime Busto (Vertigo) also improved on his first run with a 0:40.15 second time out. Britain’s James Dabill (Beta) was fourth but needed to rely on his Q1 time of 0:41.16 after scoring a maximum in Q2 with Adam Raga (TRRS) rounding out the top five with his second time of 0:41.23 just edging out Franz Kadlec (TRRS) from Germany.
Riding an eased route, in Trial2 series leader and defending champion Matteo Grattarola (Honda) from Italy held a commanding lead of almost four seconds following his first attempt but in Q2 it was Spain’s Aniol Gelabert (Scorpa) who found his form to record a clean ride in just 0:34.28 to claim pole.
“It is great to take my first pole of the year,” said Gelabert. “The feeling with the bike was incredible and I was riding so good and I hope tomorrow I will match this position.”
His compatriot Francesc Moret (Montesa) also improved on his first run to finish second with a time of 0:34.87, just under a second ahead of Britain’s Toby Martyn (Beta) with Grattarola fourth thanks to his Q1 time of 0:35.74 after he went quicker in Q2 but parted with two marks. Last year’s Trial125 champion Billy Green (Montesa) from Britain was fifth thanks to his Q2 time of 0:37.01.
Kieran Touly (Scorpa) has won every Trial125 round this season and the French teenager topped the class with his opening run of 0:38.16 easily good enough for victory after he recorded a maximum at his second attempt.
“This day of qualifying has been very good,” said Touly. “The bike works very well and I have good feelings on it. I’m a little disappointed with my second attempt in the qualifying section but the result remains the same with pole position.”
Spain’s Alex Canales (Gas Gas) was second with a Q2 time of 0:39.59 from France’s Alex Rovery (Sherco) who completed the section feet-up in 0:40.06 at his first attempt before scoring a five in Q2.
The TrialE Cup got under way in Holland with veteran Spaniard Albert Cabestany (Gas Gas), who retired from top-flight Trial at the end of last season, winning both Qualification sessions from Japan’s Kenichi Kuroyama (Yamaha).
After laying down an initial time of 0:39.17, Cabestany improved this to 0:34.22 to comfortably beat Kuroyama who posted a 0:36.75 in Q2. Italian Gianluca Tournour (Gas Gas) was a distant third with his Q2 score of a single dab in a time of 0:43.86.
The action gets under way tomorrow at 9am local time with the TrialE Cup competitors.