25/04/13 - On the eve of the 2013 FIM World Championship: new rules and same riders

The 2013 FIM World Championship is on the go and brings the big variable of the new Non Stop rule. An heavy blow on all the riders. Something decided by the FIM with all the factories in one of the last meeting held in 2012. This news, which had soon heated our envinroment , is still current nowadays. In the countries where trial is more popular as Spain, England, France and Italy, the new rule was not applied, at least in this season, in order to watch the impact in the world championship. Inside the FIM, the CRT Director, Dave Willoughby, who was strongly against this innovation, was bypassed in this decision by the Sport Direction and so he resigned. At his place now there is French three time world champion Thierry Michaud, who was one of the supporters.

This experiment was already done more than 10 years ago and was misery failed. Not only , at the time the stop was punished with 1 point, now the rider who stops gets 5 points. Watching the video prepared by the FIM, in which the actors are the top riders in the world, it is easy to think that Trial won't loose its spectacularity, because those riders are able to hop or to turn og 360 degrees and then to face enormoous rocks without stopping. And they do it in absolute safety. But what about the others? And the observers? All of them are amateurs, who sometimes spend all their day in the rain. We have the duty to simplify their job as much as possible. Do they have the courage to punish the minimum stop of one of the top riders? Or who pays for this, will be the other riders, the ones not belonging to the official team?


The first answers at this puzzle will be given in Japan, in the next week-end, where observes are famous for being very strict. Indeed this year the series begin at the circuit Honda of Motegi, which for the first time in 14 years changes his traditional appointment of beginning of June. Two laps with 18 sections, that is an other change in the 2013 rules. More consistent the grand prix. Abandoned the old formula of two laps and 15 sections each, the organizers will choose between 2 laps and a number of sections from 18 to 20 or the past formula of 3 laps with 12-15 hazards. Confirming its true World Championship status, the series will move swiftly on from Asia to America, with the second round being hosted in Sequatchie, USA , where was held the last US round in 2008. It is scheduled in late May.

After the initial two flyaway events the action shifts back to Europe in June to begin the most intense period of the campaign. Andorra will be the third two-day event in a row, with the championship returning to familiar ground, high in the mountains of the small, but rocky principality. The Grand Prix of Andorra held at Sant Julia De Loria will be the first of three combined events throughout the season, with this round also including the opening event for the Women’s . The next three men’s events will then follow in quick succession. The single day Trial at Pobladura Regueras in the south of Spain, as in 2011, come late June will signal the mid-point in the title race.

Round five of eight will be contested in Italy, at Barzio, in Valsassina, not far from Milan, again this will be run as a one day event taking the counting days tally to eight out of a possible thirteen, with is most relevant to the Junior and Youth classes that are permitted to drop their worst results as they go in search of global glory. In the World Pro division the eventual champion will be decided with all days counting, thus making consistency the key to any success in this class. The closing stages will be played out over the remaining summer months, with the Czech Republic making a return to the calendar in mid-July as the last single day event of the tour, before the series reverts back to its spiritual home in Great Britain later the same month. The double header at Penrith could prove decisive in the title race with the hill top venue always creating a tough challenge even for the World’s best Trial riders. By the time the French ski resort of Isola 2000 plays host to the final round, which will take place over two days as the month of August runs into September, the main contenders for top honours will have worked their way in to position for one last assault as the season reaches its climax.


Reigning champion Toni Bou – Repsol Montesa is still the one to bet your money. He has just clinched his seventh indoor title in a row, winning all the rounds of the series. His goal is now to reach the seven crowns even outdoors. Record kept by Jordi Tarres and Dougie Lampkin. Adam Raga – Gas Gas who eventually finished as runner-up to Bou last season, and who recently secured second spot behind Toni in the X-Trial would appear to be the main threat to the reigning champion. However, whilst on his day Raga is a match for his compatriot, inconsistency over the last seasons have robbed Raga of a real title challenge. The trip to Japan in 2012 highlights this point with Adam having slumped to sixth and fifth respectively over the two days of competition. Hopefully Raga’s strong close to the indoor season will carry forward to the outdoor campaign and he will be able to give Toni a real run for his money right from round one.

The other title challengers have a familiar feel with Jeroni Fajado – Beta topping the list having recorded his highest ever ranking by taking third spot, just a single point behind Raga last term. At twenty-eight years old Fajardo is running out of time if he is to progress higher up the order and must make his move in 2013 if he is ever to be considered a real title contender. Age is one thing that does not seem to be a limiting factor when it comes to Albert Cabestany – Sherco and Takahisa Fujinami – Repsol Montesa, with both of the thirty-year old plus protagonists riding as well as they have ever done. Fujinami with his home advantage could just provide the upset of the weekend, especially with his flamboyant approach.

The British pairing of James Dabill – Beta and Jack Challoner – Beta, the newly promoted 2012 Junior Champion Alexandre Ferrer – Sherco, and the Italian Champion Matteo Grattarola – Gas Gas are sure to lead the charge in terms of breaking up the established top. five runners.


Alla vigilia nel mondiale 2013: nuovi regolamenti e stessi protagonisti.

Qualcosa di simile a quanto scritto nella parte di lingua inglese, lo trovate in edicola, su Motosprint n.16

Toni Bou
Adam Raga
Jeroni Fajardo
Albert Cabestany
Takahisa Fujinami