After a month long break the 2016 FIM X-Trial World Championship resumed in the Spanish city of Barcelona for round two of the series. The occasion marked the thirty-ninth edition of the event in the imposing Palau Sant Jordi arena that was packed with over eight thousand action hungry fans. Vertigo factory rider Jeroni Fajardo didn’t disappoint the many fans that flocked to see him and the revolutionary fuel injected Combat in the flesh as he again rode his way to a solid top four placing.
Over the six technical sections that defined the qualification lap Fajardo looked both strong and confident aboard a bike that he only began to ride late last year. A clean in the opening hazard gave Jeroni the perfect start and with two – two mark rides in the following two sections the thirty-year-old was well on his way to securing his place in the all important four-man final. A momentarily lapse on the logs in section four was to spoil an otherwise complete performance. Despite this mistake Fajardo still transferred to the main event as he snatched the last qualifying place away from Takahisa Fujinami by a single mark.
Jeroni joined Toni Bou, Adam Raga and Albert Cabestany in the second all Spanish final line up of the season and immediately knew that he was going to have to be at his best if he was going to make it onto the podium. The final saw the sections ridden in the reverse direction and the addition of one new hazard that proved to be one of the toughest of the night. Fajardo again began well with another clean in the first section of the final before then enduring a difficult run through the next few hazards much due to the increased severity of the second lap. The Vertigo factory rider ended his evening with a morale boosting ride in the closing hazard of the competition to seal fourth place on the night and to retain the same position in the overall standings.
Watching from the side-lines Vertigo Sports Team Manager Dougie Lampkin said. “Jeroni is riding really well in training at the moment and it was nice to see that same high level in some of the sections tonight. Apart from the error in the log section he rode well in qualification. Unfortunately he never found the same rhythm or level in the final, but I am sure with all the hard work both he and the team are putting in, that he can challenge for a podium place at the next round in Austria.”
Fajardo stated. “My target was to be in the top three, but we always know that is a difficult goal when you are riding against the other three riders who have such a high level. Qualification went almost to plan, well apart from the mistake on the logs, but in the final I never found the same feeling. It is clear that we will continue to work every day to improve our performance, so we can focus on the same goal at the next round.” Images FIM/Good-Shoot. Hi-res rights free images available on request.