The 2016 FIM Trial World Championship reached its midpoint this weekend as the mountainous principality of Andorra hosted round four of the series and delivered two testing days of competition. The visit to Sant Julia de Loria proved be a successful one for Vertigo with Jeroni Fajardo claiming a third podium finish for team this season and his maiden aboard the Combat. Fajardo’s third place on Sunday plus a pair of solid results from James Dabill now sees Vertigo move up to second in the overall manufacturers standings.
For the first time this season the Trial used a format that included two laps of eighteen sections that were set around an extended course which utilised the steep terrain to full effect. Heavy overnight rain played havoc with Saturday’s competition and last minute revision had to be made to several sections as the ground became sodden and extremely slippery.
The sheer severity of the opening lap was reflected in the initial scores with both Fajardo and Dabill recording lap totals of more than fifty marks apiece which were further added to as the two riders also incurred time penalties after they failed to complete the first tour of the eighteen sections in the allotted time. Thankfully warm and dry weather brought eased conditions on the second lap and saw the scores of both riders reduced.
The predictable and smooth power of the fuel injected engine at the high altitude venue helped both Vertigo factory riders post much improved scores on lap two. Fajardo reduced his interim total by over twenty marks en route to securing sixth position whilst Dabill almost matched his team mate as he climbed the order to claim seventh spot by the close of the first day.
Much drier and warmer weather delivered a very different type of Trial on Sunday, with the final scores being greatly reduced compared to the previous day. Fajardo was immediately more at home on the drying terrain and featured amongst the leaders throughout the first lap and in doing so slotted into third place come the halfway point. Whilst Dabill threatened to match his team mate on occasions, a few unforced errors were to prevent him taking his place higher up the interim order.
Losing only two marks on his closing lap Fajardo was more than worthy of his maiden rostrum finish on the Combat as he continues to adapt to his relatively new machine. Typically, Dabill kept fighting right to the end, but had to settle for eighth position this time out despite only being a few marks away from a top five position. Jeroni and James hold sixth and seventh places respectively in the current general standings as the series heads into the second half of the season.
Pleased to record his maiden podium result for Vertigo, Fajardo said. “This result shows that the hard work over the last few months by both me and the team is now starting to show. Like I said before I am still adjusting to the bike, and today we have showed just what we can do. Yes, of course I am happy, but we cannot stop working and now need to aim for the same kind of results in France next weekend.”
Summing up his two days Dabill stated. “Saturday’s Trial was hard to understand, so slippery and so tight on time, I can’t say it was one of the best days so far. Sunday was much better, I felt more comfortable and we had more time to look and ride the sections. When you see just how close the marks were, I am a bit disappointed I couldn’t have made it into the top five today, especially after my podium in Germany last time out. I want to congratulate Jeroni and the team for their great result today, which is good for Vertigo and their place in the factory championship.”
The 2016 FIM Trial World Championship continues at pace with round five set to take place in Lourdes, France next weekend 18/19th June.