FAJARDO CLAIMS THIRD PODIUM FOR VERTIGO

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.

 

MORE SOLID RESULTS FOR VERTIGO DUO

Just a week after the previous encounter in Andorra, the 2016 FIM Trial World Championship remained in the Pyrenees for the fifth round of the series held in the French spiritual town of Lourdes. The factory Vertigo pairing of Jeroni Fajardo and James Dabill were again in action and featured in and amongst the upper order on both days of competition. Fajardo went 6 – 6 whilst Dabill placed fifth and then eighth over the weekend for another set of solid results for the Vertigo duo. Changeable weather meant all riders endured a tough couple of days in the French hills.

Continued and heavy rain in the region always meant that conditions out on the hillside course were going to be tough as the riders faced three laps of twelve sections during Saturday’s competition. The hazards were split into two main groups, with the majority situated in a wooded area lower down the hill and the sections six, seven and eight being located high above the town. The course linking these two groups proved difficult to pass and ultimately brought Saturday’s Trial to an early close as the event was stopped to allow an injured assistant to be airlifted to hospital. He was later released with no serious injuries.

Picking up from his podium finish in Andorra, Fajardo started strongly on Saturday and ended the opening lap in second place just two marks behind eventual winner and championship leader, Toni Bou. Dabill also showed himself to have adapted well to the wet and muddy going on board his fuel injected Combat as he occupied an early position close to the top five. Unfortunately, a heavy crash in between sections midway through the second lap was to leave Jeroni battered and bruised, which in turn caused his tally to rise sharply and saw him have to be content with sixth spot on day one. In contrast James produced two improved scores over the final lap and a half to claim fifth spot after cruelly missing out on fourth position as he was beaten by a single clean in the tie-decider by Jorge Casales.

Sunday brought much warmer and drier weather and a revised and shorter course with three new hazards replacing the difficult to reach higher sections. Stiff and sore after his crash on Saturday, Fajardo knew that day two was always going to be a damage limitation exercise and could be satisfied with two strong closing laps after he made a slow start to Sunday’s Trial. Finally, sixth place for Jeroni was just reward for his brave efforts. Dabill day followed a similar story as he also improved his performance over the latter stages to secure eighth spot come the finish. Jeroni and James remains sixth and seventh in the general standings respectively, whilst Vertigo maintain second spot in the manufacturers’ championship.

Reflecting on the French GP Fajardo said. “The crash on Saturday changed everything, as up to that point I was feeling confident and was looking to continue the same kind of result I achieved in Andorra. I really hit my head hard when I crashed and it left my neck very stiff and sore. Despite this bad luck I can at least be satisfied with my results in these circumstances. Now I will take some days to recover before the next round.”

Dabill summed up his weekend by saying. ‘It’s been a really mixed couple of the days with the weather, and to have lost out on tie-breaks on both days pretty much shows that we haven’t had too much luck this weekend. Fifth on Saturday was OK, but fourth would have been better and without a couple of mistakes on Sunday again I could have been much closer to the top four. The break before Belgium will give us a chance to regroup and go again for the rest of the season.’

After an intense period of events the 2016 FIM Trial World Championship now takes a short pause before resuming in Belgium for the only single day event in this year’s calendar on 10th July.