The TrialGP World Championship got underway this weekend at the amazing Metzeler Off Road Park facilities in Pietramurata. Vertigo had four Factory riders in competition for this season opener, with newcomer Jaime Busto and Jorge Casales in the TrialGP class, the second one starting his sophomore season with the brand, and two other riders that joined Busto in their first GP aboard the Vertical R. Lorenzo Gandola was set to do so in the Trial2 class and Pau Martínez in Trial125.
Heavy rain hit the Italian soil specially on Saturday, leaving slippery conditions and small grip for the warm-up session in the morning and the Qualification session, which for second year running was scheduled at night. That resulted in the toughest qualifying ever, with any rider amongst the TrialGP starting list being able to make it through a section that even in dry conditions would have been a tough one to clear. Jaime Busto managed to get a second place though, Casales was 13th, Gandola 6th in Trial2 and Pau Martínez got the victory in the Trial125 class.
On race day Jaime Busto wasted no time on showing how fast he has adapted to the Vertical R. The young Spaniard quickly appeared as one of the most inspired riders ending lap 1 in an outstanding second place, but he wasn’t able to hold that place until the end, dropping a few positions during lap 2 to eventually come home in 5th, which is indeed a great result taking into consideration the small training he was carrying towards the Italian event aboard the new bike. Jorge Casales didn’t have his best weekend in Trentino, he struggled to find the race pace which didn’t allow him to perform at his usual level. A tough opening lap meant he had to improve on the second one in order to climb some positions. He ended up in 13th place.
In the Trial2 class local hero Lorenzo Gandola was the third rider of the team making his debut aboard the Vertigo in a World Championship event. The Italian combined amazing sections with some mistakes that in the end costed him the chance to get a better result, specially in this class, as every mark carries important consequences in the standings.
Finally, in Trial125 Pau Martínez, who put his name at the top of the standings on Saturday’s Qualifications session, had to battle for the podium spots against several competitors that also showed a great level. Pretty close to the 3rd place during the race, the Spaniard rising star wasn’t able to reduce the 5 marks difference that were separating him from the podium, so he had to settle with a 4th place finish.
In two weeks time, Japan will host the second round of the series. Motegi will see Berta Abellán for the first time this season in the World Championship scene, as TrialGP Women will start their series in the Japanese event.