Japan hosted the second round of the 2019 TrialGP World Championship. The amazing facilities of the Twin Ring Motegi complex received the best riders of the world to celebrate one of the most iconic events of the calendar, being this Grand Prix the only one to feature a two-day race format.
That is why the Qualification Sessions were held on Friday, as Saturday and Sunday were set to be the two point-paying days of the weekend. Jorge Casales got an excellent fifth place, but it wouldn’t be the same for Busto, who lost a crucial mark on the second run through the section that left him in 11th place, a starting position that would be a huge handicap to overtake taking into account the slippery and muddy conditions the race was going to resume the next day due to the heavy rain that joined the competition during Friday.
Despite being the 5th rider in the starting order, Busto managed to minimize the damage on which was a tough opening lap to then score a solid second one and finish in hard-fought 7th place. Jorge Casales also enjoyed a positive day 1, the Spaniard was looking forward to bounce back after a disappointing TrialGP Italy and was mentally prepared to give again his best at the helm of the Vertical R. He finished just one spot behind his teammate Busto with the same punctuation, 98.
On day 2 Casales got even better. He fought for the podium since the beginning of the Trial, with two consistent laps that saw him riding at a great level. He ended up in 5th place, missing 4th by just one mark. On the other hand Busto would experience a similar trial to day 1, with many struggles in his first lap but bouncing back in the second one with a fantastic score of only 14, the third-best of that second run. In the end, he would eventually come home in the same 7th position he got on Saturday.
Berta Abellán and the complete TrialGP Women roster made the trip to Japan to race their first World Championship event of the year, as they didn’t take part in the previous round in Pietramurata. The 2018 Vice World Champion missed the podium on day 1, she was fourth, 6 marks behind the 3rd spot, but her second lap was quite an insinuation of what day 2 could have in store for the Vertigo Factory rider. Although Sunday didn’t start well either, 30 marks on lap 1 dropped her out of the provisional Top 3, Abellán delivered an impressive second lap, in which she matched Emma Birstow’s punctuation of 10 marks, that finally let her move up to a well-deserved 2nd place.
In the Trial2 class there was again an intense battle for the Top spots. Impressive result by local hero Akira Shibata, who got an outstanding 7th place that proved the great level of the Japanese Vertigo riders. Lorenzo Gandola was 12th, loosing his chances to reach a Top 10 position in the last four sections. David Avendaño finished 22nd. On Sunday Gandola was the best of them thanks to his 9th, Akira Shibata couldn’t replicate his Saturday’s performance and was 15th, while David Avendaño finished his weekend in Japan with a 25th.
The other podium for Vertigo arrived from the Trial125 class thanks to the 3rd place wrapped up by Pau Martínez. Following what happened in Italy, the Spanish rising star had to settle with a 4th on day one, but Sunday finally brought him to the third step of the box after a brilliant performance aboard the Vertical R 125c.c. Martínez carried victory chances until the closing stages of the trial, as he only scored three more marks than the 2nd and 5 more than the winner. After two Grand Prix Pau Martínez has already established himself as one of the references in the class.
The third round of the 2019 calendar will take place in two weeks time, the 22nd and 23rd of June, in Holland.