The TrialGP paddock headed to Portugal this weekend for round 5 of the 2019 series. Jorge Casales and Jaime Busto arrived in great shape to Gouveia, as the Vertigo duo had delivered impressive performances just a week before in the Spanish Championship. Also Berta Abellán and Lorenzo Gandola landed on Portuguese soil with high hopes.
In the premier class it was again a solid weekend for Jorge Casales, who rode excellent the whole event. The Spaniard got himself inside the Top 5 in every session, confirming he is currently in top form. On Saturday he finished the qualification session in 4th place, a result that he would eventually replicate on race day after what was an intense battle for the podium spots with Fajardo and Fujinami. The three matched their punctuation in both laps, 21 and 15 marks to finish in a triple tie after the 30 sections. Then, time become crucial and with 3 extra marks Casales had to settle with 4th, one mark ahead of Fujinami and 3 behind Fajardo, who stayed on 36.
Things simply didn’t go as Jaime Busto’s way in Portugal. After scoring his first podiums aboard the Vertical R in the Spanish Championship just a week ago, the youngster had a tough qualifying session on Saturday that forced him to be the first premier class rider out on Sunday. He struggled to find his pace throughout the Portuguese sections on lap 1, but managed to improve on lap 2 to round out the event in a pretty solid 7th place.
In the Trial2 class Lorenzo Gandola had a brilliant GP in Portugal aboard the Vertical R that saw him reaching the 3rd step of the box, his first podium since he moved up from the Trial125 class last year. The Italian was finally able to record a consistent race, with no mistakes and traducing his great talent into a solid overall result. In fact, he ended up in third, but kept his victory chances alive until the last section of the trial by ending just 2 marks behind the leaders. On the opening lap Gandola collected 17 marks, in the second one could improve and leave only 8. An impressive result for him, which for sure will mean a great boost of confidence towards next weekend’s TrialGP France.
The second podium for Vertigo arrived thanks to Berta Abellán, she was again at the top of her game and finished as runner-up. Her progression has been amazing, she was the only rider to threat Emma Bristow as she went into lap 2 with 19 marks against 18 from the Brit. Abellán would keep that level on the second run through the 15 sections and with a punctuation of 20 she ended up with 39, only 5 away from Bristow’s 32.
Abellán and the rest of the Vertigo Factory team will have another opportunity in just a few days time. France will hold round 6 of the series next weekend with Pau Martínez and the rest of the Trial125 coming back to action.