Lampkin Wins On Home Ground, Raga Maintains Championship Lead

Dougie Lampkin Repsol Montesa HRC claimed an emphatic victory on home soil as the trials World championship returned to the UK after a four-year absence. Lampkin was joined on the podium by Repsol Montesa HRC team-mate Takahisa Fujinami, who lead the event at the end of the opening lap but was overhauled by Lampkins second-lap charge. Albert Cabestany Sherco rounded out the podium, having occupied the position behind Fujinami since early on in the trial. Fellow Repsol Montesa HRC rider, Marc Freixa finished the event in sixth position, disadvantaged by being the first of the top riders to attempt each section.

After a two-week layoff following the Italian event in Valbondione, the championship arrived back in the UK before the traditional summer break. This year sees the World Trials Championship return to the UK for the first time since 2001 and many of the riders were looking forward to the unique challenges the British event brings. Situated at Hawkstone Park, close to the English/Welsh border, the single-day event venue basked in a heat wave in the run-up to the competition. However, the British summer broke and torrential rain, followed by showers in the days prior to the event, meant that the expected dusty conditions were replaced by slippery and muddy terrain.

The sections making up the course were all based in the wooded area surrounding the famous moto-x track and while many riders would have been familiar with the location, no section was a repeat of any previously run. Designed by Martin Lampkin and laid out by his team, the course featured a series of tight and technical sections, combined with longer but more open tests. Weve tried to create a course with a mixture of sections, from easy to very difficult. Of course, the unknown is how the recent wet weather will affect the riding characteristics. But were happy with the sections, so were anticipating a good event, said Lampkin prior to the start.

As a single day event, the riders spent Saturday afternoon walking the course to familiarise themselves with the route. Several sections ran across the side of the famous Hawkstone Hill but the majority were under tree cover, meaning that conditions remained damp throughout most of the weekend, with ambient temperatures around 15 Celsius. However, the torrential rain returned as the riders finished walking the course and as a result, the FIM observers and organisers decided to make alterations to the course to reduce the severity.

The morning of the trial arrived overcast but with no further rain, meaning the course was expected to dry as the day went on but would likely start slippery. A relatively straightforward section headed the day, with most riders cleaning the hazard. However, Lampkin took an early dab while Freixa and Fajardo Gas Gas both took a five. The second section proved more difficult, with Fujinami losing three marks, Lampkin two and Adam Raga Gas Gas and Cabestany each fiving the section. The third section was the first of three man made hazard and the top riders went through either cleanly or with a single dab, meaning that Fujinami and Lampkin headed for the first of the two main groups of sections jointly leading the field.

Both went through the high-level fourth section with a single dab, much to the consternation of their rivals, who all scored at least two and in some cases, three. However, it was section five that would provide the first taste of the difficult nature of this event. It contained several individual elements which the riders needed to link together for a clean run. Each part of the section was cleaned by at least one of the riders but none were able to string a complete section together. All three Montesa riders claimed a five on the damp and slippery rocks, while their rivals managed threes, with the exception of Antonio Bou - Beta, who claimed a single point. Coupled with his clean through the previous section, he crept into the lead, ahead of Fujinami.

Section six was a completely new section with steep bankings onto rocky outcrops. Fujinami cleaned the section, as did Cabestany while Raga dropped a single mark. However, Lampkin left with a five, along with Freixa. Bou earned a two, dropping him back behind Fujinami. The Japanese rider maintained the pressure by exiting the following section with a single point, having taken a single dab part-way up a very tricky double climb on wet rocks, while Lampkin and Raga both left with three points, earned in the same fashion. Bou again stayed in the running with two marks on that section to remain second to Fujinami.

At the midpoint of the first lap, the riders moved further into the woods for the next loop of sections, starting with the tight section nine, containing another large rock climb. As it transpired, Cabestany was the only rider to clean the section, closely followed by Fujinami who took a single dab. The remainder of the field succumbed to the tricky conditions and left with fives. The following section, number ten, seemed more straightforward to the riders than it appeared, with a steep climb up a rock wall with drops either side. Both Fujinami and Lampkin took a single dab while Raga, Cabestany and Freixa took three and twos respectively.

Section 11 saw a huge climb up an earth bank that had been cut up by previous riders. Lampkin demonstrated his true form, as the only rider that cleaned the section, to rapturous applause from the British fans. Section twelve proved too tricky and time consuming for the riders and they bypassed it en masse. The organisers subsequently removed the section from the second lap. The following section saw a series of dabs, with Fujinami and Lampkin both taking a five on the tricky climb over tree roots to a rock face.

The penultimate tests of the first lap meant that the top riders cleaned the two man made sections to complete the first lap with Fujinami in the lead with thirty marks, followed by Cabestany on thirty four, Lampkin on thirty six, Raga on forty one and Bou rounding out the top five with forty six marks. The second lap would see a reversal of fortunes, however. Lampkin was clearly a man on a mission and set about catching not just Cabestany but also Fujinami. He went through the second round of sections with a points total little more than a third of his first lap. Fujinami maintained his excellent performance but was not able to hold off Lampkin, revelling in the support of his home crowd and reached the end of the trial in second place to the Brit by just two points. The final podium position went to Cabestany, while the third Repsol Montesa HRC rider, Marc Freixa finished in sixth place.

Lampkin 1st: Im delighted to win here on home ground. I know the spectators came here to see me win and thats what I wanted to do. The first lap this morning, I didn't feel completely on-line. I had a good start and end to that lap but made a lot of silly mistakes in the middle section. Then I had a chat with the team between the two laps and got a few words of wisdom and had a much better second lap. A lot of people think that it doesnt do much for your performance competing on home ground but it had definitely given me a lift here this weekend. Its been hard work but the sections have held up well and have given us a great trial. This obviously helps with my championship, because its not over until its over.

Fujinami 2nd: Im pleased with my performance this weekend. These are very good sections and very nice people. The first lap was very nice riding but on the second lap I made some mistakes. That was not perfect riding for me. But Dougie was very strong here this weekend. He is twenty nine years old but riding very strong, as you would expect. When I saw the sections on Saturday I thought they were very difficult but riding them, they were hard but good. This helps me with the championship as now there is thirteen points between me and Raga. I think it will be a good fight to the end of the championship.

Cabestany 3rd: With the people here this weekend, it was very easy to enjoy the trial. The sections are very nice and its a good event to have in the World Championship. I had a good first lap, finishing second to Fujinami. But on the second lap, I feel I lost my rhythm. I thought the sections would be drier but in fact they were still very slippery and I made too many mistakes. That mean that with Dougies very good second lap, I was pushed down to third. But I am still happy with that.

Freixa 6th: I found it very difficult today. Because of my start position from the ballot, I was running first among the top runners. That meant I was always in front and didnt benefit from watching the other riders lines. If you can see someone clean a section that helps enormously and gives you a lot of confidence. My second lap was much better than the first but the mistakes I made there meant it was going to be very difficult to get much higher.

Laia Sanz Repsol Montesa HRC had a very trying event, finishing in an unusual 10th position within the Junior category. My second lap was better than my first but not by much. The trouble today was me I was finding it very easy to five in sections one little mistake was all it took. Not a very good day for me.



1. Doug Lampkin (GB-Montesa), 50 ;
2. Takahisa Fujinami (J-Honda), 52 ;
3. Albert Cabestany (E-Sherco), 67 ;
4. Adam Raga (E-Gas Gas), 72 ;
5. Antonio Bou (E-Beta ), 73 ;
6. Marc Freixa (E-Montesa), 74 ;
7. Graham Jarvis (GB-Sherco), 83 ;
8. Jeroni Fajardo (E-Gas Gas), 86 ;
9. Kenichi Kuroyama (J-Beta), 87 ;
10: Jordi Pascuet (E-Gas Gas), 101 ;
11. Tadeusz Blazusiak (POL-Gas Gas), 108 ;
12. Shaun Morris (GB-Gas Gas), 117 ;
13. Sam Connor (GB-Sherco), 119;
14. Fumitaka Nozaki (J-Scorpa), 122 ;
15. Steve Colley (GBR-Gas Gas), 127;

World Championship positions after 8 rounds;
1. Raga, 195 ; 2. Fujinami, 182 ; 3. Cabestany, 178 ; 4. Lampkin, 173 ; 5. Bou, 136 ; 6. Freixa, 131 ;
7. Kuroyama, 102 ; 8. Jarvis, 101 ; 9. Fajardo, 84 ; 10. Pascuet, 67 ; 11. Blazusiak, 64 ; 12. Nozaki,
49 ;13. Connor, 26 ; 14. Morris,20 ; 15. Shibuya, 13

Next event: 9th round at Gefreees (Germany) on 03 and 04 September

Source: Honda Pro Image

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