James Dabill (Beta) displayed the reason for his world number six position when he won the opening round in difficult conditions at Hookwood on Saturday by a massive twenty two marks. Despite failing on the first of twelve sections on lap one where all of his rivals lost minimal marks over the huge tree stump at the top of a steep banking, he recovered to score eleven cleans over the remainder of the thirty five sections.
New TRRS signing, Toby Martyn edged into second, despite a poor final lap, which included five maximums, showing the conditions were tough. In contrast, Dan Peace (Sherco) matched Dabill on the final tour of twelve sections to snatch third, ahead of brother Jack who finished fourth on the second Sherco.
Dabill made amends for his first section lapse by recording the sole cleans on the difficult third section at the sandpit. After watching his closest rivals faulter, he made a tremendous amount of time on the double step near the start of the zone, before parting with a miserly two marks on the awkward rocks towards the end. He recorded the only cleans on the second and third laps.
Reigning Champion, Jack Price (pictured) making his UK debut on a Vertigo had a poor day by his standards to finish fifth. Twelve maximums accounted for a lot of his ninety-five total, whilst Billy Green (Montesa) completed the top six.
Connor repeats 2019 Trial 2 success
Local hero, Sam Connor (Beta) repeated his 2019 victory in the Trial 2 class after a tough day, losing sixty-eight marks over the three lap, twelve section course at Hookwood on Saturday. Settling into third on the opening lap of slippery rocks and climbs, big Sam managed to keep his lap scores consistent and posted his best score on the final tour, when conditions were the most difficult. Despite a trio of consecutive failures in the Oakwood group of sections on lap one, Current Trial 2 Champion, Ross Danby (TRRS) kept the pressure on to finish second with Sam Haslam (Honda) excelling in the difficult conditions to snatch third on the final lap.
However, it was Andy Chilton (Scorpa) who opened up a healthy lead on the opening lap with a score of sixteen, which including just one failure and one bout of footing. But in worstening conditions, the Northern ace could not maintain his form and a final lap of thirty-three, plus three-time penalties, knocked him off the podium by a single mark.
In a high scoring event, just three marks separated second to fifth. with Danby second on seventy-five, Haslam third with seventy-six, Chilton seventy-seven with his time penalties included and Tom MInta, also Scorpa mounted slotted into fifth with seventy eight. Championship contender, Richard Sadler (Gas Gas) was sixth with four time penalties included, whilst Hugo Jervis (TRRS) improved on each lap to finish seventh, ahead of Dec Bullock (Gas Gas), James Fry (Sherco) and Duncan McColl (Beta), who is now reported to be injury free, completing the top ten.
Yeomans wins ACU Trial Expert opener on Sunday
Having switched to Vertigo during the winter, Sam Yeomans took a close win in the ACU Trial Expert class at a slippery Hookwood venue on Sunday. With just two marks separating the top four, Yeomans held onto a slender lead he established on the first of three laps to take maximum points - plus one bonus lap point - into the second round in one months’ time.
However, the story could have been different if second placed Lloyd Price (Gas Gas) had not incurred two-time penalties in his thirty seven mark deficit. Price explained on the podium, " I missed a section on the first lap and the time taken to return cost me a couple of minutes. However, I am still happy with my second position and the associated seventeen championship points.
Second after the opening twelve section encounter, Dan Thorpe (Gas Gas) slipped to third with a poor, by his standards, second lap with two back to back maximums on sections nine and ten.
After finishing second in the 2019 event, Ben Morphett (Montesa) looked likely to go one better on Sunday. With a loss of six and ten on the first two laps, he lost fifteen in the final four sections to find himself relegated to fourth- and off the podium at the end of the day.
With just two marks separating the top four, 36,37,38 and 38, new TRRS mounted Connor Atkinson was kicking himself for a poor first lap of eighteen, but recovered well, posting two laps of eleven to finish fifth ahead of Tom Affleck (Sherco) who held a comfortable sixth place at the end of the day.
Britain's Womens World Champion, Emma Bristow (Sherco) did not get off to the start she had hoped for. A poor second lap for thirty-one marks lost dropped her out of contention for good championship points after a reasonable opening lap of nineteen.
With the exception of sections three and nine, which were slippery rocks in the main arena, the other zones were cleaned by several riders, but with deteriorating conditions it turned into a tough day for many. It is expected that the second round at Neath in one months’ time will be slightly easier.
None of the top three gained any bonus points for the best lap scores, with Morphett gaining two and Atkinson one.
Dance wins ACU Trial 125 opening round
Local rider Jack Dance (Gas Gas) took an early lead on the first lap of the opening round of the series which was held at a muddy Hookwood on Saturday. The event, not far from Dance's home base at Horsham, featured many gripless rocks and climbs which deteriorated as the day went on. Harry Hemingway (Beta) squeezed out archrival Harry Turner (Gas Gas) to take second in the strength sapping sections.
Dance set up his win with a mere twelve marks on the first of three, twelve section laps, which put him five ahead of Reece Gazzard (Scorpa), with Hemingway sitting third on twenty. Dance repeated the performance on the second lap in worsening conditions, whilst Gazzard doubled his first lap score and slipped down to fourth, where he eventually featured in the final result.
The hardest section, number nine in the main arena was the toughest and this is where Hemingway effectively snatched second place by avoiding maximum penalties on two visits, where turner maxed out.
The lone lady rider in the ACU Trial 125 class was Alice Minta (Scorpa) who finished fifth.
Dance now enjoys a healthy six-point lead in the Championship having won three extra bonus points for setting the best score on each lap.