What a ride! Making an incredible start to his 2024 season, Sondre Haga rode his GASGAS TXE GP to victory in Trial2 on day one of the TrialGP of Japan – the first time an electric bike has topped the class. The result was the highlight of a weekend of mixed fortunes for GASGAS Factory Racing, which saw a technical issue affect both Jaime Busto and Jack Dance. Despite the untimely setback, the boys kept on fighting, giving their all throughout the weekend.

  • Sondre Haga tops Trial2 on opening day on electric TXE GP
  • Jaime Busto and Jack Dance faced with technical issue on day one
  • Jack Dance narrowly misses out on Trial2 podium on day two

The Mobility Resort Motegi offered the perfect stage for the opening round of the 2024 TrialGP season, with a challenging weekend promised for the world’s best trials riders. The course presented competitors with super-steep climbs and descents and a mixture of boulders and natural rocky sections.

Despite heading into the weekend super-motivated, an early technical issue on day one put Jaime Busto on the back foot. Forced to take fives on all but one section on the first lap, Jaime fought back on lap two to claw his way back to ninth and earn himself seven valuable championship points.

Heading out first in each section on day two, Jaime had a huge challenge ahead of him to secure a positive result after his tough opening day. However, he showcased his experience and skill to tackle the difficult course and bring home his TXT GP 300 in seventh place. With six rounds left to race, Busto lies seventh overall in the TrialGP standings.

Trial2 was an incredibly competitive category at Motegi, with low scores across the board on both days. Sondre Haga remained unfazed, completing two near-faultless laps to take a convincing win on day one, writing his name in the history books as the first winner at this level to win on an electric motorcycle. Jack Dance was unfortunately sidelined due to a technical issue.

Dance made an epic comeback on day two, putting in an impressive ride to finish in fourth place, tied on points with third. Sondre delivered another positive result to finish just behind his teammate in fifth. The results were so close, only two points separated second to fifth place in the ultra-competitive category. Haga now lies fourth overall in the standings after round one, with Dance in ninth.

The 2024 FIM TrialGP World Championship continues with round two in Andorra’s Sant Julia de Loria on June 7-9.

Jaime Busto: “It’s been a difficult weekend for me, but I’m already looking ahead and excited for round two. We had some problems with myself and the bike yesterday, so I tried my best today to get a better result for the team. It’s not the way we wanted to start the season, but we’re all really motivated now to come back even stronger in Andorra and get back on top.”

Sondre Haga: “Day one was incredible, I felt really good all day and made barely any mistakes. It’s amazing to come here and take the win after so much work so I am really, really happy! Fifth place for day two is frustrating because we were so close to the podium all day. But overall, I’m really happy with this weekend and it gives me a lot of confidence that we’re fighting for the championship already. We will keep pushing from here and hopefully stay on top for the rest of the season.”

Jack Dance: “Unfortunately, Saturday wasn’t the best day for me. We had a bit of an issue which was a shame, but I felt really motivated for day two to get a good result under my belt. I had a hugely better day and I was really happy with my riding. I got some fives unfortunately, which left me drawn for points with third place and just edged me out of a podium finish. It’s a pretty good start to the season though overall and I’m excited for the next round.”

Albert Cabestany – GASGAS Factory Racing Trial Team Manager: “It’s been a tough weekend overall. Jaime really pushed hard today, but it wasn’t easy as he was starting first all day after an unfortunate day one. The day didn’t start as well as we would have liked, but we tried to encourage Jaime as much as possible. We need to move on from this weekend and look to come back stronger for the rest of the season. Apart from that, the guys in Trial2 did a superb job with Sondre’s win yesterday, especially as it was the first electric bike to win, it was a dream come true. It’s a pity they didn’t get a podium today being so close on points, but they’ve had a brilliant weekend. Now we’re focussing on Andorra and getting back to the top.”

Results: TrialGP of Japan

TrialGP – day 1
1. Toni Bou (Montesa) 14
2. Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa) 38
3. Adam Raga (Sherco) 41
9. Jaime Busto (GASGAS) 70

Trial2 – day 1
1. Sondre Haga (GASAGAS) 3
2. Gael Chatagno (Electric Motion) 9
3. Alex Canales (Sherco) 13

TrialGP – day 2
1. Toni Bou (Montesa) 19
2. Adam Raga (Sherco) 25
3. Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa) 31
7. Jaime Busto (GASGAS) 56

Trial2 – day 2
1. Jack Peace (Sherco) 18
2. Alex Canales (Sherco) 21
3. Gael Chatagno (Electric Motion) 22
4. Jack Dance (GASGAS) 22
5. Sondre Haga (GASGAS) 23

Championship standings (after round 1)

1. Toni Bou (Montesa) 40
2. Adam Raga (Sherco) 32
3. Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa) 32
7. Jaime Busto (GASGAS) 16

1. Jack Peace (Sherco) 33
2. Alex Canales (Sherco) 32
3. Gael Chatagno (Electric Motion) 32
4. Sondre Haga (GASGAS) 31
9. Jack Dance (GASGAS) 13