The 2023 FIM Trial des Nations was staged today at Auron in the French Alps where GASGAS Factory Racing’s Jaime Busto played a vital role as an integral part of the Spanish men’s team, going on to claim a comfortable win ahead of France and Italy. Also representing GASGAS Factory Racing, Sondre Haga was in action for Norway with the 24-year-old helping guide his nation to fifth overall.
Spain started as clear favorites to win a 19th consecutive TdN title. A hot day at considerable altitude – Auron is a popular winter ski resort 1,700 meters above sea level – the conditions were almost as challenging as the huge rocks and steep, loose climbs used over two laps of 15 sections.
With a team’s best two scores in each section counting, Spain completed the opening lap on a total of 12, which gave them an 18-mark lead over second-placed France with Italy a further mark behind in third.
Continuing to dominate on lap two, Spain ended the day comfortable winners on 23 with Busto claiming his fifth win at the event. In the battle for the two remaining podium places it was the home nation France – which featured GASGAS-mounted Hugo Dufrese – that took second on 51, just two clear of an Italian team that included GASGAS rider Luca Petrella.
Promoted to the premier TdN class last season, Norway’s lack of experience at this level was always going to be a factor in the final result, but with Haga at the helm a fighting fifth behind Great Britain was a respectable result.
In the women’s TdN category, GASGAS riders Naomi Monnier and Marine Aurieres ended the day in a solid fourth overall with France. There were even more GASGAS riders packing the top-10 nations with Alessia Bacchetta representing the fifth-placed Italians, Maddie Hoover and Kylee Sweeten helping the USA to seventh, and Poland’s Justyna Lonycz and Emilia Wrasidlo finishing in ninth.
In a low-scoring FIM International Trophy competition, the Czech Republic’s Martin Matejicek – who was a member of the winning team in 2022 – had to settle for the third step on the podium on his GASGAS, narrowly ahead of a USA team featuring GASGAS rider Josh Roper and Team Australia, which included GASGAS-mounted Connor Hogan.
Contesting the FIM Challenge des Nations for two-rider, mixed-gender teams, GASGAS rider Anton Noren Carlsson helped the Swedish pairing to fourth.
Jaime Busto: “It is an incredible feeling to close the season with a result like this. We are really happy and we had a very strong team so we could concentrate on having fun and just enjoying the whole experience. Of course, we took the race very seriously, but it has been an amazing weekend and we had such a great time – taking the win is great. It couldn’t have been any better to be honest.”
Sondre Haga: “It is always fun to ride the TdN and it’s really nice to ride as a team. Norway has been closer than ever today so we are really happy with the result. It has been a great weekend for us and I think we showed today that we deserve to compete in the highest group. On a more personal note, I feel that my riding was very good today, so it has been a great end to the season for me.”
Trial des Nations 2023
Men’s World Championship
1. Spain – Toni Bou (Montesa), Jaime Busto (GASGAS), Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa) 23
2. France – Benoit Bincaz (Sherco), Hugo Defrese (GASGAS), Teo Colaird (Beta) 51
3. Italy – Matteo Grattarola (Beta), Luca Petrella (GASGAS), Gianluca Tournour (Sherco) 53
5. Norway – Sondre Haga (GASGAS), Mats Nilsen (TRRS), Matias Gunvaldsen (TRRS) 92