Maintaining his unbroken run of podium finishes in the 2023 FIM Trial World Championship, GASGAS Factory Racing’s Jaime Busto recorded a solid third on the opening day of this weekend’s TrialGP of San Marino before backing it up with a strong runner-up result on Sunday. There were also positive performances in Trial2 where defending champion Sondre Haga claimed his first victory of the season on day one, backing it up with second on day two behind fellow GASGAS supported rider Jack Dance.
Heavy rain leading into round four of the series at Baldasserona made conditions very slippery with mud being dragged onto the huge boulders in a normally dry riverbed that made up much of the course.
Busto started the opening day with a pair of cleans before two frustrating fives forced him to dig deep, recovering well to end the first lap tied for second. Soaking up the pressure on lap two, the 26-year-old kept his cool to claim his seventh-straight podium finish of the season with third.
With conditions even tougher after torrential overnight rain, Busto started day two with a positive mindset and led comfortably at the halfway stage before defending champion Toni Bou managed to reel him in with just a handful of sections to go.
The result means Busto is still very much in title contention and lies just eight points off the championship lead heading into next weekend’s TrialGP of Andorra.
Defending Trial2 champion Sondre Haga had struggled with injury at the first three rounds of this year’s championship, but the Norwegian was fighting fit and back to top form to claim a dominant seven-mark victory on the opening day in San Marino.
The 24-year-old had to settle for second on day two following another very strong ride, but GASGAS still topped the podium as British teenager Jack Dance claimed a dazzling debut win in the class.
Jaime Busto: “The weekend was good for me, but I was lacking some feeling in the river sections because when the water is not clear and I can’t see where my front wheel is going I do not feel very confident. Anyway, I managed to finish both days on the podium so that is good. I started Sunday with a really good feeling and I did a good job on the first lap and everything was looking positive, but I made some mistakes on the second lap and Toni was not making mistakes so he got the win.”
Sondre Haga: “Overall, it has been a good weekend and I am super-happy to be back on the podium and I am feeling better and confident with the bike. The sections were all in the river so it was slippery, but I felt good and was confident with everything. This is the correct way to go forward, and we will keep pushing.” Jack Dance: “I was very pleased with fifth yesterday because it was my best position yet in Trial2, but today I knew things were going really good and I made some great rides on the first lap. I was really pushing on lap two because I wanted to win. It is an absolutely amazing feeling.”
Jack Dance: “I was very pleased with fifth yesterday because it was my best position yet in Trial2, but today I knew things were going really good and I made some great rides on the first lap. I was really pushing on lap two because I wanted to win. It is an absolutely amazing feeling.”
Results: TrialGP of Japan TrialGP – day 1
1. Toni Bou (Montesa) 25
2. Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa) 38
3. Jaime Busto (GASGAS) 41
Trial2 – day 1
1. Sondre Haga (GASGAS) 31
2. Jack Peace (Sherco) 38
3. Pablo Suarez (Montesa) 39
14. Jack Dance (GASGAS) 43
TrialGP – day 2
1. Toni Bou (Montesa) 45
2. Jaime Busto (GASGAS) 47
3. Matteo Grattarola (Beta) 59
Trial2 – day 2
1. Jack Dance (GASGAS) 28
2. Sondre Haga (GASGAS) 34
3. Billy Green (Scorpa) 37
Championship standings (after round 3)
1. Toni Bou (Montesa) 151
2. Jaime Busto (GASGAS) 143
3. Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa) 111
1. Jack Peace (Sherco) 126
2. Billy Green (Scorpa) 121
3. Pablo Suarez (Montesa) 101
5. Sondre Haga (GASGAS) 97
8. Jack Dance (GASGAS) 56