GASGAS Factory Racing’s Jaime Busto put the finishing touches to his highly successful TrialGP campaign with a pair of second-placed finishes at the TrialGP of France, the seventh and final round of the 2023 FIM Trial World Championship. In doing so, the Spaniard ended his 2023 TrialGP campaign in an incredible second place. Nice work, Jaime!
A completely new venue for the FIM Trial World Championship, the sections at Vertolaye were mostly plotted on a steep wooded hillside with imposing rocks providing a fitting test for the best trial riders in the world.
Still in with a slim chance of taking the premier TrialGP title from record-breaking champion Toni Bou, Busto – who only joined GASGAS Factory Racing at the beginning of the season – started Saturday’s competition in a confident mood and pushed Bou hard on the opening lap. However, with dust reducing the grip through much of the rocky sections, the 26-year-old Spanish star gradually lost touch and had to settle for a solid second.
With his championship hopes over, Busto was more relaxed on day two and as he has done all season, continued to pressurise Bou. Although he was ultimately unable to add to his record of three victories in 2023, another second-placed finish – his 13th podium from 14 starts this year – saw him end the championship a clear second in the final standings.
On a close and competitive opening day when the smallest mistake proved costly, defending Trial2 champion Haga struggled to get to grips with the sections and was disappointed to finish out of the point-scoring positions.
Day two, however, was much more positive and after a challenging opening 12 sections, the Norwegian rallied to post the third best lap of the trial at his second attempt which elevated him to fifth. With his impressive day two result, Sondre rounded out the 2023 Trial2 World Championship in fourth overall.
Jack Dance also finished the opening day of competition out of the points before fighting back to score a point on day two with a determined 15th. The British rider ended the year in a career-best ninth.
Jaime Busto: “I am really happy because this weekend I was feeling at one with the bike and was able to put in two good performances. I tried to push Toni hard, but he wasn’t fading or throwing away any marks. In the end I got two second place results, which is fine and I have finished second in the championship. I am happy with this year. It was a new team and new bike for me so in some ways, I wasn’t expecting such good results so quickly. To be able to get some wins and put pressure on Toni is incredible for me and I can’t thank the team enough. I am now going to train hard and I think next year is looking very positive.”
Sondre Haga: “Saturday was horrible for me and I really struggled so that was disappointing. But today things were much better. I made some mistakes on the first lap, but I had a really good second lap and I recovered well, only just missing the podium by two marks. Finishing the year in fourth was not what I wanted, but I will keep working and aim to be back on top in 2024.”
Jack Dance: “I have not been where I wanted to be this weekend, to be honest. On Saturday it was quite difficult to get into any sort of rhythm, but looking at the positives I did still have some really good rides throughout the weekend. Overall, in the championship I’m really happy with how it has gone with two wins. I have to say a huge thank you to the whole team, they’ve done an awesome job.”
Results: TrialGP of France
TrialGP – day 1
1. Toni Bou (Montesa) 30
2. Jaime Busto (GASGAS) 47
3. Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa) 48
Trial2 – day 1
1. Pablo Suarez (Montesa) 20
2. Carloalberto Rabino (Beta) 25
3. Harry Hemmingway (Beta) 26
18. Sondre Haga (GASGAS) 44
20. Jack Dance (GASGAS) 48
TrialGP – day 2
1. Toni Bou (Montesa) 29
2. Jaime Busto (GASGAS) 38
3. Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa) 51
Final Championship standings (after round 7)
1. Toni Bou (Montesa) 271
2. Jaime Busto (GASGAS) 236
3. Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa) 191
1. Billy Green (Scorpa) 196
2. Pablo Suarez (Montesa) 190
3. Jack Peace (Sherco) 185
4. Sondre Haga (GASGAS) 153
9. Jack Dance (GASGAS) 100