GASGAS Factory Racing’s Jaime Busto has showed his true fighting spirit to twice stage impressive second-lap comebacks at this weekend’s TrialGP of Andorra – round five of the 2023 FIM Trial World Championship – high in the Pyrenees at Sant Julià de Lòria.
Competing at altitude in sections mostly comprising huge boulders set into the side of a perilously-steep wooded valley, a costly first lap on Saturday placed 26-year-old Busto in third at the halfway stage of the day. Thankfully, the Spaniard fought back on lap two to secure a comfortable second-placed finish.
Sunday was a similar story only this time the skillful Spaniard had even more work to do on his second lap, but certainly didn’t disappoint. After heavy overnight rain continued into the morning’s action, grip was in very short supply, but Busto rose to the challenge to post the best lap of the trial and secure another runner-up position that consolidates his second position in the series and keeps his championship hopes alive.
Trial2 was extremely low-scoring on both days in Andorra and small mistakes proved to be extremely costly for defending champion Sondre Haga. The 24-year-old Norwegian ended Saturday’s competition in seventh, but was frustratingly just two marks away from a podium finish.
Day two was even closer and Haga ended his opening lap joint fifth before losing a place in the second half of the trial as he came home only one mark from a podium finish and two away from a runner-up result.
Just one week after recording a career-first win in the Trial2 class, Jack Dance again showed his potential. Missing out on a tie-break for third place on day one after completing the course just over a minute slower than fellow British rider Harry Hemingway, on Sunday the 18-year-old showed a level of riding needed to win titles.
An opening lap of three placed him in a tie for the runner-up position, backing it up with a sensational second lap score of just one to claim a clear three-mark victory.
Jaime Busto: “I’m really happy with how the weekend turned out. I struggled on the first lap on both days – I couldn’t find a feeling in the mud – but I managed to recover so I’m happy with that. It was very positive today to record the best lap of the race on my second lap. I just need to learn from my mistakes and get ready for the next race in Italy.”
Sondre Haga: “I cannot complain that it has been a bad weekend. I’ve been riding well both days and feeling happy with the bike. Just one mistake on Saturday cost me the second position and the same thing happened today because it was a really easy, low-scoring trial. It’s a strange feeling knowing I rode really well the whole weekend, but things just didn’t go my way.”
Jack Dance: “I was annoyed with the tie-break on day one because I just lost out on time, but I felt my riding was very good and I knew it was possible to improve on day two, so I was feeling very positive. Today I really focused and after a good first lap I kept my head, pushed hard, and almost had a clean lap.”
Results: TrialGP of Andorra
TrialGP – day 1
1. Toni Bou (Montesa) 23
2. Jaime Busto (GASGAS) 45
3. Matteo Grattarola (Beta) 54
Trial2 – day 1
1. Pablo Suarez (Montesa) 8
2. Gael Chatagno (Electric Motion) 9
3. Harry Hemingway (Beta) 13
4. Jack Dance (GASGAS) 13
7. Sondre Haga (GASGAS) 31
TrialGP – day 2
1. Toni Bou (Montesa) 25
2. Jaime Busto (GASGAS) 43
3. Matteo Grattarola (Beta) 53
Trial2 – day 2
1. Jack Dance (GASGAS) 4
2. Billy Green (Scorpa) 7
3. Pablo Suarez (Montesa) 8
6. Sondre Haga (GASGAS) 9
Championship standings (after round 5)
1. Toni Bou (Montesa) 191
2. Jaime Busto (GASGAS) 177
3. Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa) 133
1. Billy Green (Scorpa) 148
2. Jack Peace (Sherco) 141
3. Pablo Suarez (Montesa) 136
5. Sondre Haga (GASGAS) 116
6. Jack Dance (GASGAS) 89