Following a six week pause in proceedings the fierce battle for the 2014 FIM Trial World Championship will resume in Comblain au Pont, Belgium this coming Sunday. Reigning champion Toni Bou – Repsol Honda holds a single point lead over Adam Raga – Gas Gas, thanks to only his second win of the season last time out at the Italian GP. The return of Belgium to the series marks the start of the second part of the campaign, with four out of eight rounds having been contested to date. Both Bou and Raga will be only too aware of just how important this weekend’s encounter is, as the championship embarks on its most intense period of the year, with three Grand Prix events on the bounce.
With three podium places to his name on the second day in Japan, and then in Corsica and Italy marks a return of form for Albert Cabestany – Sherco who has now moved up to third in the current general standings as a result of his recent consistency. Whilst unlikely to trouble the top two come the end of the season Cabestany will be desperate to keep his place in the top three to improve on his 2013 ranking when he finished fourth overall. In stark contrast fellow veteran campaigner Takahisa Fujinami – Repsol Honda has struggled recently, his two sixth places at the last pair of GP’s having dented a strong early season assault that saw him win on the opening day in Australia.
The recent break will have allowed Jeroni Fajardo – Beta to have recovered from the wrist injury he sustained in Corsica, as the Spanish rider looks to make up ground on both Fujinami and Cabestany, both of whom remain within his grasp. Despite his setback Jeroni has still managed to maintain a healthy advantage over his teammate James Dabill – Beta who has failed to record anything higher than a fifth place so far this season. Dabill remains a potential podium challenger and will look to celebrate the recent birth of his first child, son Archie with a suitable placing in Belgium this weekend.
After his career best fourth spot in Corsica Jorge Casales – Gas Gas endured mechanical problems in Italy a week later, which left him down in a disappointing ninth position. Casales will be looking to rectify this temporary dip in what otherwise has been a great season for the Spanish youngster as he embarks on the second phase of the championship. Pol Tarres – Sherco, Alexandre Ferrer – Sherco, Eddie Karlsson - Montesa and Matteo Grattarola – Gas Gas are all capable of causing an upset at what is considered a neutral GP for the top ten ranked riders.
In the FIM Trial World Cup Jaime Busto – Beta heads the general standings by a healthy seventeen points at the halfway point and will look to further extend his lead with a fifth victory of the year, after having placed fourth at the Italian Grand Prix. Germany’s Franz Kadlec - Beta continues to pose the main threat to the current Spanish series leader and looked strong as he claimed the runners-up placing last time out. The French pairing of Quentin Carles de Caudemberg – Beta and Steven Coquelin – Gas Gas hold third and fourth positions respectively in the current championship table, despite Coquelin being out of the points in Italy and will both look to inflict damage on the leading duo this coming weekend.
France’s Gael Chatagno – Sherco remains the run away leader in the FIM 125 Trial Cup despite conceding his 100% record at the Italian GP. Although beaten by Italy’s Marco Fioletti - Beta last time out, on overall form to date Chatagno’s compatriot Teo Colairo – Gas Gas and Switzerland’s Noe Pretalli – JTG look set to offer the current champion elect the most resistance when they resume their three-way tussle on Belgian soil.