Matteo Grattarola – Gas Gas heads to his home Grand Prix this weekend in the form of his life as the 2013 FIM Trial World Championship visits Barzio, Italy for round five of the series. The twenty-five year old Italian rider placed fifth last time out in Spain two weeks ago to supersede his previous best finish, which was seventh spot in Germany two years ago.
Tenth in last year’s final standings Matteo has started to produce some consistent results in America, Andorra and Spain after a poor start to the outdoor season in Japan. Grattarola’s performances and confidence will have been boosted by his inclusion in the 2013 FIM X-Trial World Championship, where we was one of just eight permanent riders and earned sixth position overall in his first full campaign indoors.
Now supported by the Gas Gas factory and having reigning champion Toni Bou – Repsol Montesa as a close friend in the paddock, Matteo would appear to have some extra positive factors weighing in his favour this year as he currently sits seventh in the general standings as the series heads into the second half of its tour. Speaking after his recent success in Spain and looking forward to his home GP, Grattarola explained how he feels at this moment.
“I am very happy right now, I have great support both from the Gas Gas factory and the Italian Gas Gas importer and this has certainly given me an advantage this year. Now I have a great group of people around me, a great team who are helping me to move up to the next level, which is important for my career.”
“The new no-stop rules have certainly given me and other riders in the middle of the top pack a new opportunity to compete with the best guys. Now I feel I have the chance to be between fifth and tenth in every race. Also this season I can fully concentrate on the World Championship, as last season it was difficult with trying to compete at the best level both in the European and World events, as there were a lot of competitions all together.”
“If you ask me what the big difference this year is, I think I can say it is the new confidence I have within myself. I think this has come from me training with the best five riders in the World in Spain over the winter, the new rules and the new team set up. When you put all these things together I think this is the difference.”
“Always your home round is very special, but for me Barzio is even more than that as it is only ten kilometres from my home, so then you can start to imagine how important this weekend is for me. Obviously I am going to have a lot of fans and friends and people who are coming to support me which is an amazing feeling and great for motivation, but then on the other side there is the massive pressure that it brings too.”
“Right now I have a good level of confidence and I hope I can repeat the same kind of result in Barzio as I did in Spain, as that would put me in a great position in the championship with just three rounds remaining.”
Grattarola joined the World Pro class back in 2010 and has finished tenth in the final standings for the last three seasons. He is therefore hoping that this year will see him move up the rankings if he can maintain his form in Italy, the Czech Republic, Great Britain and France, which will host the closing four events of the current campaign.