There is no doubt about it, seventeen-year-old Jaime Busto – Repsol Honda has been one of the talking points of the 2015 FIM Trial World Championship and with his two near podium finishes at the Portuguese GP just last weekend there is a clear reason why. The Spanish teenager has certainly made his mark on the series with his unique and slightly extraordinary riding style that has sealed him at least sixth place in the general standings with just one round remaining of his rookie season in the World Pro class. Turn back the clock to earlier in the year and Busto was the subject of many headlines around the World as news of his shock and contested move from Beta to the mighty Repsol Honda team was met with mixed reaction both inside and beyond the paddock.
Despite the hype and anticipation Busto’s debut alongside his well proven Repsol Honda teammates Toni Bou and Takahisa Fujinami as a wildcard entrant at the Barcelona round midway through the 2015 FIM X-Trial World Championship was less than impressive as he placed dead last of the eight competitors. Moreover his season was nearly over before it had even begun as he came up short on the double jump on the SuperEnduro course that accompanied the X-Trial event as his youthful enthusiasm got the better of him during his noisy and heightened introduction in front of several thousand home fans.
Busto faired little better at the closing round of the 2015 FIM X-Trial World Championship in Oviedo, Spain a few weeks later as he again came home right at the back of the pack. Therefore the over eager teenager had to wait until the opening round of the 2015 FIM Trial World Championship held in Motegi, Japan to begin to show his real worth as he rode to a pair of solid sixth places as his Japanese Honda bosses watched on, hoping their faith in Busto now will be repaid in World titles later down the line as their new signing is groomed to become Bou’s most obvious successor in years to come.
With a good first round under his belt Busto impressed further as he rode to an excellent and incredible fourth place on the first day in the Czech Republic in only his second full GP. Jaime then followed this up twenty-four hours later with another great result as this time he placed fifth in conditions that can only be described as non-Spanish. If the rookie thought his first season was going to be plain sailing he was reminded otherwise as he slumped to ninth and seventh positions respectively over the two days of the Swedish Grand Prix just a week later.
Again proving his pedigree Busto bounced back in Britain seven days down the line with a brace of top five places at the hilltop Nord Vue venue, with mainly man-made hazards being much to the teenager’s liking. At the French round later the same month Jaime maintained his unbroken run of top ten finishes as this time out he went 7–6 over the two days of competition in the small ski resort of Andon. There was a similar outcome for the young Repsol Honda rider at the next stop in Andorra with Jaime twice taking sixth spot at the highest stop on the 2015 tour.
The American fans greeted Busto with as much anticipation and excitement as their European counterparts had done earlier in the year when the series arrived at Stepping Stone Ranch, USA for round seven of nine of the 2015 campaign. Busto repaid the warm welcome he received with some moments of brilliance that were sometimes offset by some lapses of concentration, that have to be expected due to his age and the weight of expectation that he is carrying on his young shoulders on route to securing ninth and sixth places at the USGP.
Two fourth places over last weekend in Portugal mean that Busto now heads into his home and closing GP of 2015 in a safe sixth spot in the overall standings and with a chance of ending his maiden year in the World Pro class inside the top five. With his incredible rookie ranking guaranteed Jaime is now free to adopt a more carefree approach this coming weekend, which might just have the potential for him to produce his best result of the year so he can sign off 2015 in real style in front of his home fans