FIM Get A Soaking Over Spa


The FIM has cancelled the final round of the World Trials Championship at Spa in Belgium. I don’t believe it!

What possible, rational, sensible explanation can there be? We presume there must be one, but what is the point in having a World Championship, in which all the teams and riders budget for an entire series, then get to lose the final, and possibly decisive last round at the very last minute?

Toni Bou, deservedly the new World Champion, must be laughing his socks off, for the title has been handed to him on a plate. We know that he has virtually done enough to secure the crown before what should have been the final round, but even so, Adam Raga must be absolutely livid.

As somebody has already said on here, perhaps it’s because millions of Euro has been spent on the place to persuade Bernie The Bolt to let them have F1 back, but the Spa GP is the week before the planned trial, so I can’t see what a few trials tyre marks could do to upset the F1 gurus particularly as they will have been long gone. But of course Spa is used for lots of promotional opportunities, so perhaps there’s a clash.

Or it could be that the organisers just haven’t found the budget to run – whatever, at the time of writing, it has been kept very quiet as to the reason..

Which brings me back to one of my favourite soap boxes, and I don’t want to be negative here. The fact of the matter is that the World Trials Championship, in the main Championship class, is not sustainable. It continues because a few enthusiastic sponsors and even more enthusiastic dads are funding the younger riders in the Junior and Youth Championships. It’s those series that keep the WTC going, not the 14 or so riders competing for World honours.

Start messing about with lost rounds, sending them off to far flung and relatively inaccessible places, does nobody any good. But what do I know? In fact what does anybody know, and when has the genuine enthusiast had any sort of say in what happens?

I’m pretty sure a World Championship will continue, but it must find its feet and get off this ridiculous spending trip that swallows huge wads of cash. I mean, what’s in it for anybody? We know from Jake Miller and Martin Lampkin that to promote a trial properly costs a fortune, we also know that they can’t continue at the moment for reasons already well covered on this site some weeks ago.

So if they can’t do it – and they were one of the best at it -, and Spa has cancelled for reasons as yet unexplained, how many will follow? You tell me, because I’m blowed if I can see the financial reasoning behind it all.

I said at the end of last week’s column that it would have to run for two weeks as I was off to the Manx and would not be back in time to write a column that could run for a complete week. However, as you can read from the above, a subject has cropped up and provided much needed material at short notice. I hate the thought of having a column run for longer than a week, down to pride you know, so here’s the latest; perhaps your views will make further interesting reading.