Eighteen-year-old Jitsie factory Beta trials rider, Jack Sheppard proved that he was in fighting form at the weekend with an impressive performance at a round of the German national championship. Sheppard won the first of two days at Schatthausen. He was equally strong on day two, but unfortunately had to bow out early due to a minor technical difficulty with his factory Beta machine.
Commenting on his performance after the event, Sheppard said: "I'm really pleased. I won on nine marks on Saturday, around 15 in front of the second-placed rider. I started off well on Sunday too but had to retire early with a slight clutch problem."
Sheppard's results in Germany mark a major milestone in his recovery process. Less than one month ago, Jack struggled with strength fatigue on day two of the opening round of the FIM Trial World Championship in La Bresse, France where the strain of an ongoing wrist injury took its toll, and thus did not allow Jack to match his top five placing on day one.
"My wrist held up very well in Germany, considering how painful it was a few weeks ago. Although there were more sections in Germany than in France, they were slightly easier, which helped. My wrist still felt good on day two, so hopefully that's a good sign."
Sheppard will spend the coming days at his team headquarters in Belgium, where he has been busy preparing his Beta and bike equipment to be shipped to Australia in readiness for the second round of the FIM Trial World Championship on the 26th/ 27th May. From Australia, Jack and the Jitsie Beta team will head straight to Japan for round three the following weekend, before returning to Europe to compete in the remaining four rounds of the championship.
"I feels great to get a good result before setting off to Australia. I'm definitely feeling a lot more confident than I did after the French round."
Fresh from his boost in Germany, Sheppard is now aiming to up his game even further in Australia where he hopes to earn his first podium finish of the 2012 World series.