After a five-week break the 2012 FIM X-Trial World Championship resumes in Madrid this Saturday. The mid season interlude could not have come at a better time for Britain’s only permanent rider in the competition Michael Brown - Gas Gas. Brown, who suffered the worst result of his 2012 campaign at the last round in Marseille, is hoping to bounce back strongly this weekend.
It was a frustrating start to the series for Brown who just a few months ago celebrated the best results of his career to date in the 2011 SPEA FIM Trial World Championship. Impressively, 'The Mighty Atom’ finished in sixth place in the outdoors series – two places up from his finishing spot in 2010. Brown has been trying to repeat this success in this year’s FIM X-Trial World Championship, but so far has failed to make it through to the semi finals in all three previous rounds.
Brown only narrowly missed out on making it through to the semi final in the opening round of the series in Strasbourg, he was seventh again in Geneva, but then slipped back to disappointing ninth place in Marseille after fiving every section in qualification.
Reviewing his performances to date Brown comments: “Obviously I’m disappointed in my results so far, but I’m feeling positive. With the first few rounds being so close together there is a lot of pressure and things get hectic.
“If you make mistakes there’s not much time to put things right. I’ve been unlucky this season so far and it’s very frustrating when you keep getting pipped at the last post. But I feel I’m riding well, I’m happy with my bike and I’m confident that the results will come.”
It is possible that the 25-year-old rider has been putting himself under too much pressure to replicate his outdoor success. This is a view that has been expressed by Brown’s Gas Gas team manager, Dougie Lampkin, who recently commented on how hard the rider has been pushing himself during training.
“I agree that it’s possible I have been trying too hard. Maybe I do need to relax and enjoy myself a bit more,” says Brown. Whilst there is no doubt that Brown has continued to train hard over these last five weeks whilst staying only a stone’s throw away from the Gas Gas factory in Spain, the interval has given him the chance to take pace and relieve some of the pressure he felt in the first three rounds.
The Yorkshire rider ultimately holds ambitions of breaking into the top five, but with the standard of riding being as high as it is year, especially amongst the top three Spanish riders, Brown realises that this will be no easy task. His immediate aim, however, will be to make that crucial 2012 semi final debut. Brown holds seventh place in current championship standings and with only nine points separating him and his rival teammate Loris Gubian – Gas Gas he is confident that his ambitions are comfortably within reach.
“I’m definitely aiming to qualify for the semi final in Madrid and from then on I’ll be concentrating on moving up the ladder,” concluded Brown.