2012 FIM Trial World Championship Round 3, Day 1

Eighteen year old Jack Sheppard continued his return to full fitness as he placed fifth on day one of round three of the 2012 FIM Trial World Championship held at Motegi, Japan. Two fourth positions in Australia last weekend, saw the Jitsie factory Beta rider arrive at the venue where he sealed his 2011 FIM Youth Trial World title in confident form, as the teenager maintains his road to recovery after complex surgery to his right wrist over the winter period.

In what was a closely fought competition Sheppard produced two consistent and almost identical laps, scoring ten marks for each tour of the course that weaves it way around the perimeter of the famous Twin Ring circuit. A five on the second section of the day spoilt what otherwise was a strong opening lap for the youngster from Suffolk, yet despite this setback Jack remained very much in contention with the eventual front runners.

The Jitsie factory Beta rider started the second lap with a good rhythm, cleaning the first four technical hazards before he parted with three marks at the difficult fifth section, as he had done a lap earlier. In truth it was this one single section that separated Jack from a podium finish as his peers faired much better than him in this particular test. Sheppard's second and only other five of the day two hazards later was to put pay to any lingering rostrum hopes, eventual fourth placed rider Giacomo Saleri went clean in the same zone.

In the end it was a mere five marks that kept Jack out of the top three, on another day when errors masked an otherwise strong showing. Sheppard still holds fifth place in the current general standings and has moved two points closer to Benoit Dagnicourt who currently holds fourth place in the Junior rankings.

Sheppard said. "My five in section two pretty much sums up my day, as it was mistakes again that have spoilt my result. That particular five was the biggest mistake of them all and was not the start I was looking for. I recovered quite well and was happy with my riding, but another five on the second lap was one mistake too many."

"It's frustrating as I am riding much better than I did at the first round in France, but that isn't showing in my results because of these mistakes." Jack Continued. "The sections were a little easy today, but it was also easy to make mistakes. I hope we have some rain overnight or they stiffen things up for tomorrow. I hope tomorrow is a better day and a better result."
Jack will contest the second day of the Japanese Trial GP tomorrow, before heading back to the UK after his two week trip around the World.