2017 TrialGP Draws To a Close

emma bristow italy trialgp previewBarring disaster, Britain's Emma Bristow should seal her fourth Women's title this weekendThe FIM Trial World Championship may have already been secured for an incredible eleventh successive time by Spain's Toni Bou - Repsol Honda, but there is serious pride at stake at this coming weekend's TrialGP Italy, the eighth and final round of the 2017 series at the Metzler Offroad Park at Arco di Trento. 

Bou has, of course, dominated this year with seven victories including double wins at TrialGP Japan and TrialGP USA, however his arch rival Adam Raga - TRRS has beaten him twice and will be determined to back up his triumph at last weekend's TrialGP Czech Republic by signing off on top. 

Raga is assured of second in the premier TrialGP class and along with the bragging rights that will come with inflicting a third defeat on the most dominant rider in the history of Trial he will be going all-out to carry his winning momentum into the off-season. 

Bou, on the other hand, will want to remind everyone exactly who is boss, although there is another man on a mission at this brand-new venue for TrialGP Italy. 

In many ways 2017 has been the year rising Spanish star Jaime Busto - Repsol Honda has come of age. In only his third season of FIM Trial World Championship competition the nineteen-year-old is virtually guaranteed third overall in TrialGP following sixth-placed finishes in 2015 and 2016 and after taking his debut podium at TrialGP Andorra in June he has reeled off four more top-three finishes. 

The icing on the cake for Busto would be his first victory at the highest level, but he must also defend his position from fellow Spaniard Jeroni Fajardo - Vertigo who is currently ten points adrift, though still in with a mathematical chance of improving on fourth. 

Veteran Japanese fan favourite Takahisa Fujinami - Repsol Honda lies fifth just two points behind Fajardo with Albert Cabestany - Sherco from Spain a further eleven points adrift. Britain's James Dabill - Gas Gas is seventh, six points off Cabestany's total before a big gap back to Spain's Jorge Casales - Beta. 

In TrialGP Women only a disaster can stop Britain's Emma Bristow - Sherco from claiming her fourth World title in a row. Unbeaten since the opening round of the 2015 season, the twenty-six-year-old has opened-up a thirteen-point lead over Spain's Sandra Gomez - Gas Gas thanks to a perfect three-from-three record this season. 

With a ten-point lead over Theresa Bauml - Beta from Germany, Gomez looks a safe bet to hold onto second, but the fight for third will go down to the wire with Bauml just a single point ahead of Spain's Berta Abellan - Gas Gas. 

In fact, only ten points cover third to eighth and with consistency proving a real problem for everyone other than Bristow and Gomez the order could undergo a major shake-up in Italy. 

Britain's Iwan Roberts - Beta is in pole position to become the first-ever FIM Trial2 World Champion. After a strong second place at TrialGP Czech Republic as his closest rival Gabriel Marcelli - Honda from Spain slumped to eighth, the twenty-one-year-old has a comfortable sixteen-point cushion. 

Spain's Francesc Moret - Honda holds a lonely third, fourteen-points behind Marcelli and twelve ahead of fourth-placed Toby Martyn - Vertigo from Britain. 

It is much closer in Trial2 Women where Neus Murcia - Beta leads her fellow Spaniard Carla Caballe - Gas Gas by seven points. Germany's Jule Steinert - TRRS and Erika Melchior - Sherco from Norway are tied for third just four points behind.