Anza, CA (May 19-20, 2012) - Patrick Smage and Cody Webb each claimed a win at rounds one and two of the SWM AMA/NATC National MotoTrials Series in hot and sunny southern California, leaving the two deadlocked atop of the points standings as the 2012 series kicks into full swing.
Saturday's event also doubled as the 42nd edition of El Trial de Espana, and Smage took the early lead when Webb dropped an unfortunate five by touching a boundary marker in section two. The factory Beta rider seemed to lose his composure after that and finished the 12-section first lap with five fives and a total of 22 marks. Meanwhile, Smage, riding for Sherco USA, managed to stay out of trouble and finished the lap with seven marks to take the early lead.
Lap two was a big improvement for Webb, who turned in a card with seven marks, compared to Smage's card, which totaled five. Smage still held a big advantage heading into the final lap, which would be held on four exhibition sections, giving the large crowd on hand a chance to see the top trials riders in the nation up close.
Heading into the exhibition, Smage led with 12 points, followed by Webb with 29, Sherco's Karl Davis Jr. with 54, Gas Gas USA's Keith Wineland with 55, and another Sherco USA rider, rookie Pro Bryan Roper with 57 marks.
The exhibition did little to change the order, with Smage dropping just two points for his eight rides. Webb was one point back with three, giving Smage the overall win with a grand total of 14 points, while Webb took second with 32.
Meanwhile, Wineland was able to gain enough ground on Davis to steal away the final spot on the podium, squeaking by Davis by just two points to claim third, while Roper ended the day in fifth.
On Sunday, Webb roared back with a clean opening lap, serving notice that this year's title chase was still very much up for grabs. The 2010 champ finished the second lap with a single mark, and finished the trial with a total of just two points when he dropped one more point on the final lap.
Smage, on the other hand, finished the day with a total of five points, going 1-4-0 over the three laps.
Young Roper claimed his first ever podium finish with an impressive final score of 46 points, topping Colorado's Wineland by 10 points for third place.
Davis finished fifth, edging out Gas Gas USA's Eric Storz by one point.
Smage, Webb and crew now head to Colorado for rounds three and four of the eight-round series on May 26-27 at Cotopaxi.