Having completed a clean sweep of the opening two rounds of the AMA/NATC U.S. National MotoTrials Series just one week before in Nebraska, Pat Smage (FactoryONE/Sherco) continued his perfect run with another double win at rounds three and four of series in Gilbert, Minnesota, June 1-2.
Smage was solid in Nebraska, but in Minnesota he was spectacular, dropping just two points for the entire two days of competition, including eight clean rides in the very difficult “shootout” session on Saturday afternoon and a clean day on Sunday. The shootout sections were ridden only by the Pro riders and were setup to take a lot of points. It was a surprise to everyone, including Smage, when he cleaned the whole session.
Smage is making a habit of cleaning events, as he cleaned the second day in Nebraska.
“This was less stressful than last weekend for me,” said Smage. “I think it was just a mental thing that I didn’t want to do that again because it wasn’t as enjoyable as it could have been. So, it really didn’t catch up with me until pretty much until after section 10, the third loop. I had thoughts of cleaning the day after the first loop, but I was at least putting it out of my mind enough to not over-stress on it and just kind of rode it section by section.”
Behind Smage, the rest of the top five looked like a discombobulated and inconsistent mess. Perhaps the most consistent of the bunch was FactoryONE/Scorpa’s Karl Davis Jr., who was second on Saturday and third on Sunday.
Davis made some brilliant rides but suffered mental mistakes on the opening lap each day.
“As always my first lap was not good,” said Davis. “I got to get better at those first laps. But I built every lap. I got better and better and shaved off some points. My riding was pretty good, but I had a bunch of stupid mistakes that I probably shouldn’t have taken. Just feel more solid than I did last weekend for sure, though.”
GasGas North America’s Daniel Blanc-Gonnet was second in Sunday, but fourth on Saturday.
“There was one launch on section 10 that was pretty intimidating, so I knew the points were going to be really tight,” said Blanc-Gonnet.”I was riding a little nervous on the first loop each day, but I improved every loop. On Sunday, when I finished second, I had a 12, 11, and a four for my three loops scores. I didn’t launch that gap until the last loop. When I got to that section 10 on the last loop, and I only had two points, I’m like, ‘I have to do it now.’ So I did it and it went easier than I thought. I didn’t make that many mistakes, just little things here and there. Almost every dab was needed. I think that’s why I was able to do well, because I only took the needed dabs. It wasn’t anything stupid.”
Finishing third and sixth was Venezuelan Champion David Avendano. On Saturday, the Vertigo rider made few mistakes and rode well for third. On Sunday, a few mental blunders set Avendano off and he never recovered.
On Saturday, Rookie Pro Josh Roper turned in some great rides to finish with 41 points, putting the FactoryONE/Sherco rider into fifth ahead of Alex Meyers (FactoryONE/Scorpa) and Alex Niederer (GasGas North America) on Saturday. On Sunday, Roper, once again, finished fifth.
Alex Niederer (GasGas North America) was fourth on Sunday, bettering his seventh place finish on Saturday.
“Saturday was kind of a disappointing day, but all in all my riding was good. It was just small mistakes that really hurt me big time,” said Niederer. “I started off Sunday with a couple of silly points, and then a five in section ten and that kind of really skewed my score just because it was one section that changed a lot of things. But fortunately, a lot of guys were fiving that the first loop. My Second loop was really solid. No fives at all. Unfortunately, I had to take a three in a section that I cleaned previous, so I couldn’t knock any more off but still had eight points. Then the last loop I was clean all the way to section four, and then I had two fives in a row. Then I just took a couple of stray dabs and ended up with fifteen. Made it through section ten with just a one, so I kind of ended my day on a good note. Got out on a one and cleaned 11 and cleaned 12.”
Minnesota MotoTrials Results 2019 – Saturday
- Pat Smage (Shr) 2
- Karl Davis Jr. (Sco) 28
- David Avendano (Ver) 29
- Daniel Blanc-Gonnet (GG) 30
- Josh Roper (Shr) 41
- Alex Myers (Sco) 48
- Alex Niederer (GG) 49
- Sam Fastle (Shr) 65
- Andreas Niederer (Bet) 77
Minnesota MotoTrials Results 2019 – Sunday
- Pat Smage (Shr) 0
- Daniel Blanc-Gonnet (GG) 27
- Karl Davis Jr. (Sco) 30
- Alex Niederer (GG) 35
- Josh Roper (Shr) 37
- David Avendano (Ver) 42
- Alex Myers (Sco) 44
- Andreas Niederer (Bet) 57
- Sam Fastle (Shr) 65
You can get the full Minnesota MotoTrials Results for 2019 here.
Keep up with the latest Trials results and news here.