July signals the most intensive period in the 2013 FIM Trial World Championship with three Grand Prix events within a four week period. Kramolin in the Czech Republic marks the second of these GPs and will welcome the title challengers this coming Sunday as the series enters its most decisive sector. Absent from the calendar since the championship last visited back in 2010, the Czech Republic will offer an ideal and neutral platform for the World’s best Trial riders to do battle for the sixth time this season.
Defending champion Toni Bou – Repsol Montesa will take a slim five point lead into this weekend’s encounter, but will be pleased to just be back in front after having trailed his arch rival and compatriot Adam Raga – Gas Gas for part of the campaign to date. Bou was victorious last weekend in Italy and although his winning margin was convincing, Raga was once again second to ensure that the title race remains extremely tight with three rounds remaining. It is also worth noting that Bou has never won in the Czech Republic, whilst Raga has claimed no less than four wins on his previous visits to the Eastern European country, three of those coming during his last three visits in 2007, 2008 an 2010.
After placing third at the Italian Grand Prix, Takahisa Fujinami – Repsol Montesa has now opened up a four point advantage over Albert Cabestany – Sherco in the current general standings. Cabestany’s fifth spot last Sunday brought an end to his podium run and has now put him under pressure from Jeroni Fajardo – Beta who sits only three points shy of his Spanish counterpart. Competition between these three riders is sure to be as fierce as ever this Sunday, and may just become more complicated as the likes of James Dabill – Beta, Matteo Grattarola – Gas Gas and Loris Gubian – Gas Gas look to make their presence felt amongst these more established riders.
Although only second last time out in Italy, Jorge Casales – Gas Gas has become the rider to beat in the Junior division. With three wins to date, he is the rider with the most victories in this class this season and now heads the overall standings by twelve comfortable points as his rivals struggle to find any real consistency. Jack Sheppard – Beta remains Casales closest challenger, although he will need to add to his brace of wins in Kramolin this Sunday if he is stop his Spanish rival running off with the crown. Pol Tarres – Sherco and Francesc Moret – Gas Gas also remain part of what is becoming a four way title fight, having both closed in on Sheppard in more recent weeks.
Quentin Carles de Caudemberg – Beta will be going in search of his sixth win of the season to date, and his fifth in a row as he continues to dominate the Youth class. The young French rider has now pulled thirty one points clear at the top of the table and is on course to wrap up the title with counting days to spare. After finishing runner-up at his home Grand Prix last weekend, Italy’s Gabriele Giarba – Beta has now overtaken Bradley Cox – Beta for second spot in the title race. The British rider will desperately need to regain his form if he is not to slip further down the order as early series leader Kenny Thomas – Beta has also began to close in on him, especially after his fourth place finish last time out.
Forty three riders are listed to contest this weekend’s GP, with three representatives from the host nation set to take part in the single day event.