The keys to the 2013 transfers

pilotos2013_550Trial is a monotonous discipline in terms of the dance of riders between the different brands. In fact Jeroni Fajardo has been the only rider in the “top 5” who has changed his colours since 2007; in 2010 he left Beta to get behind the wheel of an immature Ossa TR, with whom he broke in the closing stages of the 2011 season to return to the Italian brand in the current campaign.

Jeroni has shown that he was not wrong with the decision. In 2012 he had one of his best seasons, regularly occupying podium positions and with serious options of being proclaimed runner-up in the world championship on July 28 and 29 at the British Grand Prix. Therefore, the brand and the driver have high hopes for 2013.

The issue that is creating the most uncertainty is the one related to the reigning champion, Toni Bou, whose contract with Montesa expires this year. At the beginning of the year at Trialworld we’re talking about a possible approach to Beta to, probably, set up a team with the support of Monster, but this option has been losing steam.

It is in the interest of Honda and Repsol to have a winning Spanish rider in their ranks. Let’s remember that Honda has had years where the only world title that has reached its trophy cabinet is Trial, a very particular specialty where the competition is not as strong as it can be in MotoGP and the budget is infinitely smaller. What they have shown with the development of the Cota 4RT is that Honda with its racing team is not looking to sell more Trial bikes; it is looking for world titles and international visibility of the brand.


For all these reasons, Honda cannot afford to do without Bou. And, probably, the rest of the brands can’t, or want to, take on a token as expensive as Toni’s. There are brands, such as Gas Gas, that have preferred to put more meat on the grill in Enduro (Iván Cervantes) or Raids (Laia Sanz) and keep their long-time rider, Adam Raga, even knowing that it is extremely difficult for him to bring an international title to the brand.

Last week there were already strong rumours confirming the renewal of Montesa and Bou for two more seasons. Apparently, a deal is imminent. The conditions proposed by Bou remain to be resolved, both at the level of economic and technical data. In successive interviews, Bou has confirmed that he needs a lighter and more powerful bike, since his Cota 4RT , despite its excellent technical level, has been stagnant since 2009. How many more years could Bou win with the same bike? Probably not forever. Hence, Bou probably wants to make sure that, during these next two seasons, he will have the best material to stay competitive.

Cabestany is practically assured that he will finish his racing career at Sherco. He is comfortable, the results are with him and, considering that at the time the relationship with Gas Gas ended very cold, the range of options is almost completely closed. We confirmed through a statement from the brand, that Cabestany will be a Sherco rider until 2015. We also know that he will have the Frenchman and reigning Junior World Champion as a teammate. Alexandre Ferrer. 


Same situation for Raga. The Tarragona native has always piloted for Gas Gas, his rapport with TXT is maximum and his results are no better than those of Cabestany or Fajardo, so We could hardly see Raga finishing his career as a driver in other colors. The The only other option for the future, not unreasonable, would be to see him at the controls of a JTG. There is his trusted technical team, such as Claudi Obrador or Ismael, as well as Jordi Tarrés, who has been a great advisor to Adam for a good part of his sporting career. 

Looking ahead to 2013, Jotagas already has Pol Tarrés as the main rider and it is unknown if he can plan to complete his team with a senior rider.

If we add to all this situation, with reference riders for each of the brands, the complex economic environment for the world of motorcycles, especially off-road, we find that those who lose the most are the young riders who need resources and infrastructures to take on a dignified participation in the Trial World Championship. Inevitably, we have to remember Alfredo Gómez, when he was newly proclaimed junior champion in 2011, found himself without a team for the 2012 campaign and has been forced to abandon the specialty.
Text: David Quer / Photos: FIM – G2F Media


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