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04/23/2018

GasGas North America Claims Four Podiums At New Mexico National MotoTrials

Gas Gas North America’s US National MotoTrial team delivered stunning performances at rounds one and two of the AMA/NATC US National MotoTrials Series in Roswell, New Mexico, with all five of its team riders landing on their respective podiums on each of the two days.

Starting in the Pro division, Alex Niederer and newcomer Daniel Blanc-Gonnet engaged in a head-to-head battle over the runner-up position on identical 2018 TXT30s. In the end, Niederer and Blanc-Gonnet wound up with the best possible outcome: the two riders took turns, with Blanc-Gonnet finishing second on Saturday and Niederer finishing second on Sunday. In addition to second place finishes, each rider took home a third place finish.

Niederer and Blanc-Gonnet turned in solid performances en route to their podium dominance and over the course of the weekend yielded only to defending national trials champ Pat Smage, who won both days. There is certainly no shame in finishing behind Smage and the nine-time champ even admitted that his days are number at the top, and that he expects to eventually give way to the current batch of up-and-comers (Blanc-Gonnet and Niederer).

Daniel Blanc-Gonnet: Overall, I’m pleased with how I rode this weekend. I was a little off my game on the first lap on Saturday, but I really wanting to impress the team so I think I just let my nerves get to me. With the loose conditions, things can go from good to bad real quick so there was a reason to be a little cautious. I was able to rebound after that and I came back with a second place finish on Saturday and a third on Sunday, which I’m happy about.

Alex Niederer: I think I had a really good start to the weekend with a strong first lap on Saturday. On my second lap I let a lot of small mistakes ruin my day. I was actually leading Daniel going into the last few sections on the last loop and I fived section 11 and that dropped me to third for the day. Sunday was much better and I think I was solid from the start. I made a couple of mistakes on the final lap but I was still able to hold on for second, which is my best result to date. My 2018 TXT300 was flawless and it ran strong all weekend.

Madeleine Hoover took top honors in the Women’s Pro class each day on her 2018 XTX250. On Saturday, “Maddie” edged fellow competitor Kylee Sweeten by cleans after the two riders tied on points for the day. On Sunday, however, Maddie used a more focused approach to buy herself a bit of breathing room. After 36 scored rides, Maddie won Sunday’s event by eight points over Sweeten. After spendomg most of the off-season training and competing in Europe, it was obvious that Maddie was riding with newfound confidence in New Mexico.

Madeleine Hoover: Saturday was a really close event, and I think both of us (Maddie and Kylee) are riding better this year. On Sunday, I was a lot more poised. My main goal was to eliminate my fives and I did a pretty good job of that. I think going to Europe gave me a lot of confidence to go for more cleans and to not be afraid to take a harder line. I’m also more comfortable moving the bike around in the sections, and I think all of that paid off for me this weekend.

Expert rider Micah Hertrich turned in a solid podium performance on his TXT280, with a third place finish on Saturday. On Sunday, the Colorado rider let a few mistake on the opening lap keep him from challenging for another podium.

Micah Hertrich: I think I’m riding a lot better than I was last year. I was able to clean up my scores on the last lap on Saturday. My last two laps were pretty good on Sunday, but I just made too many mistkes on the first lap. I worked really hard during the off-season and think I’m a more all-around solid rider this year. I was able to get in a lot more riding this winter and I think it’s going to pay off in 2018. 

In the Junior division, Dalton Land finished second on both days on his TXT125. The Kansas native started strong on each day but struggled to keep his focus on later laps and just missed out on Saturday’s win by a single point.

Dalton Land: I need to work on my focus. I started Saturday with a really solid three-point lap and then I just lost my focus. I ended up missing first place by just one point. On Sunday, I had a very good first lap, with just two points, and again I lost my focus.

The Gas Gas North America US National MotoTrial team resumes action next weekend, April 28-29, in Texas Creek, Colorado for rounds three and four of the AMA/NATC US National MotoTrials Series.

RESULTS

SATURDAY

1. Pat Smage (Shr) 13
2. Daniel Blanc-Gonnet (GG) 46
3. Alex Niederer (GG) 50
4. Sam Fastle (Shr) 73
5. Quinn Wentzel (Sco) 88
6. Andreas Niederer (Bet) 99

 

SUNDAY

1. Pat Smage (Shr) 5
2. Alex Niederer (GG) 26
3. Daniel Blanc-Gonnet (GG) 30
4. Sam Fastle (Shr) 55
5. Andreas Niederer (Bet) 79
6. Quinn Wentzel (Sco) 80

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