GasGas North America MotoTrials At Colorado MotoTrials and Virginia Sprint Enduro

The GasGas North America MotoTrial and Enduro teams competed in Colorado and Virginia over the weekend with impressive results. The MotoTrials squad came away with a pair of wins in the Women’s Pro division, a couple of very impressive runner-up finishes in the Pro class, and two more second place finishes in the Junior Expert Sportsman division. Meanwhile, at the Full Gas Sprint Enduro race in Virginia, Pennsylvania’s Thorn Devlin finished a credible eighth overall and third in the Pro 2 class in less than ideal conditions.

COLORADO MotoTrials 

Daniel Blanc-Gonnet and Alex Niederer made a lot of noise at rounds five and six of the NATC/AMA US MotoTrials Series near Howard, Colorado.

 

On Saturday, Blanc-Gonnet pushed Smage to his limits and held a four-point lead over the 10-time US MotoTrials Champion after two loops. At the end of the day, Blanc-Gonnet finished second to Smage by just four points. It was certainly the hardest Smage has been challenged in a long time. Alex Niederer finished Saturday’s event in sixth.

 

On Sunday, Blanc-Gonnet and Niederer battled over second place with Niederer getting the runners-up slot while Blanc-Gonnet settled for fourth.

 

Meanwhile, defending Women’s Pro Champion Maddie Hoover took a pair of solid wins over former US Women’s Pro champion Louise Forsley in the Women’s Pro class.

 

In the Junior Expert Sportsman division, 14-year-old Dalton Land arrived in Colorado on Monday and spent the week practicing on the massive, grippy rocks in an effort to acclimate to the high altitude, which was approximately 7000 feet at base camp. The strategy apparently paid off for the “flat-lander” from Kansas, as he finished with a pair of seconds on his TXT 125.

 

Daniel Blanc-Gonnet

"Everything is huge in Colorado, so I knew the sections were going to be extremely difficult. I just went into the weekend thinking I’ve got to minimize my mistakes and avoid fives. Any little mistake can turn into a really big mistake really quick. I just hung back really far and didn’t rush anything. On Saturday, I kind of tried to just keep it out of my mind that I was beating Smage. I was pretty nervous but I felt like I held it together pretty well. I improved on my last lap, so I was consistently getting better, which is good. For me it was like these ticky-tack dabs everywhere which add up pretty quick. Pat doesn’t make those mistakes. I think the difference was that there were one or two sections that I just had the extra power in this altitude with my bike."

Alex Niederer

"It was rough. It was too dangerous. Way too dangerous. The first and second loop on Saturday I only made it through six sections, and I consider myself a pretty good rider. A lot of that was just because it was just not worth the risk. Some of my rides were fantastic, and some of them I just don’t want to talk about. They were just garbage. All in all, we ended on a high note and I put it all together on Sunday. It was good and I’m happy with it."

 

Maddie Hoover

"I was pretty rough coming out of the box on Saturday. I had a really rough first loop, but we kind of had a little pep talk and I got going. I managed to have a five-point loop on my third loop and get the win on Saturday, which is pretty cool. I never beat Louise Forsley, so that was a new experience. She rode really well too. We were only a couple points apart. I was just a lot more aggressive and that made a big difference. This terrain and the altitude, I just wasn’t anticipating having to use quite so much throttle, but I kind of just manned up and did all right. Sunday was fun and I felt like I rode well all day."

 

Dalton Land

"Because of the altitude, just walking sections it gets really hard to breathe out here. I started off a little shaky on Saturday and I was kind of intimidated by a lot of the bigger stuff. But then I kind of settled down and started riding. I put in a sixteen-point first loop on Saturday, so I was one point out of first. I was cramping, and getting really tired when I started the second lap and I took some stupid points I didn’t need. So on the last lap, I just kind of put that all behind me and got in a really good groove and had a six-point third loop, which I’m happy about. Sunday… Today started okay. I had some missteps. I rode a splatter in the wrong gear and ended up fiving the section and got in my head a little bit and was kind of just scared a little bit for the next couple sections. Then I pushed it away and rode good for the rest of the loop and put in a fifteen-point first loop. On my second loop and I was a little bit tired, but still in some places improved on the little points and ended the lap with 13. Then on my third loop I went out there and just put it all behind me and worried about each section at a time and rode amazing for only two points my third loop and ended up taking second today."

 

US MOTOTRIALS PRO RESULTS

Saturday

1. Pat Smage (Shr) 45

2. Daniel Blanc-Gonnet (GG) 49

3. Karl Davis Jr. (Sco) 80

4. Alex Myers (Sco) 91

5. Josh Roper (Shr) 93

6. Alex Niederer (GG) 94

7. Sam Fastle (Shr) 105

8. Andreas Niederer (Bet) 133

9. David Avendano (Ver) DNF

 

Sunday

1. Pat Smage (Shr) 33
2. Alex Niederer (GG) 76

3. David Avendano (Ver) 91

4. Daniel Blanc-Gonnet (GG) 92

5. Karl Davis Jr. (Sco) 107

6. Alex Myers (Sco) 112

7. Sam Fastle (Shr) 119

8. Josh Roper (Shr) 134

9. Andreas Niederer (Bet) 140

 

VIRGINIA FULL GAS SPRINT ENDURO

 

In Virginia, Thorn Devlin rode his GasGas XC250 to eighth overall and third in the Pro2 division. Devlin was fast in the Cross test and challenged the number one and number two riders in the class. However, he couldn’t find a comfort zone in the Enduro test, and that held him back from challenging for the Pro2 overall win.

 

Thorn Devlin

"The weekend was good, but I had some highs and lows. I rode well in the Cross test, but I struggled in the Enduro test. The course was hard and slick and I had problems finding traction. It was definitely interesting. The bike worked great and the suspension was spot-on. I couldn’t have asked for any more. I just felt a lot more comfortable in the Cross test running the speeds I was running. In the Enduro test, I just didn’t have enough confidence on the slick dirt to hang it out."  

 

HARLEYWOOD FULL GAS SPRINT ENDURO

OVERALL RESULTS

1. Kailub Russell (KTM)

2. Thad Duvall (Hsq)

3. Josh Strang (Kaw)

4. Jordan Ashburn (Kaw)

5. Craig DeLong (Hon)

6. Mike Witkowski (Bet)

7. Cody Barnes (Bet)

8. Thorn Devlin (GG)

9. Jesse Ansley (KTM)

10. Billy Schlag (KTM)

 

The GasGas North America MotoTrial Team returns to action on June 22-23 in Diamond Mill, Oregon for rounds seven and eight of the NATC/AMA US National MotoTrials Series.