-- Bayles takes out Top Expert at
Chris Bayles displayed amazing balance and poise over the Easter long weekend to win the Expert class at the 2011 Easter 2 Day Moto-Trial at Argyle, April 23-24.
In a field of strong competitors the Tasmanian outclassed 2010 Moto-Trials Extravaganza Expert champion Scott Owen and fellow Victorian Alex Coleman.
“It was all fairly close (throughout the weekend),” said Bayles. “It was a tough competition, which didn’t leave much room for an error. You had to keep on your toes and not slip up.
“Argyle was really good. I thought it was going to be a bit easy, but there were loose rocks everywhere, and every time you tried to take-off it pops one out, you also end up putting your foot down,” added Bayles.
Current 2010 Moto-Trials Extravaganza Expert Trials champion, Scott Owen, was rapt with the weekend: “Everything was really technical over the weekend. I’ve got a new bike, I haven’t really been practising over the summer, but it’s still really good to get a good ride, and know where you’re at for the rest of the year.
“The World Championship has really made the focus for this year, having to ride up to that level. I’ve ridden in a couple of World Championships in Spain and Portugal on a 125 before I was eighteen, and I know what the level is like, and I know that everyone here will have to do a lot of practice. It’s great having events like this to spur everyone on,” added Owen.
Current 2010 Junior Australian Champion Sam King was not only up against the formidable Argyle terrain, but also a case of jetlag this Easter.
King got straight back into competition after his first international Trials tour in Spain, where he won the Junior class of the 2011 Catalunyan Championships earlier this month.
“The European sections are definitely a lot harder. In Spain the sections are usually on the side of a really steep hill, there are more slopes with less hopping; offering more technical sort of rides,” commented King.
King had an up-and-down weekend in the A Grade class. He managed to pick up the most points on Day 2, but was beaten in the end by current 2011 Tasmanian A Grade Open champion Brendan Smith. “I was riding really inconsistently, really. I had some good rides, which I was really happy with, and had some other really bad ones,” added King.
In a landmark moment for the sport of Trials in Australia, Mt. Tarrengower will host Round 2 of the 2012 FIM World Trials Championships in May next year.
“I’m definitely already thinking about what sort of training I’m going to be doing for it. I’m going to start talking to the right people. I’m aiming for Top 10 in the World Championships, so that has become the new benchmark.
“My hopping and balance has really improved since coming back from Spain, especially here, because that’s where riders lose a lot of points.
“I also want to ride in the Open Solo in the Australian Titles, so I have to get to Expert before then. I’ll need to compete in another A Grade Trials just to see where I’m at, and maybe move up to Expert,” said King.
Another local Melburnian, and eventual A Grade champion, Brendan Smith displayed stand-out rides throughout the weekend.
“Interestingly enough the sections at Argyle changed a lot over the weekend. A lot of the smaller rocks got displaced so you really had to be on your game a lot more than at most events.
“Cleaning Section 6 was a big, big moment for me. It was something I looked at originally and thought: ‘You’re going to have to be absolutely pin-point precise.’ I managed to get through it at the end of the section, and still managed to hold it all together to get the end cards clean, which was massive for me.
“A few of them now have aspirations to ride in the World Championship round - people like Sam King, who I rode against earlier this weekend. The younger blokes in particular are going to be pushing hard to get their experience on similar type of terrain,” added Smith.
“It’s probably not Sam’s strongest suit this area (of Argyle), but geez he’s improved as supposed to last year. So I suspect that the rest of this season is going to be very hard. He’s going to be riding better and better to try and step up to the World Titles, and hopefully give them a run for their money next year.
“The hope is – with this upcoming World Championship – we can get a lot of young kids on board. We hope to get them developed, riding against each other, but also provide a friendly atmosphere as well.
“Eventually, we might be able to get up into that top echelon of the sport,” remarked Smith.
The 2011 Victorian Trials Championships starts on May 15 in Tooborac.
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