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RAGA REIGNS SUPREME IN SCOTLAND

A determined Adam Raga - Gas Gas outclassed reigning World Champion Toni Bou - Repsol Montesa to win by a single mark at round six of the 2011 SPEA FIM Trial World Championship, held in Fort William, Scotland. Wet conditions had threatened to ruin the British Grand Prix, but if anything the rain gave the Trial an added dimension and proved the catalyst for a nail-biting finish in all three categories.

Few could argue that Raga did not deserve his second victory of the season after what was an accomplished performance. The Spaniard capitalised on Bou's mistakes during lap one and calmly maintained his advantage during the second circulation to earn his place on the top step of the podium ahead of runner-up Bou and his team-mate Takahisa Fujinami - Repsol Montesa, in third.

While Raga was on form from the off song Bou who looked tense in the early stages. Uncharacteristically he fived three sections during the opening lap, which left the reigning World Champion with too much to do on lap two. Although his second outing saw him record the lowest lap score of the day in increasingly tricky conditions, it was not enough to prevent Raga's one-mark triumph.

Behind the battling Spanish duo Fujinami, who had led the Trial early on, had a fight of his own with Albert Cabestany - Sherco. The two championship veterans were locked in a war of attrition for third place after Cabestany ramped up the pressure during the second lap. It was not enough though and the Spaniard eventually finished just one mark adrift of the experienced Japanese rider, who had played it relatively safe in the latter stages to ensure his fourth podium finish of the series.

James Dabill - Beta was the best-placed home rider in fifth thanks to a confident second lap. A good distance behind him in sixth place, was fellow Brit Michael Brown - Gas Gas, who finished ahead of an out-of-sorts Jeroni Fajardo - Ossa. Crowd favourite Dougie Lampkin - Gas Gas was eighth, one better than his up-and-coming countryman Jack Challoner - Beta. French youngster Loris Gubian - Gas Gas rounded out the top ten.

Things were equally tight in the Junior division too, with Pol Tarres - Gas Gas and Alfredo Gomez - Montesa tied on points come the end of an exciting two-lap dual. Tarres was declared the outright victor courtesy of his fifteen cleans to Gomez's fourteen, as he claimed his first win in this class. Fransec Moret - Montesa finished third, ten points adrift, to make it an all-Spanish podium. Gomez still heads the overall standings by a healthy nineteen points.

The British fans had something to cheer about in the Youth class thanks to emerging starlet Jack Sheppard - Beta, who romped home with a clear seven-mark margin over runner-up Steven Coquelin - Gas Gas. It was yet another close battle for third place, with Giacomo Saleri - Beta eventually beating Cedric Tempier - Sherco thanks to a 'most cleans' tiebreak. Sheppards's fourth win of the season sees him move nine points clear of Tempier as the championship heads to Japan towards the end of next month.



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