Mototrial article, photos

Dan and I wrote and submitted this article on the Trials Training Days Mototrial to miscellaneous motorcycle pubs. If and when the article gets published, we’ll link to it.

The Trials Training Center (TTC) in Sequatchie, TN held its annual Trials Training Days weekend on March 29-30, and this year it featured a MotoTrial after the instructional sessions concluded on Saturday.

A MotoTrial is an endurocross on steroids, a race over a course of trials obstacles, visit the webpage to find out more about steroids. Unlike a trials competition, no points are deducted for dabbing one’s feet for balance.

TTC’s Dan Brown and colleagues laid out the race course on the rocky creek and hillside adacent to the cabins, site of Section 15 from the 2006 World Round. Brown allowed the riders an hour of practice at noon, but afternoon rain prompted him to make some last-minute adjustments prior to the 5 pm start, as muddy rocks made parts of the course too difficult for a race.

Two initial preliminary heats of one lap were held, four riders in each heat, with the winners, six-time national trials champion Ryan Young and current national #4 Will Ibsen, advancing to the final. A last-chance heat of the four remaining riders from the first round was held, with the top two riders, Ronnie Commo and Mike Helstrom, advancing to the two-lap final.

Ibsen got out to an early lead in the first lap, with Young close behind. Helstrom got stuck midway up the rocky hillclimb and was still there by the time Ibsen and Young came around on the final lap. They both got hung up trying to go around him and after a 30-second stuggle, Ibsen peeled off to take a lower, longer line around the top of the hill, while Young pushed on over the top.

Ibsen emerged in front of Young by a few yards on the steep downhill and had to make a choice of an inside or outside line through the hairpin turn at the bottom. He chose the faster outside line, knowing that if he didn’t execute it perfectly, Young would likely pass him on the inside.

He misjudged his speed into the turn, wiped out, and Young cruised by for an easy 100 yards to the finish line and the $500 winning purse. Ibsen took home $300 for second, and Commo $100 for third.

TTC Mototrial 1 TTC Mototrial 2 TTC Mototrial 3 TTC Mototrial 4

1. Eventual winner Ryan Young, smiling his way to victory in his preliminary heat.
2. Mike Helstrom about to slam into Alex Bedley in their preliminary heat.
3. Alex Bedley and Andrew Blane looking for an alternate route around a downed Karl Davis in their preliminary heat.
4. Lap one of the final at the bottom of the hillclimb: Will Ibsen leads Ronnie Commo, Ryan Young, and Mike Helstrom.

TTC Mototrial 5 TTC Mototrial 6 TTC Mototrial 7 TTC Mototrial 8

5. Mike Helstom, down for the duration on lap one of the final.
6. Ryan Young and Will Ibsen struggle past Mike Helstrom on lap two of the final.
7. Will Ibsen crashes on the downhill hairpin turn as Ryan Young cruises by.
8. 1st place finisher Ryan Young with TTC’s Dan Brown, Mototrial organizer.