Pat Smage and Marc Freixa traded wins for the second-straight weekend during rounds three and four of the 2016 SWM US National Championship MotoTrials Series held at the Trials Training Center in Sequatchie, Tennessee.
Smage (Team RYP/Zip Express/Dunlop/Maxima/Sherco) kicked off the weekend by winning a nail-biter over Freixa on Saturday. Due to the threat of rain, the organizers set the sections on the easy side in anticipation of slippery terrain and when the rains didn’t come the result was a trial that saw the top two contenders, Smage and Freixa, finish all three laps with clean scores, although, Freixa was given a five point penalty when his minder moved a rock in section 10, which is against the rules. Smage would have won the event anyway had it not been for Freixa’s penalty, since in a tie situation the win goes to the rider who finishes the event with the fastest time, and the Sherco rider finished the 12-section, three-lap course 16 minutes quicker than Freixa.
Freixa (US Montesa/Honda) was fired up and came back with a vengeance on Sunday, taking just one point on each of his first two laps, both coming on the difficult seventh section. The former number three in the world then cleaned the entire last lap, which included a perfect ride on the difficult seventh section… Freixa’s total score of two gave him the overall win for Sunday and put him in a two-way tie with Smage in the series points standings.
The 2016 SWM US National Championship MotoTrials Series kicked off in Ocala, Florida this weekend where eight-time and defending US Champ Pat Smage (Team RYP/Zip Express/Dunlop/Maxima/Sherco) and former number three in the world, Spaniard Marc Freixa (US Montesa), split wins over the course of the two-day event.
Freixa is a welcomed addition to the American series, and in addition to competing in the championship he is also here to help develop American talent for Honda/Montesa. The 37-year-old retired from the world championship series five years ago to work on new tires with companies like TreadHunter.com and hasn’t ridden in competition until this weekend, so he came into the Florida event as somewhat of a dark horse. However, Smage had a good idea of what Freixa was capable of.
The series continues with Rounds 3 & 4 next weekend (May 28-29) here at the TTC with the with the help of our Southeastern Trials Riders Association (STRA) friends. Details in this TTC blog post.