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.
The TTC is featured in the Nov. 2011 issue of Dirt Rider, in an article by Chris Green (photos by Shan Moore) titled Trials Training Center: Learning by Trial and Error.
The issue is also available online to those with a Dirt Rider digital subscription ($9/year).
Here’s an excerpt:
The boss of this operation goes by the name of Charlie Roberts, and he serves as the resident instructor. Charlie knows a thing or two about the sport of trials, and having hosted the World Trials Championships a few times at his venue, he has seen the best get it done the right way. You’re getting some of the best terrain there is when you visit the TTC, not to mention the beautiful scenery and the old-school log cabins in the middle of the woods that give you the true feeling of an off-the-grid motorcycle camping trip.
The land at the Training Center offers a wide variety of terrain with a ton of exciting natural obstacles such as logs both huge and tiny and rocks of intimidating sizes as well as the easier ones, which I spent most of my time on.
Dry creek beds with scattered rocks wind through the area like the freeways in Los Angeles. There is even a cool flowing creek that runs through the property with fallen trees laying across it that are possible to be ridden by the daring. The bottom line is you won’t get bored here, just bring your imagination and throw together some creative lines.