Michael Brown – Sherco moved three marks clear of the rest of the field last night, with a clean ride on the second day of the 2010 Scottish Six Days Trial, to take the outright lead. Brown's Sherco team mate Albert Cabestany (Spain) who had shared the top spot on the opening day dropped down the leader board with a loss of five marks today. The Spanish rider who is making his debut at the event this year suffered a front wheel puncture that cost him valuable time, and caused him to rush in the sections where he made some soft mistakes.
Brown finished as runner up to Dougie Lampkin – Beta in 2008, when the pair were then team mates, so the twenty-three year old from Scarborough certainly has the experience to go one better this time around. Michael was ranked tenth in the World in 2009, but has not started the season well thus far, so he will be hungry for victory this week.
Tuesday is traditionally known as one of the big days of the competition with the riders covering one hundred and three miles as they first headed North towards Fort Augustus before then travelling cross country to Creag Lundie, which was host to five sections. After the problems with time yesterday, the riders made swift progress today, with many arriving back in the parc ferme at the West End car park in Fort William with plenty of time to carry out essential running repairs.
Last year's runner up Alexz Wigg – Beta was one of four riders who remained feet up today, as he joined Brown, Lampkin and Scotland's Gary MacDonald – Gas Gas in completing all thirty sections totally unpenalised. With nothing further to add to their overnight scores this has lifted Wigg and MacDonald to second and third places overall respectively after two out of the six days, with only a single mark between these two riders.
Lampkin was desperate for a better showing, after his disasterous opening day, his second day performance has allowed him to climb into the top thirty, although some way off the lead. Dougie's cousin Ben Hemingway – Beta currently holds fourth spot, tied on seven marks in total with MacDonald, after dropping a single dab today.
Emma Bristow – Gas Gas is currently the highest placed female competitor on one hundred and one marks in one hundred and sixth position. She heads Becky Cook – Sherco by just four marks, who in turn is thirteen marks in front of Joanne Coles – Gas Gas. With these three ladies locked in battle, the fight for female supremacy looks set to be another close affair.
Although Cabestany heads the newcomers category, teenager Ben Morphett – Beta can be proud of his second place in this class so far at this early stage in his emerging career.
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Notes to Editors:
The Scottish Six Days Trial is arguably the oldest (99 years) and the greatest motorcycle trial competition in the world. Riders from as far afield as Canada and Australia make the pilgrimage for the chance to tackle the unique and challenging Scottish terrain alongside local riders who relish the opportunity to take on the world's best on their home turf.
What's involved in motorbike trials?
The sport of motorcycle trials is a test of riding skill over observed sections. When competitors ride the sections their feet must remain on the footrests of the motorcycle. They must negotiate steep gullies, slippery rock steps, rocky streams or boulder-strewn gorges. Sections vary in length and severity, and riders are penalised if they put their feet down to help them ride the section, and more so if they fail to negotiate the section in its entirety.
What makes the Scottish Six Days Trial so special?
The Scottish Six Days Trial has the additional test of reliability over long distances, with riders completing up to 100 miles each day over a combination of rough moorland, rocky tracks and public roads. Each daily route is designed by the Clerk of the Course to challenge the ability, experience, strength and stamina of each rider. To ride 100 miles and negotiate 30 sections each day for six consecutive days requires strength, expertise and exceptional reliability from both rider and machine.
The Scottish Six Days Trial (SSDT) is mainly focused on the Lochaber area, centred in Fort William. Each day of the trial starts and finishes at the West End Car Park on the waterfront, providing a major attraction for the town.
For trials riders the Scottish Six Days Trial has the same status as the Isle of Man TT has to road racers.
The trial is limited by daylight hours to around 270 competitors, but entries are regularly in excess of 400, such is the popularity of the event. The majority of riders look forward to the only trial that allows them to compete on equal terms with professional and world-class riders. The trial has a reputation for being the toughest in the world, and it is the most prestigious event that a trials rider can win.
Competing in the Scottish Six Days Trial is the dream of every young trials rider, and long may that continue.
The SSDT is managed by the Edinburgh & District Motor Club, and in association with the SSDT the Club runs a Pre-'65 two-day trial for machines manufactured before 1965. This takes place immediately before the SSDT every year, starting and finishing in Kinlochleven. The Pre-'65 trial celebrated it's Silver Jubilee in 2009 and has proved to be the most important Pre-'65 trial in the UK, with entries for the trial massively over-subscribed each year. The Scottish Six Days Trial attracts over 270 riders who together with their followers, spectators and the 150 Pre-'65 riders, provide a major boost to the economy of Fort William and the surrounding areas.