Four-times runner-up craves first ever win. Michael Brown has found himself in familiar territory at the Scottish Six Days Trial (SSDT) this week in Fort William. The 25 year-old Gas Gas rider from Scarborough, who has so far been runner-up in the SSDT four times (in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011), starts day six in third place, chasing his first ever win. With only one mark separating Brown from second-placed James Dabill (Beta), and current leader Dougie Lampkin (Gas Gas) just two marks in front, today's final battle for the top spot will be closely fought.
So will 2012 be Michael Brown's winning year? Speaking last night, Michael said: “I hope so. It's been a strange week. I haven't led all week, but I've always been there or thereabouts. I'm happy with how I'm riding. I've come close in the past, I think I lost by two marks one year so I've been in this position before, but we [the team] will just try and enjoy Saturday and hopefully we'll win.”
Brown has experienced similar success in the ACU British Trials Championship in which he has also been the runner-up four times and has never won. However, Michael's fortunes appear to be changing. Last month he beat reigning British Champion and 2011 SSDT, victor James Dabill to win the opening round of the 2012 domestic series, which was also held in Fort William. Brown is aiming to repeat this success and to end today as winner of the 2012 Scottish Six Days Trial.
Commenting on what a winning the SSDT today would mean to him and the Gas Gas UK team, Michael added: “This is one of my favourite trials of the year, and obviously for the factory, John Shirt [Gas Gas UK team manager] and everyone involved in the team it's a big event. Since being a kid I've been coming up here nearly every year, so to win would be a massive achievement for me.”
How strong does Brown think his chances of winning today are? “Up until now, touch wood, I've not had a five. Every other year I've had maybe one five that has been a bit of a disaster. So I'll be aiming to keep off the fives, and hopefully other riders will make mistakes and we'll pip them to the post this time.”
Brown will be in one of the final riders setting off on today's final 58-mile course across the Scottish Highlands. When asked whether he thought this would give him an advantage over some of his rivals riding in front of him, Michael answered: “Yes, I think so. We were at the back last year on Saturday and it seemed to be a lot easier. So hopefully there'll be some lines in the sections and there'll be a bit more grip, so we can just try to relax and ride a bit slower. A late number could be good.”
One thing Michael said he would ensure if wins the 2012 Scottish Six Days Trial was: “There will be a big party in Fort William tonight.”
The SSDT is organised by the Edinburgh & District Motor Club. EventScotland is continuing to support the event this year as part of its national funding programme. There are 276 competitors taking part in this year's event between 7th and 12th May. The SSDT is free for spectators to watch on all days. The official event programme, containing routes and spectating opportunities along with a range of interesting articles and additional information, is available to purchase in and around Fort William. It is available to buy online and further details can be found on the event's website at www.ssdt.org.
High Resolution copyright free images for media / editorial use are available on request.
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Notes to editors
Motorcycle trials – the sport
Motorcycle trials is a competitive sport that tests riding skill over a course of observed sections (or hazards/obstacles). Competitors must negotiate steep gullies, slippery rock steps, rocky streams or boulder-strewn gorges, and are penalised if they put their feet down to help them to ride the section or if they fail to complete the section in its entirety.
Motorcycle trials are unique in the world of motorsport, with it being the only discipline where the winner is decided on skill alone and not speed.
The Scottish Six Days Trial
The annual Scottish Six Days Trial is managed by the Edinburgh and District Motor Club. It is a particularly challenging motorcycle trials event as it tests competitors’ stamina, endurance, strength and consistency over long distances, with 276 riders completing more than 100 miles and 30 sections on some days of the six-day event. The routes cover a combination of rough moorland, rocky tracks and public roads.
The SSDT started in 1909 and, with breaks during the two World Wars, celebrated its 100th anniversary in May 2011, making it the oldest and also one of the most prestigious motorcycle trials events in the world.
The SSDT is based in the Lochaber region of the Scottish Highlands and is traditionally held in May every year. Each day of the trial starts and finishes in Fort William, providing a major tourist attraction for the town.
Admission to watch the SSDT is free on all days. Full event details, including the best spectating points throughout the week, can be found in the official event programme, which will be available to purchase in April 2012.
An independent economic impact survey commissioned by the event organiser and funded by Event Scotland in 2011 showed that the Scottish Six Days Trial provided a direct economic impact of around £1,100,000 to Fort William last year.
Event overview and history: http://www.g2fgroup.com/html/ssdt/html/SSDT12-addinfo.html
The Scottish Six Days Trial is supported by EventScotland.
EventScotland is the national events agency.
EventScotland is working to make Scotland one of the world’s leading event destinations. By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors. For further information about EventScotland, its funding programmes and latest event news visitwww.EventScotland.org.
The Year of Creative Scotland 2012 will spotlight and celebrate Scotland’s cultural and creative strengths on a world stage and is a Scottish Government initiative led in partnership by EventScotland, VisitScotland, Creative Scotland and VOCAL.
More information and resources to help businesses engage with Year of Creative Scotland are available at www.visitscotland.org/yearofcreativescotland-toolkit
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