Marc Freixa Sweeps Oregon MotoTrials

Freixa leaves Oregon with points lead

Marc Freixa, Oregon MotoTrials 2016
Marc Freixa took advantage of the tough and slippery terrain in Oregon to claim a pair of wins.Photo By Ben Baucum

The SWM US National Championship MotoTrials Series traveled to Oregon this weekend for rounds 5 & 6 of its series in Tillamook, where eight-time US MotoTrials Champion Pat Smage (Team RYP/Zip Express/Dunlop/Maxima/Sherco) and former number three in the world, Spaniard Marc Freixa (Montesa/Honda USA), went head-to-head on the slippery rocks and logs of the Diamond Mill OHV Area. The event also served as rounds 1 & 2 of the Western Regional Championship series, which crowns champions in the support classes.

Pat Smage, Oregon MotoTrials 2016
Pat Smage struggled in the slippery conditions on Saturday but gave Freixa a run for his money on Sunday.Photo By Ben Baucum

Freixa and Smage came into the Oregon event all tied up in the series point standings after splitting wins in Florida and Tennessee. However, Freixa was able to put some distance between himself and Smage after taking a pair of wins on the challenging Oregon terrain.

On Saturday the sections were technical and slippery and featured big rocks and moss covered logs. Smage took the early advantage on lap one when he escaped section two with one point and Freixa took a three. The Sherco rider fived the third section, however, which opened the floodgates for Freixa. From there, Freixa controlled the remainder of the day, finishing the first lap with six points compared to 24 for Smage. Meanwhile, Andrew Putt (Team RYP/Zip Express/Dunlop/Maxima/Sherco) turned in a magnificent performance on lap one, squeezing in between Freixa and Smage with 19 points.

Lap two was better for Smage, as he trimmed his score to 10 points, just two more than Freixa. However, on lap three Smage’s score ballooned to 18 as Freixa sealed the win with just nine marks for a total of 23 on the day and win number three in the series.

Smage took the runner-up slot with a total of 52, while Putt rounded out the podium at 68 points after struggling to a 24-point second lap and a 25-point third lap.

Florida’s Alex Niederer (GG) was fourth on Saturday with 108 points, just six points better than local standout Daniel Blanc-Gonnet (Mon).

On Sunday, the sections were a bit drier, which also made them easier, and Smage was able to push Freixa a little harder, especially over the first two laps.

Once again, Smage took the early lead when Freixa fived the second section and Smage was able to get through with a three. Freixa was able to gain back a point here and there and finished the opening lap with 12 marks compared to 17 for Smage. Putt was hot on the lead duo’s heals with 26 points.

Lap two saw the top three riders, Freixa, Smage and Putt, trim five points from their first lap scores, with Freixa logging a seven-point lap, Smage a 12-point lap, and Putt a 21-point lap. However, on lap three, Freixa was the only one of the trio to show improvement, finishing the lap with just six marks, while Smage and Putt dropped 16 and 23 points, respectively.

When the final cards were tallied, Freixa extended his lead in the series standings with a win on Sunday with a total of 25 points. Smage was second with 45 points and Putt finished third with 70 points.

“This weekend was difficult and Smage pressured me all the way, especially on the first two laps today, but on the third lap I was able to extend my advantage,” said Friexa. “It was a hard day, but I enjoy the slippery conditions and that was my advantage.”

Smage, on the other hand, felt a bit out of his element on the slippery rocks.

“This is something I haven’t spent a lot of time practicing, and I let it get to me with a lot of errors, both on the bike and mentally, and that made it frustrating,” said Smage. “But as rough and difficult as Saturday was, I tried to take some good from it and I think I turned it around some on Sunday and I rode much better. The sections were technical and slippery with the rain, making it a very difficult weekend.”

Pennsylvania’s Logan Bolopue (Team RYP/Zip Express/Dunlop/Maxima/Sherco) jumped up into fourth on Sunday with a total of 115, three better than Karl Davis Jr. (Team RYP/Zip Express/Dunlop/Maxima/Scorpa), who had dropped out of the previous day’s action when he sprained his ankle midway into lap one.

Niederer dropped to sixth on Sunday, while New Mexico’s Sam Fastle (Team RYP/Zip Express/Dunlop/Maxima/Sherco) was consistent all weekend, finishing sixth on Saturday and seventh on Sunday.

The SWM US National Championship MotoTrials Series travels to Canon City, Colorado for the final two rounds of the series on June 25-26 where Freixa will carry a 10-point lead over Smage in the standings. For more information on US MotoTrial please visit www.mototrials.com.

RESULTS

Saturday

  1. Marc Freixa (Mon) 23

  2. Pat Smage (Shr) 52

  3. Andrew Putt (Shr) 68

  4. Alexander Niederer (GG) 108

  5. Daniel Blanc-Gonnet (Mon) 114

  6. Sam Fastle (Shr) 120

  7. Logan Bolopue (Shr) 121

  8. Quinn Wentzel (Sco) 145

  9. Karl Davis Jr. (Sco) DNF

Sunday

  1. Marc Freixa (Mon) 25

  2. Pat Smage (Shr) 45

  3. Andrew Putt (Shr) 70

  4. Logan Bolopue (Shr) 115

  5. Karl Davis Jr. (Sco) 118

  6. Alexander Niederer (GG) 122

  7. Sam Fastle (Shr) 128

  8. Daniel Blanc-Gonnet (Mon) 133

  9. Quinn Wentzel (Sco) DNF