Round 1 of the FIM Trial-E Cup was held from June 22 to 23 in Zelhem in the Netherlands alongside Round 3 of the FIM Trial World Championship. The Yamaha Factory Racing Team’s Kenichi Kuroyama guided the TY-E electric trials bike through two laps of 15 sections each and finished with 4 marks and 27 cleans in all, resulting in a narrow miss for the win but a strong 2nd place podium finish.
Kuroyama came through the Saturday qualifying in 2nd overall, and in the Sunday main event he took three marks on the first lap versus his opponent’s all-clean run, putting him in 2nd. He improved on his performance in the second lap, taking only a single mark for a total of 4 marks and 27 cleans, but his chief rival ran another clean lap, putting the Japanese trials veteran in 2nd overall for the first round.
Kuroyama will remain in Europe for the second and final round of the Trial-E Cup set for the TrialGP Belgium on June 29 and 30, where he hopes to stage a comeback title victory.
Yamaha Factory Racing Team
“All the obstacles in the 15 sections this time were man-made, meaning the course itself was relatively easy, so I knew that to win I’d need an all-clean result. That fact made me a little more nervous than last year, and because of that I made some mistakes in the first few sections. I know Cabestany is really good at this kind of course layout, so all I could do was wait and hope for a mistake from him. After that though, I got used to the special atmosphere the Trial-E Cup has and was able to ride better. I did my best to finish in 2nd because it’ll be important for the last round. The GP in Belgium is going to have sections using the natural terrain, so I think I’ll be able to put up a better fight. I’ll do whatever preparation I can and come out aiming for a comeback title win, so I’ll be counting on everyone’s support!”
Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“Round 1 turned into a duel for the win with Cabestany, a top rider who finished 5th in the TrialGP class last year. Kuroyama didn’t let that bother him though and rode the TY-E extremely well, but we ended up narrowly missing the win and came 2nd, partly due to some bad luck. Still, we have one round left to go in Belgium. We know our rivals are strong, but we aren’t giving up. We’ll keep our focus on moving forward, work together as a team to support Kuroyama and aim for a win at the next round, so please look forward to our performance!”