An Estonian team will compete in the MotoTrials Championships for the first time ever at the FIM Trial des Nations in Monza, Italy. Keity Meier, who is currently in fourth place in the women's Word TrialGP trial2, will team-up with 15-year-old Estonian C-class champion Karl Leis in a brand new mixed event, at the championships which are set to take place at the end of September.
Mototrials is a non-speed event, in which riders use specialized motorcycles to complete course, specially designed test their riding skills.The idea of putting an Estonian team together for this year's Nations Trial came about due to the alignment of several circumstances, with this being the first year that the competition will include a mixed team event
According to Meier, this provided a unique opportunity for Estonia to take part. "The Nations Trial is a competition where each country can field two teams, usually three men and three women, with the best two from each team counting (towards the final scores). For the first time this year, there is a class called 'Challenge des Nations,' which is made special by the fact that teams are made up of one woman and one junior boy (with a 125 cc limit). So, this year we will be competing against mixed teams from Andorra, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Norway," explained Meier.
"September will be largely spent competing in Italy," Meier said. "The second weekend is the European Trials Championships in Piazzatorre and on the third weekend, we will find out who this year's World Champions are in the final two stages in Ponte di Legno. Then, it's on to the Nations Trial in Monza. I also had the opportunity to form a team with Karl Leis, which is actually a really big and important step. For the organizers of the World Championships, it will also put another country on the trials map."
For Karl Leis, the invitation to take part in the Nations Trial came as a big surprise. "I immediately accepted," said the 15-year-old. "Keity Meier has been a great role model for me my whole life, and to be able to represent Estonia in a team with her is a really unique opportunity. The thing that makes me most nervous is probably the track, but also the 'non-stop' rule, where you have to be in constant motion to avoid penalty points."
Leis, who has had a successful season so far at junior level, said, "I've managed to finish on the top step of the podium in class C in all the stages I have completed in Estonia this year, which is also the biggest achievement of my career so far," said Leis. "In Finland I finished third in TR3 and in Latvia I got second place in C class to show for my efforts," he said.
Meier is familiar with the Italian tracks, but for Leis this will be his first experience. "We'll see what the organizers come up with in terms of the track, because it's clear that a woman racing in the Cup and a junior man can't compete together on the same track as the adult men. It was promised that they would be somewhat easier, but what that means in the Italian context will be clearer on the ground. It's going to be exciting and a big challenge, and I'm delighted that Karl is coming along for the ride," said Meier.
Editor: Michael Cole