GasGas Factory Racing’s Jorge Casales has made an encouraging start to his 2020 FIM X-Trial World Championship campaign with a fifth-place result at the much-anticipated opening round of the series, held on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean.

With little time to fully prepare himself for the first X-Trial event of the new season having only recently signed to compete for GasGas Factory Racing, Casales nevertheless performed extremely well inside the Stade Jean Ivoula.

Competing together with Kieran Touly and Miquel Gelabert in the opening round’s first heat, Casales made a hugely positive start to the event, dropping just 11 marks to top the heat. In finishing fifth overall in the night’s first round he comfortably progressed into round two.

In the second round Casales competed in the second heat, going up against countrymen Jaime Busto and Toni Bou. Scoring two fives in the opening two sections, the GasGas rider then dropped two marks in section three before impressively cleaning the final two sections for a total score of 12 marks, the same as Busto.

Frustratingly for Casales, the points tie was decided in favour of Busto by virtue of him having had a faster combined time through the five sections. Bringing Casales’ night to a somewhat unsatisfying close, in finishing fifth overall he still showed himself to be highly competitive despite his relative lack of time on his GasGas TrialGP 300 machine.

Jorge Casales: “For this first round I was nervous, feeling a little uncertain, because it was my first race with GasGas. But overall, I can say that I am pleased with the way I performed. I felt better and better in every section. We managed to make it to the semi-finals despite the fact that sections one and two were impossible.

I was tied with Raga and Busto and only finished behind on time. I feel the X-Trial rules are a little unfair because I rode better than Gelabert, but he ended up getting to the Runner’s Up Final because he was in an easier group. However, my second round was very good, so this gives me a lot of positive motivation. Importantly, I’m very satisfied with my bike and the team. We’ll keep working and keep improving.”

Results: X-Trial Reunion Island 2020

  1. Toni Bou, Montesa/Spain, (10 – Final)
  2. Adam Raga, TRS/Spain, (17 – Final)
  3. Jaime Busto, Vertigo/Spain, (2 – Runners-up Final)
  4. Miquel Gelabert, Vertigo/Spain, (5 – Runners-up Final)
  5. Jorge Casales, GasGas/Spain, (12 – Round 2)
  6. Gabriel Marcelli, Montesa/Spain, (25 – Round 2)
  7. Benoit Bincaz, Beta/France, (17 – Round 1)
  8. Kieran Touly, Scorpa/France, (25 – Round 1)

Championship Standings: X-Trial World Championship 2020 (after round one)

  1. Toni Bou, Montesa/Spain, 20 points
  2. Adam Raga, TRS/Spain, 15
  3. Jaime Busto, Vertigo/Spain, 12
  4. Miquel Gelabery, Vertigo/Spain 9
  5. Jorge Casales, GasGas/Spain, 6
  6. Marcelli Gabriel, Montesa/Spain, 4