Matteo Grattarola (Beta) started the 2020 Hertz FIM Trial World Championshipwith a simple mission – to regain the Trial2 title he lost last year – and the dashing Italian came through with flying colours to claim the crown with one day of competition still to go.
The 32-year-old from Bellano, just a stone’s throw from the Swiss border, was an established top-10 runner in the premier TrialGP class before dropping down to contest the all-new Trial2 category when it was launched in 2018.
Victory on the final day of competition gave him the inaugural title on a controversial tie-break with Britain’s Toby Martyn and he was looking good for the double in 2019 until a disastrous performance at the last round gifted the championship to Gabriel Marcelli.
At the end of the year he switched from the four-stroke Montesa to a two-stroke Beta and hasn’t looked back, streaking to a commanding 52-point winning margin in 2020 with five wins from eight starts backed up by two seconds and a third-placed finish.
Here’s what he had to say about his super-successful season…
DBR: Congratulations on regaining the Trial2 title – how does it feel to be twice world champion in this class?
Matteo Grattarola: “Thank you! It is a great satisfaction for me that my continuous training sessions, sacrifices and efforts were rewarded with an important recognition! Being a world champion is an honour! I am happy to share this title with those who have supported me, from my minder Angelo Colombo to Team Beta.”
DBR: An Italian rider on an Italian bike winning a world title in Italy – it couldn’t get any better than that…
Matteo Grattarola: “Absolutely! In spite of the obvious difficulties due to the pandemic, all the world championship rounds were held and the season ended in Lazzate with the titles awarded! This all-Italian combination can only make an already important title even more prestigious!”
DBR: It must have been very disappointing to lose the title in 2019 at the final round – does this victory make up for it?
Matteo Grattarola: “It wasn’t pleasant to lose the title last year – especially by such a small margin – but you don’t always win and things don’t always go as planned. This year’s victory doesn’t make up for the 2019 loss but it confirms that I can still win.”
DBR: You switched from Honda to Beta for 2020 – do you prefer two-stroke to four-stroke?
Matteo Grattarola: “With this bike I got on very well from the start! The differences are obvious but I have to say that the feeling with Beta has been very good since the first tests and the results are proof!”
DBR: Gabriel Marcelli has had an incredible debut season in TrialGP after beating you to the Trial2 title last year. Does this make you want to try TrialGP again or is it a chapter of your life that is now closed?
Matteo Grattarola: “Gabriel did very well and I don’t deny that I’d like to test myself to see where I can get in the top category. Of course, competing with my friend Toni Bou is a great challenge – stimulating certainly and incredibly hard but not impossible!”