words & photos : Steph Vetterly
FactoryONE Sherco ’ s Pat Smage started the 2021 AMA NATC Mototrials National Championship Series with a strong 1-1-1-1 finish at the opening rounds .
Starting in Farrandsville , PA almost exactly two years after the last National ( 2019 in Tillamook , Oregon ), tensions were high amongst the Pro class as riders re-familiarized themselves with the event format and their competition . For the first time in a number of years , the majority of manufacturers had representation in the Pro class . Returning 2019 season champion , Pat Smage , returns on the Sherco brand to battle for his 12th National title , this time with fresh team backing of FactoryONE and Sherco USA , as well as a change in minder . Ron Lee has stepped into the role previously held by six-time National Champion Ryan Young . Alex Niederer returned to Beta after switching to GasGas in 2015 ; Karl Davis Jr joined Vertigo USA , and Sam Fastle and Josh Roper are competing for TRS USA .
In the days leading up to the opening round , weather showed promise of staying dry , but the skies opened the night before and 132 riders awoke to the start of what would become a very muddy day . The event organizers , the Durty Dabbers ,
VOL . 6 ISSUE 7 - JULY 2021 // PAGE 113