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Toby Martyn: ‘I’ve got unfinished business’

The last couple of seasons haven’t exactly gone to plan for Toby Martyn but the 20-year-old Cornishman – one of Britain’s brightest rising stars across all off-road sports – is back on track and fully focussed on hitting his marks next year.

“My dream is and always has been to be world champion,” he said. “I got very close in 2018 which for me was definitely one of my best years. Not because of the result but because of how I surprised people and also myself. I went from fourth in 2017 to leading the championship going into the last round.”

The championship he missed out on two years ago was the FIM Trial2 title – the second tier of the sport behind TrialGP. It was highly controversial – he ended the season tied on points with Italy’s Matteo Grattarola who benefitted from what many thought was ‘hometown’ observing at the final round in Italy – and Toby openly admits this played on his mind the following season.

“What went on in 2018 did affect me a lot mentally. The year after I put way too much pressure on myself and I over-thought everything. I dislocated my shoulder at the start of the season and it went downhill from there so this year has been about trying to bring my confidence back up.”

After dropping two places in the Trial2 rankings in 2019, this year Toby climbed back to third but didn’t show his true level until the final round where he signed off with a win at the Italian TrialGP.

“I think I just wound myself up. I started the season slow and lost a lot of confidence in the first few rounds – I was sixth or seventh going into the last four rounds but I pulled it around. Andorra was the second-to-last round and I finished that off with a podium and moved up to fourth.

“In Italy I tried not to put too much pressure on myself. The first day I didn’t ride amazing and was fourth but on the second day I was unstoppable really. I proper had a rocket up my arse. It was good to prove to people that I could still win because I hadn’t for two years. Everyone knew I could do it but I needed that win to get my confidence going.

“It’s given me a huge amount of momentum going into the winter because it did get to the stage where I was asking myself ‘am I a fourth-placed rider – is that my level?’. To have that win behind me is awesome and you can’t beat that motivation.”

Following three changes of machinery in the last three years, for 2021 Toby’s staying with TRRS with factory support and has set himself a clear goal.

“My aim is to get the [Trial2] title next year and then to move up. I don’t want to rush up into the top class. I’m better off getting my riding up to a level where I can go into TrialGP and get decent results instead of finishing at the bottom every weekend.

“I’ve always proved to be better in harder competitions where the guys I’m up against are better than me. Look at Sheffield [Indoor Trial] – I went into that just aiming to get through a few sections. I have got the level but I wasn’t thinking about the result so to beat James Dabill and Jeroni [Fajardo] was great.

“TrialGP is so hard you can just focus all day on every single section. You don’t have to worry about other people’s results – you can just ride – but for now I’ve got unfinished business in Trial2.”

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