The BMW Motorrad GS Trophy International recently held its Southeast Asian qualifying round in Thailand. What’s good about this is that for the first time in its history, a Filipino was hailed as one of the Southeast Asian team members who’ll compete in the main event in 2018.
In review, the BMW Motorrad GS Trophy International is an adventure-oriented competition that tests the riders’ teamwork, navigation, technical skills, bike handling, knowledge, and riding competency, among others. It’s also BMW’s way of cultivating camaraderie in the motorcycle riding community on a global scale.
This year, 3 Filipinos went up against 27 other riders for a chance to land a spot in the Southeast Asian team. They were Derrick Itchon, Leother Valderama, and Aris Cuevas. The 3 Filipino riders were sorted into 3 separate teams with 3 riders per team (1 Filipino rider and 2 Thai riders per team).
Each team was subjected to a battery of challenges that tested their endurance, technical skills, team spirit, and more. Of course, the teams not only competed with each other, but also saw themselves defending against 7 other teams, including an all-female group.
After the team competition, the next level of the qualifying round was put forth, the individual competition. This was the deciding factor as the riders were competing for themselves by this time. This was also the point wherein half of the total number of participants was eliminated, including Itchon and Valderama.
Cuevas emerged as one of the victors with a total score of 137 point. This, in turn, makes him an official member of the Southeast Asian team and the first Filipino to challenge the world in the 2018 BMW Motorrad GS Trophy International.