Just in case anybody was doubting Toni Bou’s abilities on a trials bike…
Begin Press Release:
Repsol Honda Team’s Toni Bou came out guns blazing in the World X-Trial Championship, completely overwhelming adversaries in the process. Bou took his tally of triumphs to eleven in Barcelona’s Palau Sant Jordi – one of city’s Olympic jewels – as 9,600 spectators turned out to witness the start of the 40th edition of the event.
The 2017 FIM X-Trial World Championship got off and running tonight in the Catalan capital and current champion Bou didn’t disappoint. Victory came after a spectacular exhibition in most sections to bring the trial ace to an eleventh win at the venue. In spite of picking up five points at the first hazard, the rider aboard the Montesa Cota 4RT managed to turn the result around and finish the qualifying in top position. In the final Bou overpowered the competition from start to finish and even had time for a bit of showboating as he completed the spectacular waterfall section on one wheel.
Bou put on an extraordinary display of quality which brought the Palau Sant Jordi spectators to their feet, riding almost the entire route error-free – bar section three that no-one was able to overcome. The champ concluded the event with just five points on the scorecard ahead of second place Adam Raga on 21 points. Jeroni Fajardo posted third spot with 24. Toni Bou thus becomes X-Trial season’s first overall leader.
Jaime Busto marginally missed out on his objective of landing a place in the final round. Repsol Honda Team’s young Basque promise came fifth in qualifying – his best performance to date in the Palau Sant Jordi. Busto, showing noticeable signs of improvement, is clearly adapting to the tricky speciality.
Japanese rider Takahisa Fujinami, likewise narrowly missed out on a place in the final, picking up two more points than team-mate Jaime in the final standings. In one of the more problematic sections, the Japanese veteran was affected by a shoulder injury that impeded the normal completion of the rest of the trial.
Next stop for the FIM X-Trial World Championship is 11th March in Wiener Neustadt, Austria.
I’m happy for many reasons: to have started the world championship with a win; to have done it in Barcelona and for the 40th anniversary of the competition too. The night has been incredible and all this after a fault in the first section in the qualifying round. But I was able to pull back and the final was fantastic. The public were able to really enjoy it – it has been a great show and there was a fantastic buzz in the place. That’s as good as it gets.
It was a pity to have picked up five points in the opening section because things went fairly well in other sections and I felt pretty good with more self-confidence than in other seasons. In spite of not having trained so much for the indoor season this year, I felt very sure of myself on the bike. It was a shame that I didn’t make it into the final, but it is only the first race and there is still a long way to go and I’m very motivated. I wasn’t able to work that hard on fitness in preseason training because of a chest injury, but in spite of that, I felt better than I have done in other years. To participate in Barcelona is always very special because it’s like home soil to me and besides, all my family, friends and sponsors came along tonight.
I’m very pleased with the way that things went today, although it was a shame to have to be the first to go through the sections, which always makes it difficult. On the first one I made a mistake that practically everyone else made, but I think that I could have avoided it. After I was feeling very comfortable and I have finished very happy with the result. I felt great on the bike and I hope that the rest of the indoor goes that way because I think that I have improved compared to last season and I’m very motivated.
|1||BOU Toni||1||SPA||5||5||Repsol Honda Team||5|
|2||RAGA Adam||2||SPA||5||21||TRS Factory Team||21|
|3||FAJARDO Jeroni||3||SPA||6||24||Vertigo Factory Team||24|
|4||CABESTANY Albert||4||SPA||8||24||Sherco Factory Team||24|
|5||BUSTO Jaime||10||SPA||10||Repsol Honda Team||10|
|6||FUJINAMI Takahisa||5||JPN||12||Repsol Honda Team||12|
|7||DABILL James||8||GBR||17||Vertigo Factory Team||17|
|8||KADLEC Franz||11||GER||20||Gas Gas||20|