Toni Bou’s status as a trial legend increases as he adds a new trophy to the silverware collection, rounding off a perfect decade for the Repsol Honda Team ace.
With one trial still to run before the close of the 2016 world championship, the Repsol Honda Team rider mathematically sealed the triumph today, Saturday, in the FIM Trial World Championship in Chiampo, Italy. The new title takes the honours list total to ten outdoor crowns and twenty overall (10 indoor + 10 outdoor).
Toni needed only to post a top seven place on the day to take the championship, but the Honda Team rider gave his adversaries a veritable trial master class. Bou, aboard the Montesa Cota 4RT, set out his stall early with only five points on the scorecard at the end of lap one, compared to the twenty of his nearest competitor. On the following two laps of twelve sections, the champion held firm to finish with a total of 13 points and an advantage of 43 over second place Adam Raga.
Bou thus rounds off a fabulous season with the highest number of victories clinched – 11 out of 14 trials disputed – all this in spite of commencing the year with some serious performance doubts due to a pre-season shoulder injury. Toni took top honours in each of the grand prix of Germany, Andorra, Belgium and Great Britain, as well as single-wins in the two-day events in Catalonia, Japan and France. The final day of the Italian GP is still to be competed.
Teammate Takahisa Fujinami had an uphill task still recovering from a wrist operation after a fracture sustained during an indoor trial event. The Japanese rider sought to limit the damage and not concede too much to the third place rival. That’s the way that it turned out on the day for ‘Fujigas’ who goes in search of an overall third place and currently has an eleven point-advantage.
Repsol Honda’s Jaime Busto once again flirted with a podium spot position throughout the day before finishing the penultimate championship trial in fifth.
Tomorrow sees the second and final day of the Italian Grand Prix. The course will be the same: three laps featuring 12 sections to round off trial’s top category.
“Today is a special day. When you win a championship it is something great,” said Bou. “It has been a very special season, with some back problems at the beginning of the year. I was able to keep gradually improving until it was almost my best season. Finally this race has been a perfect one and I’ve clinched the title. I wish to thank all of those who have helped me to achieve it; the entire team, my family and friends. This is a really special moment and I couldn’t dream of anything better.’