2012 FIM Trial World Championship Round 7
- Honda Racing Team
Toni Bou - Repsol Montesa HRC on board his Cota 4RT rounded out the 2012 FIM Trial World Championship by taking the win on both days of the Grand Prix of Great Britain, which marked the end of this year’s series. Bou has achieved 11 victories this season alone to take his career tally to 50 overall. Whilst Bou, who had already claimed the title at the previous round in Italy enjoyed a dream end to the year, his team mate Takahisa Fujinami - Repsol Montesa endured a mixed weekend as he placed second and sixth over the two days and thus was unable to improve on his fifth position in the final standings.
The hill top venue at Nord Vue has only been visited once previously by the FIM Trial World Championship, back in 2009. The disused quarry that sits deep within the Cumbrian countryside is a compact site with all fifteen sections sitting in extremely close proximity to each other. The hazards designed and constructed by the ex championship campaigner Graham Jarvis mainly utilise the abandoned huge sandstone boulders that were left behind when the area closed as a working facility. The tight arena offers great viewing to the many fans who swarm to see the World’s best trial riders.
Although Saturday’s trial began in sunshine, the dark clouds in the distance always threatened to bring rain later in the day. With this in mind Albert Cabestany - Sherco made an early dash for home and rode well in front of his main rivals in an attempt to beat the downfall. His plan backfired drastically as he dropped a massive fifty-one marks on his opening lap and still fell foul to the rain that caused havoc with the back third of the lap. Despite the greasy conditions Bou carved out a clear thirteen mark lead over both Jeroni Fajardo - Beta and Fujinami who held joint second spot at the mid point, and who in turn were four marks clear of Adam Raga – Gas Gas at this stage of the competition.
It was Raga who was to ride himself back into contention during a second lap that saw improved weather and a rapidly drying course. Adam’s lap total of seventeen marks through the closing fifteen sections was the best closing performance of the day and would see him earned his place on the rostrum behind Bou and Fujinami who both dropped one mark more over the same period. This marked Bou’s tenth win of the season and gave Fujinami an outside chance of becoming vice World champion with one counting day to go, although he would have to rely on Raga, Cabestany and Fajardo all having a bad second day if this was to transpire.
Heavy overnight rain and persistent showers throughout the opening lap on Sunday forced the organisers to make some changes to the sections to cope with the now sodden ground. Despite the changeable weather, Bou showed no signs of being effected by the various downpours as remain feet up through the initial thirteen hazards. Section fourteen proved to be unlucky for Bou as he took a heavy tumble within sight of the flags and collected his only five of the day. He soon recovered to finish the lap on six marks in total, which put him eight ahead of Raga who was his closet rival at this point.
Bou and Raga matched each other mark for mark on the closing fifteen hazards, both recording scores of six as conditions dried under the afternoon sun. This was more than sufficient for the Spanish pairing to take the top two spots on day two respectively as James Dabill – Beta recorded his first ever podium placing by finishing in third position. Fajardo and an off-form Cabestany rounded out the top five on this occasion, whilst Fujinami could only end the season with sixth place, this being his worst result of the 2012 campaign.
Toni Bou “This has been a fantastic weekend, and a great way to bring the championship to an end with another double victory. Yesterday was strange, as I had no pressure, with me having won the title already. Although I won, I was not riding at my best. Today was different, the sections were slightly easier even with the bad weather, and my riding was much better. Now I can enjoy my holiday. I will go to Mexico for 10 days and then when I return I will begin my training again so I can be ready for the other competitions we have before the end of the season. ”
Takahisa Fujinami “This is a very disappointing way to close the championship. My result yesterday was very good and so was my riding towards the end so I was confident and ready for the final battle today. I think the problem was that I put too much pressure on myself as I wanted to make a strong challenge to move higher in the general standings, but after today’s bad result that was not possible. Fifth place in the championship is not a disaster, but I wanted to be higher. Overall with Toni winning we did a good job as a team this year once again”