Toni Bou - Repsol Montesa cleaned up the 2012 FIM X-Trial World Championship with a seventh consecutive win at the final round in Paris, France. Whilst Bou’s win was perhaps no surprise, Jeroni Fajardo - Beta taking the runners up spot certainly was a shock as he finished ahead of Takahisa Fujinami - Repsol Montesa who was third on the evening. Albert Cabestany - Sherco, placed an off form fourth, but this was enough to secure him second in the series. It was a disappointing finale for Adam Raga - Gas Gas who missed out on a place in the final for the first time this season, and thus had to settle for third spot in the final standings, once again behind his arch rival Cabestany.
A strong and exciting qualification process set the bar for the rest of the evening. As usual it consisted of five sections to be completed in eight minutes. France’s Alexandre Ferrer - Sherco broke new ground by becoming the first wild-card rider to make it through to a semifinal this series. However it was not a happy ending for his compatriot, Loris Gubian - Gas Gas. As France’s lone permanent rider in the series, who wanted to wave his country’s flag high in Paris, suffered a fall from a high point in the second section. This seemingly knocked his confidence from which he never recovered and ultimately cost him his place in the semi-final.
Michael Brown - Gas Gas, Jack Challoner - Beta and remaining wild card rider Benoit Dagnicourt - Beta also rode themselves out of the main event. Takahisa Fujinami - Repsol Montesa dropped ten marks in qualification, which was four more than wild-card Ferrer whose tally was just six marks. Adam Raga performed only slightly better than Ferrer, losing five marks. Jeroni Fajardo - Beta proved that he was on top form from the off, dropping just one mark whilst Albert Cabestany - Sherco initially looked capable of putting Bou under pressure as the two ended qualification tied on zero points, with a tie-break putting Bou in the intermediate lead.
The semi-final saw the addition of a new and challenging section, standing high above the ground and constructed to resemble a Paris cityscape, complete with skyscrapers and an Arc de Triumph at the centre. This section proved too difficult for Ferrer, Fujinami, Raga and Cabestany. Fajardo was the first rider to complete it, however picked up two time penalties whilst Bou cruised through in true style.
It was a close semi-final with Ferrer, Raga and Cabestany all tying on sixteen marks. With Fujinami, Fajardo and Bou having scored better and secured their place in the final, this allowed the riders’ qualification positions to be used to decide which two would go through and it was Raga who missed out, which meant he was unable to realise his ambitions of taking second in the championship.
Completing his clean sweep victory was the perfect way for Bou to end the 2012 FIM X-Trial World Championship. Following the podium presentations, this year’s World champion was awarded a watch by Tag Heuer. Bou is now hoping to lead Spain to victory at the 2012 FIM XTrial des Nations, which will be held in Nice, France next Friday.
1. Toni Bou - 3
2. Jeroni Fajardo - 21
3. Takahisa Fujinami - 27
4. Albert Cabestany - 29
Raga & Ferrer out in semi-final
Brown, Challoner, Gubian & Dagnicourt failed to qualify
For photos from this event, click here
Full results from this event are available for download in PDF format: