Seven rounds have made up the thrilling 2012 FIM X-Trial World Championship, and the final round in Paris made the perfect finale. Gas Gas UK rider Michael Brown didn't manage to improve on the pace he showed in Milan last weekend and concluded the night in eighth position after beating fellow British rider and former team mate Jack Challoner (Beta) in an "against the clock" tie-breaker. At the top of the leader board Toni Bou (Spa - Montesa) completed his run of victories and took the world championship gold medal for the sixth time running.
Held at the packed Palais Omnisport Arena, Toni Bou once again dominated the show, this time ahead of Jeroni Fajardo (Spa - Beta) and Albert Cabestany (Spa - Sherco). Michael Brown's factory counterpart, Adam Raga (Spa - Gas Gas) failed to make the four man final for the first time this season and in doing so missed out on the chance of a second place finish in the championship, the title which eventually went to the 2002 Indoor World Champion, Albert Cabestany. Cabestancy was tied on points with the Gas Gas rider coming into the event.
KX-energy rider, Brown has been the only permanent British rider in the 2012 FIM X-Trial Championship, and in places has demonstrated real contention, as he finished the Madrid leg of the series with an impressive fifth place. Tonight however wasn't such a success. Michael was one of the first riders to tackle the difficult five section qualification lap, and couldn't match the impressive pace set out by French rider Alexander Ferrer (Sherco).
After concluding the qualification lap on 15 points, the same as Challoner, an 'against the clock' battle decided between 8th and 9th on the night. Challoner set the pace on the impressive opening section, but Michael's sensation back wheel action meant he could inch ahead and beat Jack's time by less than a second.
Speaking about the series Michael comments, "To ride the full series of the X-Trial championship is a honour, I've ridden this series for four consecutive years now, and each year it gets bigger and better, the event tonight in Paris is testimony to that, over 7,000 spectators I believe gave the event a really great feel.
"I'm slightly disappointed that tonight i was unable to match the result I had in 2009 where I finished 6th overall, but over the series I have had my chances. I'm definitely still learning as a rider, and the FIM X-Trial is the top level of trials, so to be beating these riders on occasions still gives me a good confidence boost.
"I'm very excited for the FIM X-Trial Des Nations round in Nice next weekend, where I'll be teaming up with James Dabill flying the flag for Yorkshire and the UK. I'd like to say a massive thanks to the Gas Gas team for such an amazing bike this season, the organisers, and of course my sponsors whose help has allowed me to ride in this sensational championships"