Toni Bou – Repsol Montesa HRC powered himself back into the lead of the 2013 FIM Trial World Championship aboard his factory Cota 4RT machine when he clinched a convincing win at his home Grand Prix. Bou ran out an easy winner over his main title rival Adam Raga – Gas Gas to now head the general standings by two points as the series reaches it halfway point. Takahisa Fujinami – Repsol Montesa HRC narrowly missed out on a podium place, as he finished just six marks adrift of Albert Cabestany – Sherco. However the Japanese rider’s fourth spot on the day sees him maintain his third position in the championship table.
This was only the second time that the FIM Trial World Championship had visited the small and almost unknown town of Pobladura, which sits almost four hundred kilometres north west of the Spanish capital of Madrid. Although hidden away by the rocky hills that surround the town, the venue certainly put itself on the map when it had the chance to showcase its permanent Trial park two years ago. Once again the course consisted of a mixture of dry and dusty sections plus four watery hazards in a slippery riverbed.
The pre-trial section inspection on Saturday revealed the sheer severity of what the riders would face and after discussions with the local organisers and FIM representatives, modifications were made to some of the hazards. These changes only had a minimal effect, with the Spanish Grand Prix ending up being a high scoring affair under the newly introduced no-stop rules.
Reigning and already six times FIM Trial World Champion Bou used the conditions and the circumstances to his maximum advantage and had already carved out a ten mark lead over Raga after the first four sections on the opening lap.
However it was not all plain sailing for Toni as he notched up three failures of his own to end lap one on a total of seventeen marks. With Bou already eight marks clear of Cabestany at this stage, Fujinami was also putting the four stroke power of his Cota 4RT to good use to slot into third place after the initial twelve sections.
Bou maintained his renewed form, and riding with rejuvenated confidence further stretched his advantage on the closing two laps. His winning margin of twenty-six marks confirmed and underlined his superiority on the day. Toni’s third win of the season sees him regain the lead in the general standings which he had surrendered to Raga at round two in the USA. Despite managing to improve his lap score on each of the three laps, Fujinami was finally pushed off the podium as Raga completed a strong comeback to claim the runners-up spot from Cabestany on a most cleans tie-break after having been down in eighth place at the end of lap one.
Bou, Raga and co will resume battle in two weeks time on Italian soil, as Barzio in the north of the country hosts round five of the current series.
Toni Bou: “Today I am very happy, as I have returned to the top of the championship thanks to this win. From very early in the trial I was riding well and even after just a few sections I began to open up a good lead over Adam. When the race is difficult like today, it is very different for me as I feel more relaxed, this helps my confidence, which was much better anyway after I won in Andorra last weekend. I think today my riding was back at its best. It was a good trial, but maybe just a little too difficult, but with the new rules it’s difficult to get it completely correct. Now I am looking forward to the short break and to be ready for the next round in Italy.”
Takahisa Fujinami: “I started the trial quite badly with two fives in sections three and four, but then I managed to recover to be quite close to the other riders by the end of lap one. Then I thought I had a good chance to make a good result as the points were very close. However for the rest of the day I made too many stupid mistakes that cost me a better result in the end. To be only six marks away from second place at the finish is frustrating. Fourth place is the minimum result for me, thankfully (Jeroni) Fajardo make a bad result, so now it’s me and Cabestany fighting for third in the championship. I want to be back on the podium in Italy at least. ”