Toni Bou - Repsol Montesa HRC narrowly missed out on extending his winning run in the 2013 FIM Trial World Championship as he placed a close second in the Czech Republic earlier today. Adam Raga – Gas Gas was the eventual victor in what was a low scoring event, but still trails Bou in the general standings, which the reigning champion now leads by two points. Albert Cabestany – Sherco closed out the rostrum places on a day that Takahisa Fujinami – Repsol Montesa HRC will want to forget. His sixth place on the day sees him drop to fourth spot in the overall rankings.
The Czech Republic as it is now known has been a part of the FIM Trial World Championship since its inception back in 1975. Hosted in Ricany during the early years, the Czech Trial GP then briefly visited Topol’Cany before moving to Nepomuk from 1991 to 1998. Since 2000 the ex-motocross circuit at Kramolin, just a few kilometres away from Nepomuk, has been the home of the Czech Trial GP, which last took place back in 2010. As has been the case in more recent editions, the sections for today’s event were scattered in and around the nearby woodland that surrounds the permanent facility.
Searing heat in the days before and during the trial created a dry and dusty course, with all twelve sections following a very similar theme and little variation. Bou and Raga could not be split as they progressed around the first of three laps having both only lost a single mark in the fifth hazard, before Toni was to strike disaster. Bou’s failure to crest the middle rocky outcrop in section nine would leave him playing catch up for the rest of the day. Despite not being too familiar with chasing rather than leading, Toni used the power of his factory Cota 4RT to good effect and managed to match Raga’s one mark total on lap two.
Trailing Raga by five marks as the arch rivals headed out on the course for a third and final time, Bou was handed a life line when the Gas Gas rider made an unexpected mistake in section three, putting the two championship contenders dead level with nine hazards remaining. Knowing this, Toni then sensed his moment to snatch the win from Raga in the very difficult fifth section and attempted to stay feet up when a single dab would have been a safer approach. His all-out attack for victory would ultimately backfire as he recorded his second five of the day to put Raga back in control, a position Adam would not relinquish as he beat Toni by a mere three marks come the close of the competition.
Fujinami started the day poorly, and continued to suffer this kind of form throughout the first two laps. Only a timely recovery on the third and final lap, when the Japanese rider dropped just eight marks, prevented him finishing outside of the top six.
The Repsol Montesa HRC pairing will be back in battle in two weeks’ time when the series lands in Great Britain for the penultimate Grand Prix of the current season, with both riders still having much to fight for respectively.
Toni Bou “I cannot say that today’s competition belonged inside of the World Championship, as it was far too easy. I was nervous from the start and then I made the mistake in section nine on lap one. From that point I recovered well and managed to match Adam (Raga) on the second lap. Then when he made his mistake on lap three I tried to win the trial by cleaning section five. I was close to achieving this, but in the end I gave him back the opportunity to take the win. I am not happy with the trial or the result, but I am quite happy with my riding, so I am not too concerned before we go to the next round, as there I am sure things will be different.”
Takahisa Fujinami ”It has been an incredibly bad day for me. I did not feel nervous this morning, but when I made a five in section two I began to feel something strange. Then when I repeated the same things in section three and five I was really worried for a complete disaster. Then I began to settle a little before I made the same mistake in section two on lap two and the same kind of stupid error in section eleven which was very easy. At least in the last lap I recovered something, and although sixth place is bad for me, at one moment I was worried to be inside the top ten. Now I need to regain my confidence in my head ready for Penrith.”