Repsol Honda Team rider Toni Bou started the Trial Outdoor World Championship in the best way possible with a convincing triumph and a notable display in Camprodón this weekend.
The weather turned out to be one of the main protagonists in today’s trial. After a fine start yesterday during the qualifying round, conditions took a turn for the worst later with storms blowing up after the initial phase had finished. Riders awoke today to a splendid sunny day, before a radical change took hold, with torrential downpours and even hail. The result was fifteen sectors now far harder than had been previously expected.
Toni Bou rose to the occasion, clinching a 90th world championship outdoor win. The tougher the hazards, the better the Repsol Honda Team ace performed to finish the day with a considerable advantage over closest rival Adam Raga. Bou finished with a twelve point gap, which lowered his first lap score by ten marks over the nearest second place rival. The champion, aboard the Montesa Cota 4RT, becomes the first leader in the new season.
Japanese Takahisa Fujinami was able to make amends for yesterday’s qualifying position by producing a solid performance that had him jostling for a final podium place. Fujigas placed fifth on the day, a single point off fourth spot.
Meanwhile, young Jaime Busto was suffering in the sections with the worsening conditions. After rubbing shoulders with the big guns in the earlier part of the trial, Busto began to burden the scorecard with an excess of penalty points in the latter and had to settle for seventh overall place.
Toni Bou’s triumph brings valuable points for Montesa in the constructor’s championship. An important win for Trial2 rider Gabriel Marcelli adds to the brand’s score.
The first trial of the year was a complicated one with a lot of nerves and pressure. This place is a paradise for trial, but it’s not really the type that suits me best as I find it tough with all the mud. But I think I got through it pretty well. It was a hard event and I think the rain made it more difficult but I’m very pleased about the victory as it has been a great way to start the season. Adam is pushing as hard as always – he’s a really tough rival and I think that it will be a hard season for all of us.
It was a really difficult trial. It was tough right from the start as I started out among the first riders after yesterday’s qualifying round. On the first lap I was eighth battling for points, but at the beginning of the second round it started to rain very heavily and that complicated things a lot as there wasn’t much time to finish the trial. Anyway, I’m satisfied to have finished ahead, just a point off fourth place. It is a good motivation to take to the next round which is the Japanese GP.
After the great day yesterday, things should have gone better today – at least in theory – but after the other riders had gone through the rocks became very slippery. It began to rain and it did so several times. Even though I don’t think I did the first lap that badly, on the second lap I picked up a couple of consecutive penalty points. Hopefully Japan will go a bit better