Toni Bou debuts in Budapest with a victory as X-Trial championship gets underway
The FIM X-Trial World Championship kicked off with a triumph for Repsol Honda Team’s Toni Bou in Budapest. Takahisa Fujinami was unable to make the cut for the semi-final.
Repsol Honda Team ace Toni Bou opened the season in the style with a resounding victory in the Laszlo Papp Arena in Budapest, becoming the 2019 campaign’s first overall leader. Bou, who was forced to sit out the Hungarian date at the end of last season due to injured vertebrae, completed his maiden Budapest trial taking top honours.
Bou had already marked the difference by the end of the first round, collecting a single penalty mark compared to the six of the nearest second placed adversary. In the semi-final, where only the top finisher from each group would make it through to the grand final, Bou again proved unmatchable notching up two solitary marks. The final showdown saw the champ face his tough arch-rival Adam Raga, with the riders forced to take the same sections but in the reverse direction. Bou started the final losing ground to his opponent before some deft handling eventually moved the Spaniard up into first place. Toni managed to hold on to the lead – in spite of picking up a five in the penultimate hazard – to secure the first victory of the 2019 FIM X-Trial championship.
Repsol Honda Team comrade-in-arms Takahisa Fujinami was unable to replicate the semi-final place picked up in the same competition the previous year and struggled to make it through to the second phase.
Repsol Honda Team will again compete with the full line up of Toni Bou and Takahisa Fujinami for the second championship date scheduled for Palau Sant Jordi de Barcelona on Sunday 3rd February.
Toni Bou 1
RACE: 1ST STANDINGS: 1ST
I’m super happy to start off winning. It was amazing to get this victory after the rib injury, which I’m still not recovered from totally. We must continue working to improve because I believe that I am not yet where I could be. I trained a little this year and I think I’m not at my usual level. There is still quite a way to go and I want to get there as soon as possible. Yes, in 2018 we won, but I suffered a lot because of the injuries. That is why I want to thank Joaquim Terricabras and all his medical team for the help they have given me, especially for the recent treatment for the rib injury.
Takahisa Fujinami 3
RACE: 8TH STANDINGS: 8TH
I think that, honestly, today I had the chance to go through to the next round, but I made two serious mistakes and I didn’t achieve my goal. I think there are several riders all at the same level, and now that I have seen how this race went, I think that if I train a little more these two weeks I could get a better result in Barcelona.
We have started the year well. But as always, you have to be cautious because with so many trials it will not be easy and there is always the odd day where you make mistakes. Toni is in pretty good shape, not yet at full fitness, but he always gives it his all. Takahisa has struggled a bit in this first event, with some faults, but we will work to improve on it in the forthcoming trials. I wish to thank the people who have worked so hard to be here, and especially the medical team who we have given a lot of work in 2018!