The Frenchman, described by many as the X-Trial discipline’s equivalent of Johann Zarco, a comparison the youngster finds flattering: “It sounds incredible, but I have certainly heard that a lot, that my season has been similar to Zarco’s in MotoGP. I didn’t really expect to be fighting for the podium but I have been, and up to the very last X-Trial I was third. I was motivated and had plenty of self-belief. Of course that’s a key attribute for any sportsman and is certainly also one of the virtues of Johann Zarco.”
Just like his fellow countryman, Benoit Bincaz was able to seize the opportunity to move up to the elite level, and his consistency is a result of the hard work he has put in to date. As he explains: “I hoped to be able to compete in some of the X-Trials, so when I found out I would be a permanent rider in the Championship I was surprised but grateful and excited about an opportunity that I just had to take advantage of. I have trained regularly in these types of sections and since I turned sixteen I have been riding in similar events of smaller stature, so this experience although limited gave me the confidence to demonstrate my maximum level. After my selection I trained with even greater intensity and frequently in Spain with my minder Benoit Dagnicourt. In Catalunya there are a lot of artificial sections where you can ride with the elite riders of the X-Trial World Championship.”
Summarising his season, the X-Trial World Championship’s 2018 revelation reflects: “I think that the Championship’s new concept is completely right. That’s demonstrated by spectators attending in such volume at all of the events and enjoying the level of competition and show. The riders also enjoyed it because of the sections and the excitement of the competition. I hadn’t expected the format to make it so physical, but completing six sections in six minutes leaves no room for error. Having to be at peak fitness to tackle every section creates a great deal of intensity and interest in the competition throughout. Also, it means that there is constant action for spectators, with no dead time. So the crowd is constantly reacting, the atmosphere builds, and the show is enhanced. In France the Championship has been very well followed, on social media and on television and other media, so I have felt very well supported. It has been some time since a French rider was battling for a place on the X-Trial World Championship podium, and I hope that helps the discipline to continue to grow in the future.”
2018’s top X-Trial debutant has arrived on the world stage and provided the shocks, but now he wants more and continues to work every day to achieve it.