Toni Bou (Montesa) came from behind with a champion’s performance to secure his first double win of the 2023 Hertz FIM Trial World Championship on the second day of round four of the series – the TrialGP of San Marino – at Baldasserona today.
- Toni Bou fights back to take victory at Baldasserona
- Debut Trial2 triumph for eighteen-year-old Jack Dance
- George Hemingway makes it four wins in a row in Trial3
As the series passed the halfway mark in the land-locked microstate, the reigning champion’s performance could very appropriately prove to be a pivotal moment in the championship and the Spaniard now leads his compatriot and main challenger Jaime Busto (GASGAS) by eight points with three rounds and six scoring days to go.
Torrential overnight rain added more water to what at this time of the year is usually a dry riverbed where the sections were plotted and the combination of huge smooth boulders and lots of mud ensured that grip was very hard to find.
Following a tough day yesterday when he slipped to third, Busto looked to be back to his brilliant best in the morning and the twenty-six-year-old led on twenty-one at the halfway point with Bou a full nine marks behind and tied for second with Italy’s Matteo Grattarola (Beta).
Section two provided the first major test of the day with its exit over a huge undercut step from almost zero run-up catching out everyone apart from Busto on the opening lap. However, second time around the leader could not match the sensational clean he produced at his first attempt and he added five to his score.
Bou’s fightback began here with an amazing faultless ride and for the rest of the lap the sixteen-time champion continued to pile the pressure on with the turning point coming at section ten where Busto incurred a maximum and Bou sailed through for a single mark to finally take a lead that he held to the end to win by two marks.
“This weekend has been amazing for us,” said Bou. “On the first lap today I made many mistakes, but I had a good second lap and Jaime made some mistakes in the last sections. San Marino has been very important for us for the championship.”
Grattarola’s remarkable return to form following his recent move back to Beta continued and he dug deep to claim his first podium of the season, twelve marks behind Busto and two ahead of Spain’s two-time champion Adam Raga (TRRS) with Aniol Gelabert (Beta) taking fifth on a tie-break from yesterday’s runner-up Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa).
The Trial3 champion in 2021, Britain’s Jack Dance (GASGAS) claimed an impressive debut victory and career-first podium in Trial2 with an inspired performance that saw him finish six marks clear of defending champion Sondre Haga (GASGAS) from Norway.
“It is an absolutely amazing feeling,” said Dance. “I was winning on the first lap so I was confident for the second lap, but you never know how it can go. Towards the end I knew I was nearly there and when I came out of the last section with a clean it was a perfect end to the day.”
Billy Green (Scorpa) – who lost the series lead after finishing eighth yesterday – rallied today to finish third, but he was only one position ahead of his fellow British rider Jack Peace (Sherco) who leaves San Marino with a five-point championship advantage.
Sealing his second consecutive double win in Trial3, Britain’s George Hemingway (Beta) extended his championship advantage to eight points ahead of Norwegian Jone Sandvik (Sherco) who improved to second following his fifth-placed finish yesterday.
“Another really good day for me and it is an important result for the championship as well,” said Hemingway. “I followed on from yesterday and had two good laps.”
In just his second season in the series, sixteen-year-old French rider Romeo Piquet produced the stand-out performance of his short career with a first podium after coming out on top of a tie-break with yesterday’s runner-up Alfie Lampkin (Vertigo).
With little time to rest, the action now shifts nine-hundred kilometres west for the TrialGP of Andorra next weekend (16-18 June) when it will be streamed LIVE on FIM-MOTO.TV.