Reigning and newly-crowned twelve-time kingpin Toni Bou – Repsol Honda lit up the second qualification session at TrialGP Italy – the eighth and final round of the 2018 FIM Trial World Championship – at the Metzler Offroad Park at Pietramurata Di Dro tonight.
Competing under floodlights for the first time ever, which proved to be a huge success thanks to the latest innovative twist by championship promoter Sport7, the Spanish legend – who clinched the 2018 title last time out with victory at TrialGP Great Britain – signalled his intention of signing off on top this season with a commanding night-time performance in the foothills of the Alps.
It was Bou’s compatriot Jaime Busto – Gas Gas who set the benchmark in the Q1 session, but a maximum at his second attempt over the huge boulders that comprised the imposing man-made section dropped the teenager down the order to a lowly twelfth. Bou, however, was impeccable to record his fifth Q2 victory of the season with his cocktail of pace and perfection leaving n–one in any doubt as to who is the boss!
“I’m very happy because I try to do my best,” says Bou. “Jaime is very fast so it’s incredible for me and the show is very, very special. I don’t have the pressure this weekend so I can enjoy this moment.”
Veteran Albert Cabestany – Beta matched his best result of the 2018 campaign to take second, finishing over a second-and-a-half behind Bou but still three-and-a-half seconds ahead of Jeroni Fajardo – Gas Gas in a Spanish one-two-three.
With a big crowd surrounding the section, France’s Benoit Bincaz – Scorpa shocked the audience drinking in the night-time atmosphere by taking fourth ahead of Spanish duo Miquel Gelabert – Sherco and Jorge Casales – Vertigo as former champion Adam Raga – TRRS also recorded a maximum to end the session in thirteenth and third man away tomorrow.
With the Trial2 championship on the line, home hero Matteo Grattarola – Honda, five points down heading into the series finale, succumbed to the pressure and picked up a maximum to finish twentieth as his title rival Toby Martyn – Montesa recorded a perfect ride to top the Q2 session. The rising British star finished over half-a-second clear of Norwegian Hakon Pedersen – Gas Gas with Spain’s Gabriel Marcelli – Montesa taking third.
The result sees veteran Grattarola start fourth tomorrow and hands him a significant disadvantage as the Trial2 crown goes down to the wire.
In Trial125 the clear series leader Billy Green – Beta from Britain stayed feet-up to come home fourth as French pocket-rocket Hugo Dufrese – Gas Gas pulled out all the stops to match his best Q2 result of the year at TrialGP Portugal in June, winning from fellow countryman Arthur Rovery – Sherco and Spain’s Eric Miquel – TRRS.
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