TrialGP 2018 Round TGP 8 , Preview
Newly-crowned champion Toni Bou ready to finish the 2018 TrialGP World Championship in Italy
Toni Bou and his Repsol Honda Team comrade, Japanese rider Takahisa Fujinami, will this weekend face the final hurdle as the 2018 TrialGP World Championship arrives in Italy. Bou has already sealed the title, but Fujinami can still improve upon his overall position.
The world championship calendar draws to a close with the dispute, this coming weekend, of the Italian TrialGP, set to take place in Pietramurata in the Trentino region. Repsol Honda Team will tackle this final round of the campaign with the season’s main objectives already accomplished in the most recent event in Great Britain, namely, victory in the individual world title and the manufacturers’ championship.
Toni Bou arrives at Pietramurata with a 150-point advantage in the bag and a difference of 33 points over the nearest second-place rival. The Repsol Honda Team rider has won six trials out of the eight disputed so far this season, which have helped Bou to set a new record of 102 world championship victories.
Meanwhile, Takahisa Fujinami, Bou’s partner at Repsol Honda Team, arrives on the back of a series of upbeat trials with good all-round feelings. The rider currently occupies sixth spot in the overall standings, a position the veteran hopes to improve upon.
The event marks the second edition of the TrialGP in Trentino after the one held there last year. Toni Bou was the clear winner on that occasion. In fact, in each of the most recent eight occasions that the top flight competition has visited Italy (2010-2017), Bou has repeatedly triumphed; not forgetting two further wins in 2007 and 2008. Team-mate Takahisa Fujinami has also been victorious four times in Italian world championship events.
An important change has taken place in the timetabling for the Italian TrialGP this weekend: the training session on Saturday will now take place in the afternoon, which will delay the qualifying round, which has been rescheduled for 20:00 in the evening. The trial itself, on Sunday, will not be affected. The first rider will start at 09:00 hrs, with the final podium due to take place at 15:45
Toni Bou 1
STANDINGS: CHAMPION POINTS: 150
It was great to be able to win the title early in England, so we can face the last race without any pressure and fully enjoy the event. That, however, does not mean that we are not going to fight, on the contrary. We will try to perform our best at the trial, as always, to be able to finish the season at the top, the way we started it.
Takahisa Fujinami 5
STANDINGS: 6TH POINTS: 81
In the final event of the year we have some chances to improve a position in the championship, but I am not at all obsessed with it. I think that over the most recent trials I have managed to improve my riding a lot and, above all, the way I approach the event. So I hope to be able to continue along these lines. Let’s see how it turns out.