Toni Bou reviews his 14th X-Trial World Championship success, confirmed after the Covid-19 crisis forced the abandonment of the 2020 season
The postponement of X-Trial Andorra la Vella, which will now be the first Round of the 2021 season, means that the 2020 campaign was declared after the five completed Rounds in La Réunion, Rennes, Budapest, Barcelona and Bilbao. With victories in all of them, Toni Bou (Repsol HRC) was crowned for the fourteenth time, beating his nearest rival Adam Raga (TRRS) by a 25-point margin.
Bou reacts to the events of recent weeks: “ We are in an unprecedented situation. Both 2Play and the FIM are working to adapt to this situation in the best possible way. The first priority is everyone’s health and getting over this world crisis in the fastest and most effective way possible. The official abandonment of the 2020 X-Trial season was inevitable, and the fact that the two cancelled Rounds have been moved into next season’s calendar is good news.”
From the sporting side, the early halt to the 2020 season has confirmed what was starting to seem an inevitability – a fourteenth world title for Toni Bou: “ Winning the title without the last two events isn’t good for anyone, but from a sporting perspective I’m very satisfied to have claimed another title by winning every X-Trial available to me. Although I have taken 20 points in every city, that doesn’t reflect how tough the Championship has been.”
“ Obviously it gets more and more difficult to keep winning, because my rivals are pushing harder and harder, as you can see from the results of each Round: the differences between us have been tiny, real proof of just how competitive this series is. The 2020 season has shown such a high level, perhaps more so than in other recent years, because so many riders have made a step forward and the tiniest of mistakes can now be very costly.”
“ I would particularly like to highlight the riding skill and great form of Adam Raga, who once again was my closest rival in the fight for the title, and made things more difficult than perhaps they appear from the Championship Classification. In both La Réunion and Rennes my advantage was slightly bigger, but the others were incredibly close. X-Trial Bilbao and X-Trial Barcelona were only decided in the last section: in Bilbao by four points and in Barcelona by just seven. And of course there was that incredible night in Budapest, where we were tied in the Final and in the tie-break section, so I won on countback by just three marks thanks to my Round Two result. Reflecting on all of these hard-fought X-Trials shows just how difficult this season has been.”
As the Championship promoter 2Play works together with the FIM (International Motorsport Federation) to prepare the calendar for the coming season, due to start in October, Bou too has an eye on the future: “ Obviously we can’t assume anything at this stage because the situation around the world is changing constantly with regards to the Covid-19 crisis, so putting down dates is difficult. But the fact that the two suspended 2020 dates will open our 2021 season is great news and shows that we’re working hard as a sport towards the future. And that’s the most important thing.”