Repsol Honda Team rider, Toni Bou, triumphed in the Andorra TrialGP, the third round of the world championship, taking his victory tally to a record ninety-nine wins.
It was the second victory of the season for Bou and a win to relish, not only because it represents a win on ‘home soil’ in Andorra where he resides, but also because the Repsol Honda Team rider equals the ninety-nine win record of seven times world champion Dougie Lampkin. Bou, in addition, extends his advantage in the overall standings to seven points over immediate rival Jeroni Fajardo.
Toni Bou displayed a high level today in spite of the sections not being the most demanding in a trial where any errors paid dearly. A five in section eleven on the first lap threw the trial wide open before Bou eventually completed the first lap in second place overall. A splendid ride on the final lap saw the current champ put the pressure on rivals, who took maximums in some rather unexpected places. The victory was accomplished in the last of the thirty sections by a mere two point-advantage.
Elsewhere, Takahisa Fujinami was one of the first riders to take the start after a less-than-positive qualification round yesterday. Overcoming the sections with virtually no previous reference weighed heavy on the scorecard and saw the Japanese rider take twelfth position. ‘Fujigas’ is now eighth in the general rankings.
The sections of this third TrialGP date in the 2018 calendar were battled over hard, slate terrain that disintegrated very easily as the bikes went through, as well as offering some high steps to negotiate. In addition, the Repsol Honda Team riders had to deal with both suffocating heat and altitude, with most sections 1,300 metres above sea-level in the mountainous area of Sant Julià de Lòria.
The next stop for TrialGP World Championship takes place next weekend in the town of Gouveia, in Portugal. The Senhora dos Verdes Park will host this, the fourth date of the trial outdoor calendar.
Toni Bou 1
RACE: 1ST STANDINGS: 1ST
I am very happy with this victory here in Andorra. It’s been a tough weekend, with lots of nerves and a lot of pressure, but we’ve finally won. Today I felt very good on the bike and my back did not bother me, which is very positive to be able to continue improving like that. This is a very important victory both for the championship and for my morale. To reach victory number ninety-nine is impressive and now we have to work to achieve one hundred victories. I keep saying that this will be a very complicated year for me but we will continue fighting.
Takahisa Fujinami 5
TRIAL: 12VE STANDINGS: 8TH
Today has been a very difficult race for us. I started from the front and also didn’t have much confidence on the bike. We’ll have to look hard at what was missing in the set-up as physically I feel good, much better than in the first world championship trial. This week before competing in Portugal I hope I will be able to find what I lacked on the bike. I’ll do my best.
It was not an easy weekend although it may seem easy to win for Toni Bou; but it has been thanks to the enormous amount of work done. Remember that he is not 100% physically fit yet and for him to win here in Andorra was very important. Meanwhile, Fujinami had some problems; he didn’t have a good trial, and we have to try to do better next time. Thanks to all the team who have really worked very hard due to the difficult conditions such as the high altitude in which Andorra is located. In Portugal we will be back, giving it our best shot and hopefully come away with our two riders on top.