My years of hard work and training have made me into what I am today: the undisputed motorcycle trials world champion both indoor and outdoor. The support from my team at Repsol Honda and all my sponsors give me 100% and, in return when I am holding the Renthal handlebars of the Cota 4RT in the competition, I give them the same. I understand that changes have to be made in any sport for it to progress and I am very happy to say that after the opening round of the new TrialGP format for 2017, I am still winning.
For the first time in my motorcycle trials career, qualifying was introduced at the opening round of the FIM Trial World Championship in 2017. Yes, I was very nervous and I did feel the pressure as one mistake could have spelt disaster for me as we only have the one go at making a good time to decide our starting position on race day. As it turned out, my young fellow Repsol Honda team rider, Jamie Busto, set the quickest time at 29.47. I was second at 30.29 with Adam Raga third at 30.89. Yes, it was that close.
With qualifying over I knew it would not be such a problem for Jamie to watch me for a change! After starting the event in the morning in bright sunshine, a massive thunderstorm halfway through the first lap totally changed the nature of the hazards.
Albert Cabestany had qualified badly and as an early starter gained an advantage in the rain, leaving me trailing him by a single mark with Adam breathing down my neck one mark behind. In very difficult conditions on the second and final lap, all my pre-season training came into play as I opened up a significant lead to start my 2017 outdoor season in the best possible way with a win – happy days!
Until Next Time – Ride On! – Toni