Bou masters Mont­pel­lier


Once again it was the Rep­sol Honda rider Toni Bou who was the man on form in round two in France. This time the win was not as easy as the haz­ards took more marks from him in round one but he kept his nerve to fur­ther ex­tend his cham­pi­onship lead in the early part of the sea­son. Suf­fer­ing with fa­tigue in his arms, the six man-made haz­ards were more dif­fi­cult than at the open­ing round but in front of a crowd of 6,000 tri­als fans and un­der a fan­tas­tic light show, once again Bou man­aged to hold off the op­po­si­tion to take the win in front of his arch ri­val of many years, Adam Raga – TRRS.

It was France again for round two of the eight round series as it moved to the Sud de France Arena in Mont­pel­lier in the south of the coun­try. Through­out the last decade Mont­pel­lier has been the scene of var­i­ous X-Trial events. Fol­low­ing its new for­mat, the five fixed rid­ers were joined by the au­to­matic qual­i­fier from round one, Jeroni Fa­jardo, who qual­i­fied to the sec­ond round as the best performing ‘Event Rider’ in the open­ing event. He was joined at this round by the Ja­panese vet­eran Takahisa Fu­ji­nami, lo­cal rider Benoit Bin­caz and the young ex­cit­ing Spa­niard, Miquel Ge­labert. This new sys­tem aims to in­crease the va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent rid­ers par­tic­i­pat­ing whilst also en­abling a wide se­lec­tion of rid­ers to gain ex­pe­ri­ence in the X-Trial in­door com­pe­ti­tions. In this way, com­pet­i­tive­ness and the high­est pos­si­ble level of spec­ta­cle are guar­an­teed, en­abling the devel­op­ment of the FIM X-Trial World Cham­pi­onship and its young rid­ers from var­i­ous na­tion­al­i­ties.


The new ex­cit­ing for­mat threw out some real sur­prises at round two as the man who was ex­pected to be the new chal­lenger to Bou, Jaime Busto – Gas Gas, never even reached the sec­ond phase of the com­pe­ti­tion. It was once again left to Adam Raga to push Bou all the way as he was joined on the podium by Great Bri­tain’s James Dabill who was rid­ing the new Beta look­ing ra­di­ant with its new colour scheme. Right from the open­ing heat it was go­ing to be a tough night as Fu­ji­nami parted with too many marks to fin­ish at the bot­tom of the three rid­ers. In the sec­ond heat it was very close as a con­fi­dent look­ing Fa­jardo – Gas Gas,

looked to be on form to fin­ish in front of Dabill with the home rider Bin­caz post­ing a good enough score to go through to the sec­ond round. The big sur­prise though came in the third group of rid­ers as Busto looked very out of place amongst Bou and Raga and his score dropped him to dead last.


In the sec­ond heat the rid­ing was very close with only a sin­gle mark sep­a­rat­ing the great ri­vals Bou and Raga with the ad­van­tage go­ing to the TRRS rider. He gained the ad­van­tage of go­ing be­hind his great ri­val for each at­tempt at the six haz­ards. Dabill showed good form to join the other three rid­ers and to gain his pass to the podium in a happy night for the lone Bri­tish rider. In the fi­nal, Raga was the early leader but a stop on the huge wooden ca­ble drums halted his progress as Bou opened up the ad­van­tage to take yet an­other vic­tory and open up a good point’s ad­van­tage even at this early stage in the eight round cham­pi­onship.

Toni Bou (Rep­sol Honda-ESP) Adam Raga (TRRS-ESP)

James Dabill (Beta-GBR) Takahisa Fu­ji­nami (Rep­sol Honda-JPN) Benoit Bin­caz (Scorpa-FRA)

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