Riding back from the final hazard in Great Britain I had a little smile to myself as I reflected on what had just happened. In a low-scoring event I had just made one my best fightbacks to claim a victory as I passed through the ends cards on section fifteen; yes it went all the way to the wire. It was pressure all the way after a strict five-mark penalty was awarded against me on the first lap. I accepted it and moved on, and that’s been the story of my career. You cannot look back on what’s happened the focus must always remain on the future. The champagne was a good reminder though of what I had just achieved!
This year has been very difficult in the fact that injury has interrupted it so much. Firstly with my back when I crashed at the beginning of the year and then with my knee injury in Belgium. I went to bed in Belgium and my knee swelled up like a balloon. The qualification problems had given me quite an early start position but in my mind I decided that if I could ride I could challenge for the win. The team around me checked the knee out on Sunday morning and strapped it up to avoid further damage.
Going to the practice area I was still not sure I could start the competition. Once on the machine I felt uncomfortable but that was all. The team is the best motivation I could ask for and we all decided to give it a go. As it turned out the early start position did not bother me. The focus was going forward and the team was rewarded with the win. I could not change the knee injury and so it was dealt with, and the outcome was a positive one. This was the same with the five-mark penalty in Great Britain. The crowd support was superb and I wanted to put on a good show. With some great riding from Miquel Gelabert and then pressure from Adam Raga I was very happy to win! World title number 24 was in the bag.
‘Can I keep winning’ is a constant question and one I am always happy to answer. I am the man, and the machine is the team around me. They want to win as much as I do and for the professional way they all embrace this situation I cannot thank them all enough. For my family, friends and fans I thank you all for the journey. The past is recorded in the history books and now I once again look to the future. Thank you to everyone.
Until Next Time – Ride On! – Toni
6 TRIAL MAGAZINE