It’s a lit­tle late but ‘A Happy New Year’ to the tri­als world. With the 2016 sea­son now un­der way with the first round of the FIM

X-Trial in­door se­ries hav­ing taken place in Great Bri­tain I sit on the edge of achiev­ing my goal of ten world tri­als mo­tor­cy­cle ti­tles, both in­door and out­door. Yes, that would make me a

twenty-times world cham­pion!

Be­fore we move to the X-Trial World Cham­pi­onship let me tell you about a fan­tas­tic trip to Ja­pan with my team-mates in the Rep­sol Honda squad, Takahisa Fu­ji­nami and Jamie Busto, to the Honda ‘Thank you’ day. This was a day of cel­e­bra­tion for 2015 and a way to thank ev­ery­one in­volved in our suc­cess­ful team. We all be­came in­volved in var­i­ous demon­stra­tion races in­clud­ing Go Karts, Tour­ing Cars etc, and I am sure you can imag­ine with the ‘New Boy Busto’ at such a young age he wanted to try and put one over my­self and ‘Fu­ji­gas’. Let’s just say it was in­ter­est­ing! It was also an op­por­tu­nity to thank the guys in the team back at the base in Ja­pan, so it fin­ished off 2015 on a very happy note de­spite the long-haul flight time to be home for Christ­mas.

Round one of the 2016 FIM X-Trial se­ries did not go to plan as I fin­ished se­cond, not where I want to be if I am to go on and record my tenth suc­ces­sive world cham­pi­onship. When I walked the course I knew that I would have to be at the top of my game to take an­other vic­tory. As has been well doc­u­mented I made a small mis­take in the fi­nal, which dropped me off the top step of the podium. Such is the high stan­dard of rid­ing that I knew any penalty such as mine would be pun­ished heav­ily, and it was. I am rid­ing well and I will now move my fo­cus straight onto the next round in Spain.

On a more pos­i­tive note it was so good to see the re­turn of my team-mate and good friend ‘Fuji’. Af­ter miss­ing the 2015 in­door se­ries through in­jury he was back and fir­ing on all cylin­ders at Sh­effield and look­ing pretty im­pres­sive!

Un­til Next Time – Ride On! – Toni

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