2012 FIM X-Trial Championship Round Six
Championship at the penultimate round of the series held in Milan, Italy and in doing so extended his indoor tally to six consecutive titles. It was Bou’s sixth successive victory in a championship that he has dominated en route to writing his name in the record books as the most successful indoor trials rider of all time. Joining the indomitable Catalan on the podium was Adam Raga - Gas Gas, in a close second, and Albert Cabestany - Sherco third.
Bou’s victory was overshadowed somewhat by a big crash on the last section during the final. The fall diluted his celebrations on an evening when, until that point, he had lived up to his reputation by stealing the show. The incident left Bou and Raga tied on ten marks apiece and forced Bou, who had injured his back, into a tiebreak. Bruised, but with his adrenaline pumping, he managed to beat Raga in a tense dual lane race to confirm a difficult victory.
Bou was not the only one to slip up and injure themselves on the hazardous sections. Pol Tarres - Jotogas was the first victim during a qualification that really tested the World’s best riders. Tarres exited in spectacular fashion, hurting himself in the process. Dazed, the youngster was taken straight to hospital with a concussion. Early reports suggest that he had also broken a small bone in his left wrist.
Each of the sections represented its own challenge, the big steps testing the riders’ ability and nerve. Wildcards Daniel Oliveras - Ossa and Giacomo Saleri - Beta rode well, but were not up to the task. Both failed to progress into the semi-final. An absent Tarres was also relegated, alongside a disappointed Michael Brown - Gas Gas. The latter finished eighth, behind Oliveras in seventh.
The semi-final was every bit as intense. Even Bou made a mistake and fived the log section, much to the crowd’s surprise. An outclassed Loris Gubian - Gas Gas never looked likely to progress, while an inconsistent Takahisa Fujinami - Repsol Montesa made too many mistakes and joined Gubian for an early exit. Jeroni Fajardo - Beta faired a little better and earned promotion into the final alongside Cabestany, Raga and Bou.
The four battled it out over four sections with Raga just managing to cling on to Bou’s coattails. However, no one expected Bou to slip up, particularly in such an awkward way. He fell from one of the highest obstacles in a course that left no room for rider error. The dual lane tiebreak was a nail-biting end to what proved an extraordinary event. Bou was the victor by a whisker, and Raga’s efforts saw him claim the runners-up prize and leave Italy tied on points with Cabestany.
Raga’s heroic performance has set up what should prove an equally tense fight at the final round of the 2012 FIM X-Trial World Championship in Bercy, Paris in two weeks time. Hopefully a fully fit Bou will also join his countryman in a bid to maintain his one-hundred per cent record in a series that, for the sixth successive time, he has made his own.
1. Toni Bou - 10 (Bou wins dual lane race tie-break)
2. Adam Raga - 10
3. Albert Cabestany - 18
4. Jeroni Fajardo - 27
Gubian & Fujinami out in semi-final
Brown, Oliveras & Saleri failed to qualify
For photos from this event, click here
Full results from this event are available for download in PDF format: