Toni Bou - Repsol Montesa recorded his fourth straight win at round four of the 2012 FIM XTrial World Championship held at the impressive Palacio de Deportes de la Comunidad de Madrid, Spain. However for the first time this season he was pushed all the way as Adam Raga - Gas Gas produced his best ride of the campaign to date to keep the fight alive right until the final section of the night. Once again Albert Cabestany - Sherco made it an all Spanish podium by taking third spot in front of his home fans.
The evening begun in a sombre mood, as the riders led a minute’s silence in honour and memory of ex FIM Trial Vice World Champion Diego Bosis who sadly passed away unexpectedly last month. Amongst the bystanders who stood silent were FIM MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner and his Repsol Montesa team mate Dani Pedrosa, who remained interested spectators throughout the competition.
Qualification consisted of five sections that had to be completed within the healthy allowance of nine minutes. Wild card entrant Pol Tarres – Jotagas got the action underway, but not in convincing fashion as he failed in each and every zone. It was very much the same story for Alfredo Gomez – Montesa, who was next out, as he also collected a maximum score and lost out to Tarres on the tie-break to finish dead last. Loris Gubian - Gas Gas was the best of the non-qualifiers his score of twenty-two marks ruling him out of the main event for the first time this season.
In contrast Michael Brown - Gas Gas finally made it through to the semi-final, having missed out in the three previous rounds. He was demoted to sixth spot in qualification after losing his tie-break against Jeroni Fajardo - Beta, who looked far from his best during the initial five hazards. Takahisa Fujinami - Repsol Montesa finished three marks clear of Fajardo to claim fourth position and to book his place in the Trial itself.
It was the usual suspects who occupied the top three spots after the initial selection process, again Toni Bou - Repsol Montesa was simply in a class of his own, his single dab loss coming in the ultra difficult third section. Albert Cabestany - Sherco came through in second position on nine marks, which included a soft five in the opening hazard. Adam Raga - Gas Gas produced a lap that was very hit and miss, which left him trailing his arch-rival Cabestany by two marks at this stage.
Although Bou eased out an early advantage after the opening two sections in the semi-final, a rare moment of over confidence cost him dearly as he fived the rock section to allow Raga to transfer to the final within touching distance. Brown and Fajardo were eliminated at this point, the latter suffering the effects of a shoulder injury sustained during a training accident earlier in the week. Cabestany and Fujinami occupied third and fourth places respectively as they moved into the final, positions they would continue to hold at the end of the Trial. Whilst Raga had his chances in the final to inflict Toni’s first defeat of the series, Bou did enough to stay in front and to stretch his winning margin to seven marks as he became the only rider to make it through the final section on the night. Bou now heads the general standings by a commanding twenty-six points with three rounds remaining.
After the recent pause in proceedings, the 2012 FIM X-Trial World Championship now continues at pace with the series making the short hop across the water from the Spanish mainland to Majorca for the fifth stop of the tour, which will take place in Palma next Sunday evening.
1. Toni Bou - 13
2. Adam Raga - 20
3. Albert Cabestany - 30
4. Takahisa Fujinami - 32
Brown & Fajardo out in semi-final
Gubian, Tarres & Gomez failed to qualify
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Full results from this event are available for download in PDF format: