Repsol Honda Team rider Toni Bou has just been proclaimed 2019 FIM X-Trial World Champion in the season‰Ûªs penultimate trial held this evening in Marseille, France.
The success brings Bou‰Ûªs thirteenth X-Trial title and takes his world championship tally to 25.
The route to his latest success was far from straightforward, though, as the most technically and physically demanding X-Trial to date produced a close-fought event with generally high scores. But Bou, after an underwhelming Round One in which he finished just fourth and having progressed from Round Two by a mere two-mark margin, steadied the ship with a dominant Grand Final performance.
Bouå«s direct rival for victory in Marseille was Gas Gas' Jeroni Fajardo, who progressed from Heat One in sensational fashion by countback after he and TRRS' Adam Raga were tied. But Fajardo was unable to complete any of the demanding Grand Final sections, and Bou already had victory on the night sewn up with a clean Section Five ‰ÛÒ his third completed section of the lap.
‰ÛÏItå«s been as demanding as it has enjoyable," Bou declared. "This was my first chance to claim the Championship and I took it, even though it wasnå«t easy. The sections meant we had to give our absolute best, and that meant the spectators enjoyed the show. But I was keen to claim the title here and avoid being under pressure in X-Trial Andorra, where there were will already be enough expectation as it is my home race. Now I know that we will be there to celebrate, and I hope to win in front of my fans to finish the season. This thirteenth title has been more complicated than some of the others, since my rivals have really pushed hard all season and I have never been able to relax. But I have gradually been improving and tonight has been the culmination of my hard work.‰Û