Trials

Matteo Grattarola Takes Victory At TrialGP Of Italy But It’s Sweet 16 for Toni Bou

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Photo of Matteo Grattarola at the 2022 TrialGP of Italy
Matteo Grattarola took a little shine off Toni Bou’s 16th World Title by taking the round win. Photo: Future7Media

He didn’t win today’s battle but Toni Bou most definitely won the war with second on the first day of the final round of the 2022 Hertz FIM Trial World Championship – the TrialGP of Italy – easily good enough to secure the superstar Spaniard a 16th-straight title and 32nd World Title.

With snow shimmering on the Alps’ picturesque peaks, the temperature at Ponte di Legno was the lowest the riders have experienced all season, and overnight rain added to the severity of the natural sections set in a riverbed and on super-steep, rock-strewn wooded bankings before the final man-made hazard.

Photo of Toni Bou at the 2022 TrialGP of Italy

Competing on home turf, Matteo Grattarola led at the halfway stage on 19 with Adam Raga another two marks behind on observation plus an additional time penalty in second with Miquel Gelabert third on 26.

Sections seven and eight – near vertical climbs over massive rocks – provided back-to-back challenges and claimed maximums from the entire TrialGP entry on the opening lap.

Tied for fourth with fellow countryman Jaime Busto on 28 after an expensive first lap, Bou showed his class on lap two by dropping his score to 13 and demonstrating his brilliance with a one-mark ride on section eight where the rest of the field failed to make it to the end.

Grattarola, however, matched him almost mark for mark and his final total of 33 earned him a career-first TrialGP win by eight marks from Bou with Raga dropping a place to third on 45 – four ahead of Gabriel Marcelli – with Jorge Casales claiming fifth by a mark from Gelabert.

Photo of Toni Bou at the 2022 TrialGP of Italy
Toni Bou had a very rare second place. Photo: Future7Media

“It’s really, really important for me to get this win,” said Grattarola. “It’s next to my house so it’s perfect – I couldn’t hope for more. Today I had a really good feeling on the bike but I wasn’t expecting to get the win so I’m very happy and tomorrow I hope to do the same.”

For Toni Bou, 16 was a sweet one.

Photo of Toni Bou at the 2022 TrialGP of Italy
Since 2007, Bou has won every world championship in which he has participated: 32 individual titles. To these, we should also add his appearances with the Spanish national team in the Trial des Nations competition (world championship for national teams), where he currently holds another 16 titles.

“It’s always special to win a world title. When you have a good points lead, the race in which the title is at stake is always a bit strange, because you don’t want to make mistakes and it’s hard to concentrate,” Bou said. “On the first lap I made two big mistakes and that’s where the victory slipped away from me. On the second lap I was able to get into the fight for the win at a certain point, but in the end it wasn’t to be. The trial was really beautiful, in the Alps and with a dedicated Italian crowd.

“In terms of the season, consistency has been key,” Bou added, “It has been a very good year, very regular and we have always been on the podium. We fought until the end and, finally, we were able to clinch this new outdoor title. I am very grateful to the team.”

The action continues tomorrow from 09:00 with the second day of the Trial GP of Italy, the final round of the TrialGP 2022 World Championship.

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