Trials

Nice the final step for Toni Bou towards an eleventh world title

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This Palais NikkaÌøa in Nice, France, will host the closing round of the FIM X-Trial World Championship this Friday, with Repsol Honda Team‰Ûªs Toni Bou poised to boost his already legendary status with an eleventh indoor title.

The final day of March looks set to be chronicled in the sport‰Ûªs history books with yet another entry for Toni Bou in an already lengthy list of honours. The Repsol Honda Team ace will dispute the fourth and final round of the FIM X-Trial and looks likely to seize an eleventh consecutive indoor title.

The last X-Trial outing this season will be battled out in Nice, France, where trial‰Ûªs elite get to lock horns for the final time to decide the outcome of the 2017 campaign. Toni Bou and Takahisa Fujinami line up for Repsol Honda Team in what is expected to be a final as closely fought as the previous three events in Barcelona, Wiener Neustadt and Marseille, where a triumphant Toni Bou ruled the roost in each round.

To clinch the title Toni Bou will need five points ‰ÛÒ something expected to happen around ten o‰Ûªclock in the evening. Making the cut for the final round will mathematically seal the championship title for the Repsol Honda Team rider.

Bou will have little time to prepare the event but can rely on the stamina acquired during a rigorous fitness programme started at the end of last season. The rider will be keen to pay close attention to the mechanical aspects of the Montesa Cota 4RT to maintain his decade-long domination in the discipline.

The world title remains the clear objective of Toni Bou who will be eager to round off the championship with a victory on the day too. Takahisa Fujinami‰Ûªs mission will be a place on the rostrum that has remained elusive so far this season. Sharing the podium alongside his team-mate would be the perfect way to wrap up the indoor season.

"We are now facing the final X-Trial of the season and are one step away from the season‰Ûªs objective," Bou said. "But our way of approaching this final date is the same as it has been up until now: hard work and concentration.

"We will have to do well in qualifying to be assured of the title. We have said all along that it is a very short championship and we need to be careful not to make any mistakes as the rivals are always right there. And certainly, not making any mistakes is what has given us such a chance to win the title and ride with a little bit more tranquillity in the final race in Nice. The concentration will continue to be fundamental to not throw away all the hard work that we have done up until now."

Main Photo: Toni Bou

FACTS AND FIGURES
  • There‰Ûªs only one Toni Bou. Over the last ten years the rider has worn this number one so many times in both indoor and outdoor competitions and the desire for another ten titles is still there.

  • 3 times the Palais NikkaÌøa in Nice has hosted the X-Trial competition: 2003, 2004 and 2013, the most recent time with a win for Toni Bou. In the previous two Bou had yet to debut in the indoor competition.

  • 3 TDN. Nice has also hosted the Trial de Nations Indoor, with the Spanish national team triumphant each time. Japan with Takahisa Fujinami has taken runner-up prize on two occasions.

  • 4th is Takahisa Fujinami‰Ûªs best finish to date in Nice.

  • 5 sections with a head-to-head to decide the starting order and a tie-breaker to decide any drawn results.

  • 8 riders are set to take part in Nice: Bou, Raga, Cabestany, Fajardo, Fujinami, Dabill, Kadlec and French wildcard entry Alex Ferrer.

  • 10 X-Trial world titles to date is the tally of Bou.

  • 74 X-Trials have been disputed by Toni Bou until now with a total of 51 victories achieved.

  • 200 kilometres separate the Palais des Sports in Marseille from the Palais NikkaÌøa in Nice, the hosts of the two final rounds of the X-Trial World Championship.

  • 22:10 is the scheduled time of the final. The qualifying round begins at 20:45.

  • 3130 followers on Twitter (@trialteamhrc) the quickest way to get up to date on the team.

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