Trials

Perfect End To The TrialGP Season For 2023 World Champion Toni Bou

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Toni Bou at the 2023 TrialGP of France after locking up his 17th World Championship.
The top three at the final round were also the top three in the championship. Jaime Busto (L), Toni Bou (C) and Gabriel Marcelli.

The 2023 Hertz FIM Trial World Championship came to its conclusion at Vertolaye where day two of the TrialGP of France saw newly crowned World Champion Toni Bou take the last victory of the season.

With an incredible seventeenth consecutive TrialGP title secured on Saturday, Toni Bou could afford to relax, but the most successful rider in the history of the sport signed off on top with a conclusive nine-mark victory over his season-long rival and fellow Spaniard Jaime Busto.

“It has been a perfect weekend for us, with the title yesterday and another victory today,” Bou reflected. “Jaime pushed us today and it was a fun race in which in the end we were able to get the win, so I ended up very happy. Now we are focused on winning the Nations Title, which is also important for us, and especially on the final stretch of the XTrial World Championship. I can’t wait to return to the indoor series, where we will try to fight for another title.”

Jaime Busto at the 2023 TrialGP of France.
Jaime Busto put the finishing touches to his highly successful 2023 TrialGP campaign with a pair of second-place finishes at the TrialGP of France for second in the championship. Photo: Futre7Media

Powering his way up, down and around the steep and rocky hillside where the majority of sections were plotted, the thirty-six-year-old led at the halfway stage on twelve with Busto best of the rest a further six adrift.

Even with his second lap total of sixteen – including a maximum on the final section and a single time penalty – Bou finished nine marks clear of Jaime Busto to claim his eighth consecutive win of the season.

With his championship hopes over, Busto was more relaxed on day two and as he has done all season, continued to pressurise Bou. Although he was ultimately unable to add to his record of three victories in 2023, another second-placed finish – his 13th podium from 14 starts this year – saw him end the championship a clear second in the final standings.

“I am really happy because this weekend I was feeling at one with the bike and was able to put in two good performances,” Busto said. “I tried to push Toni hard, but he wasn’t fading or throwing away any marks. In the end I got two second place results, which is fine and I have finished second in the championship. I am happy with this year. It was a new team and new bike for me so in some ways, I wasn’t expecting such good results so quickly. To be able to get some wins and put pressure on Toni is incredible for me and I can’t thank the team enough. I am now going to train hard and I think next year is looking very positive.”

Gabriel Marcelli at the 2023 TrialGP of France.
 Gabriel Marcelli closed out the podium to secure third place in the 2023 championship.

Matching his performance yesterday, Bou’s compatriot and team-mate Gabriel Marcelli was thirteen behind Busto to secure third in the championship with Italy’s Matteo Grattarola one mark adrift in fourth and Miquel Gelabert a further mark behind in fifth.

“We took third in the championship and also two podiums in the races on Saturday and Sunday. I think it has been a great weekend and we are really happy,” third-placed Marcelli reflected. “The goal for the season has been achieved, so now it’s time to recharge our batteries and take another step next year. The most positive thing about this season has been how the entire team have supported me and helped me in moments that have not been easy. I have felt their support every day and in every race. They have also been giving 110%, and that has been reflected in the results, so I want to thank all of them.”

While that concludes the 2023 Hertz FIM Trial World Championship, the outdoor season does not end until the Trial des Nations at Auron in France on 8-10 September.

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