Toni Bou came from behind with a champion’s performance to secure his first double win of the 2023 Hertz FIM Trial World Championship on the second day of round four of the series – the TrialGP of San Marino – at Baldasserona.
As the series passed the halfway mark in the land-locked microstate, the reigning champion’s performance could very appropriately prove to be a pivotal moment in the championship and the Spaniard now leads his compatriot and main challenger Jaime Busto by eight points with three rounds and six scoring days to go.
Torrential overnight rain added more water to what at this time of the year is usually a dry riverbed where the sections were plotted and the combination of huge smooth boulders and lots of mud ensured that grip was very hard to find.
Following a tough day yesterday when he slipped to third, Busto looked to be back to his brilliant best in the morning and the twenty-six-year-old led on twenty-one at the halfway point with Bou a full nine marks behind and tied for second with Italy’s Matteo Grattarola.
Section two provided the first major test of the day with its exit over a huge undercut step from almost zero run-up catching out everyone apart from Busto on the opening lap. However, second time around the leader could not match the sensational clean he produced at his first attempt and he added five to his score.
Bou’s fightback began here with an amazing faultless ride and for the rest of the lap the sixteen-time champion continued to pile the pressure on with the turning point coming at section ten where Busto incurred a maximum and Bou sailed through for a single mark to finally take a lead that he held to the end to win by two marks.
“Today we had great victory and I am very happy about the weekend,” Bou said. “The team worked well and I would like to thank them, because it has been incredible. On the first lap we made a lot of mistakes and it took us a long time to recover, but in the end we achieved our objective. We have to keep working because the title race is very tight. Now we have to improve on our mistakes to give everything in Andorra and get the best results possible.”
Grattarola’s remarkable return to form following his recent move back to Beta continued and he dug deep to claim his first podium of the season, twelve marks behind Busto and two ahead of Spain’s two-time champion Adam Raga with Aniol Gelabert taking fifth on a tie-break from yesterday’s runner-up Gabriel Marcelli.
With little time to rest, the action now shifts nine-hundred kilometres west for the TrialGP of Andorra next weekend (16-18 June).