After slipping to a shock defeat on the first day of the opening round of the 2022 Hertz FIM Trial World Championship, defending champion Toni Bou fired straight back to reclaim the top spot at round two – but the victory hung in the balance until the very last section of the final lap.
The rider who pushed him all the way to the end of day two of the TrialGP of Spain at L’Hospitalet de L’Infant was yesterday’s winner Jaime Busto who has started the season in the best form of his career.
With three sections made harder for all classes following yesterday’s event and the blazing Spanish sun beaming down all day, fitness and finesse were called for in equal measure.
At the age of 35, Bou is 11 years older than his fellow Spaniard and he needed to draw on all the experience of 15 years at the top to beat a rival who is displaying incredible maturity and the ability to soak up the pressure – and there was no shortage of pressure today with just one mark separating the winning pair after the full 24 sections.
Bou led Busto by one mark following the opening lap on a total of three but an early maximum on section two on the second lap when he momentarily stopped between two huge steps handed the younger man a four-point advantage which he briefly held before he incurred a five of his own on the rocky, near-vertical banks of section four.
The pair then slugged it out at the front through a super-tense final eight section with both adding a couple more marks to their totals with Bou ending on 10 to Busto’s 11.
“I’m very happy because today I felt much better than yesterday,” Bou said. “I felt more comfortable, but Jaime rode an incredible trial again today. We were both very good, we made very few mistakes and I was able to make the difference in section 4. If it hadn’t been for the fiasco that I had in section 2 on the second lap, I think it would have been a very complete race. Even so, we were stronger than yesterday and we were able to withstand the pressure. If I wanted to win, it was key to get it right in section 4 and, despite the pressure, I was able to do that. Jaime made things very difficult for us, he will be a great rival and Adam, even if it wasn’t his weekend, I’m sure he will be back and it will be a very tough championship.”
Just to underline their dominance, former champion Adam Raga was third on 32 and the veteran was 11 clear of fourth-placed Jorge Casales and 17 ahead of Gabriel Marcelli who completed the all-Spanish top five.
Next stop for the TrialGP World Championship will be next weekend, from the 18-19th of June, in another double-date event in Sant Julià de Lòria (Andorra).