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Toni Bou Claims Close-Fought Victory At X-Trial Chalon-sur-Saône

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Toni Bou extended his lead in the 2022 X-Trial World Championship with a triumph at Le Colisée, France.

Fans in the Colisée were treated to a night of high drama in the inaugural X-Trial Chalon-sur-Saône, as Toni Bou claimed victory over his closest rival Adam Raga by just a single mark.

Just as in Nice two weeks ago, the X-Trial was settled in the penultimate section, with Raga suffering his only blunder of the Final before Bou held his nerve to claim a second consecutive win with which he opened his title defense.

Bou’s surprise failure in section six meant that just a single mark separated him across the night from Raga, with whom he tied in each of the opening two runs. It was a landmark evening for Raga, as he matched Takahisa Fujinami’s record 139 X-Trial appearances and secured his fortieth consecutive podium.

The biggest shocks of the night were provided by the youngest rider in the field Toby Martyn who became Britain’s first podium finisher since James Dabill at X-Trial Montpellier four years ago. Martyn is the first rider to have lowered the colours of Toni Bou in 2022, snatching a bonus World Championship point by topping the Round One Standings as the only rider successfully through Section Two.

Matteo Grattarola remains third in the series Standings despite failing to back up his outstanding performance in Nice with another podium finish. The Italian left himself with too much work to do after finishing just sixth with a seventeen-mark opening run, behind both Jaime Busto and Sondre Haga.

Norwegian Haga finished a career-best fifth, as Wild Card Gabriel Marcelli and home hopeful Benoit Bincaz were shock eliminees in the opening round.

Adam Raga could not get much closer to the win but eventually, had to settle for second once again.

“It was a very demanding X-Trial and the win was far from straightforward,” Bou said. “I didn’t feel comfortable in the first round and made some mistakes, but I changed bikes for the Second Round and things went much better from there. The Final was very close until Section Five proved decisive. It’s a second consecutive win so it consolidates my Championship lead, but Adam is riding at a very high level and keeping up the pressure.”

Adam Raga was close but still satisfied, “I am very satisfied with my riding tonight because I was able to remain competitive, which being just a point in the end underlines. I made a few mistakes in the First Round but in general terms, I have put in a strong performance.”

For Toby Martyn it was high emotion with hos first podium, “I really don’t know what to say, I’m emotional now after managing my first podium in the X-Trial World Championship,” Martyn said. “I had a really great first lap which was the root of this success. I’d like to dedicate this result to everyone who helps me from day to day. I really feel like I’m on the ascendency and that I am making steps forward every time I ride.”

The X-Trial World Championship returns to the Spanish capital next weekend for the first X-Trial Madrid since 2012 and the first in a new venue for the series the Madrid Arena.

Toby Martyn took his first podium with third place.

Results X-TRIAL Chalon-sur-Saône 2022

Pos.RiderL1L2L3T3ChampTeamPoints 
1BOU Toni11270Repsol Honda Team7
2RAGA Adam11280TRRS Factory Team8
3MARTYN Toby98270TRRS Factory Team27
4GRATTAROLA Matteo1730Beta Factory Racing
5HAGA  Sondre 12140Beta Factory Racing14 
6BUSTO Jaime13140Vertigo Factory Team14 
7BINCAZ Benoit180Gas Gas Factory Team18
8MARCELLI Gabriel190Repsol Honda Team19

Rider Standings

Pos.RiderTeamPoints 
1BOU ToniRepsol Honda Team43
2RAGA AdamTRRS Factory Team30
3GRATTAROLA MatteoBeta Factory Racing21
4MARTYN TobyTRRS Factory Team17
5BUSTO JaimeVertigo Factory Team13
6HAGA  Sondre Beta Factory Racing8
7BINCAZ BenoitGas Gas Factory Team8
8MARCELLI GabrielRepsol Honda Team1
9COLAIRO  Téo Beta1

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