Defending World Champion Toni Bou was back to his dominant, brilliant best on the opening day of action at the TrialGP of Germany – round three of the 2022 Hertz FIM Trial World Championship.
The sublime Spaniard hasn’t had it all his own way so far this season and has been beaten twice but there was no doubting who was in charge as the series visited the country for the first time since 2016.
Slick organisation and a big turn-out of fans at Neunkirchen made for a great atmosphere as the best trial riders on the planet went to work. With a 50-50 split between indoor-style sections in the paddock and hazards plotted on a super-steep wooded hillside, massive rocks were the order of the day.
Toni Bou led from the get-go with his compatriot Jeroni Fajardo exerting early pressure on the 15-time TrialGP champ. Despite three maximums, after the opening lap, Bou led on 16 with Fajardo four behind and Italy’s Matteo Grattarola next-best on 25.
Time and time again we’ve seen the 35-year-old up his game when it really matters and Bou was untouchable over the first 10 sections of lap two, parting with just three marks as he moved into an unassailable lead. In fact, he was so far ahead he could afford the luxury of maximums on the final two sections of the trial and still win by 10 marks with a final score of 29.
“I’m very happy with how the trial went today, from the beginning I felt comfortable with my riding,” Bou said. “We did a great job with the bike, although it’s true that we had some problems with sections with the big walls, where normally I don’t usually fail so much. We’ll try to fix it for tomorrow, even so, today we picked up a great win. The points we bagged today are very important towards the championship. Everything is very tight, in fact, Adam was sixth today, so we have to be very consistent and try to stay ahead.”
Winner of the opening day of the series in Spain, Jaime Busto matched Bou’s second-lap total to jump into the runner-up position on 39, five ahead of Grattarola who recorded his best finish of the season in third.
Jorge Fajardo was unable to maintain his form from earlier in the day and slipped to fourth on 45 including a single time penalty with Spain’s Miquel Gelabert completing the top five on 47.
The action resumes Sunday on day two.