Bou takes title with one final victory

2008-09-21 11:26
Toni Bou — Repsol Montesa HRC today took the win at his home round of the 2008 FIM SPEA Trial World Championship, the Spanish Grand Prix. In doing so, he secured his second World outdoor title in front of thousands of local fans. Team-mate Takahisa Fujinami — Repsol Montesa HRC was fourth in today's event and clinched third place in the championship, with Adam Raga — Gas Gas separating the two in the overall title standings.

The final round of the 2008 championship took place at the ParcMotor, a short drive from Barcelona and minutes from Bou's home-town. The partially constructed motor racing circuit hosted two main areas of sections, each climbing up narrow and extremely tricky gullies, which left the riders little room for error and promised to punish even the smallest mistake harshly. Thankfully, the threatened rain held off, since Friday night's downpour turned the venue into a mud-bath, but even in the twenty five degree heat, many of the sections proved to be both slippery and as a result, more difficult than many thought.

Once again, Bou was the class of the field on the first lap, looking completely at home on the rocky sections. He lost just three dabs on the first lap, on sections five, eleven and the live televised final section, to rack up just three marks on lap one. His nearest competitor was team-mate Fujinami, the Japanese rider starting well in what is now his adopted home round. He totalled fifteen marks on his first lap, with a single five on the final section, as he lost traction. Piling the pressure on was Raga, just a single mark behind Fujinami with a pair of fives on his first lap, racking up sixteen marks while emerging talent Jeroni Fajardo — Beta was a single mark behind Raga, on seventeen.

Despite cleaner rides all round for the second lap, Bou's second title looked closer with every section. He picked up seven marks this time around, compared with his three on the first lap to bring his total to ten for the day, clinching the trial win and his second world title; a fitting end to a season which has seen him dominate the sections from the first round.

Fujinami was resisting an impressive second round from Raga and was careful to keep the Spaniard at a disadvantage. However, he lost grip as he rushed to complete the final section of the trial and ended up picking up a five, which handed the second place to Raga. And to add insult to injury, Fajardo, who matched Raga's second lap score, also moved ahead of Fujinami to take the final space on the podium.

The result means that Bou was crowned 2008 FIM SPEA World Trial Champion immediately following the event podium, ensuring he will once again wear the coveted number one bib for next season. Fujinami was also awarded third place in the championship and therefore, will wear the number three bib for the second year. Montesa also sealed the Manufacturer's title, with a one hundred point margin over Gas Gas.

Bou - 1st : "Of course I'm very happy to win this event and my second World championship title here in Spain, on my home ground. Competing in front of the Spanish fans was a fantastic feeling and I am glad they saw a good trial. This has not been an easy season — there has been a lot of pressure to defend my title from last year and the riding has been very good. I have constantly been fighting with Adam and Fuji, who have been very strong and they did not let me relax for a moment. The last few rounds of the championship have been hard, as they have been the kind of events where you can make mistakes, but you can also recover if you do. I think that next year will be even harder, as the level of riding is so high now but of course, I will look forward to defending my title again."

Fujinami — 4th : "Not a perfect result for me, on the last round of the championship. I made a big mistake on the last section on the second lap and that gave away the advantage and any chance of the podium. I knew that I was very close the Jeroni and Adam and I was watching their scores around the lap as I was aiming for third or better. But on the last step of section fifteen, the TV section, I heard my minder call 'four seconds' and I panicked. I used too much gas and the rear wheel spun, losing traction and I slipped back, getting a five. Two fives already on that lap meant that I couldn't get to the podium. I'm not happy, as that's two events without a podium. Overall, I'm pleased with this year, as I have been close to Toni and Adam. I think next year will be different — I will be in the team with Toni but I want to be World champion again!"

Laia Sanz — Repsol Montesa HRC had a good weekend, also on her home event, She won the Woman's championship event on Saturday and as she has now won two of the three rounds, is assured of the title. This in turn translated into a determined ride in Sunday's Junior class, finishing tenth, but feeling much happier with her riding than for some time. "I am very happy with the riding this weekend. It was hard work though; the sections were very long and very physical and now, I am very tired. I am also pleased as the sections here did not suit my natural style, but I feel I rode them well, so this is an excellent way to finish the season for me."


RESULTS:

1. Toni Bou (SPA-Montesa), 10 ;
2. Adam Raga (SPA-Gas Gas), 26 ;
3. Jeroni Fajardo (SPA-Beta), 27 ;
4. Takahisa Fujinami (JPN-Montesa), 32 ;
5. Albert Cabestany (SPA-Sherco), 43 ;
6. Dougie Lampkin (GBR-Beta), 60 ;
7. Marc Freixa (SPA-Gas Gas), 81 ;
8. James Dabill (GBR-Montesa), 91 ;
9. Jordi Pascuet (SPA-Beta), 96 ;
10. Daniel Oliveras (SPA-Sherco), 98 ;
11. Loris Gubian (FRA-Sherco), 99 ;
12. Michael Brown (GBR-Beta), 101 ;
13. Daniele Maurino (ITA-Gas Gas), 126 ;
14. Nicolas Gontard (Fra-Gas Gas), 144

World Championship final positions ;
1. Bou, 225 ; 2. Raga, 208 ; 3. Fujinami, 183 ; 4. Fajardo, 142; 5. Cabestany, 133 ; 6. Lampkin, 130 ;
7. Freixa, 104 ; 8. Dabill, 98 ; 9. Brown, 72 ; 10. Oliveras, 65 ; 11. Maurino, 28 ; 12. Pascuet, 20 ;
13. Ogawa, 15 ; 14. Nozaki, 14 ; 15. Kuroyama, 14

Source: Honda Pro Image

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