Repsol Honda Team rider Toni Bou clinched victory today in Vendée, France in the opening round of the 2018 FIM X-Trial World Championship. The rider beat Jaime Busto in the final.
With barely a few weeks passed since the end of the 2017 campaign, the 2018 competition calendar got underway with the first trial of the FIM X-Trial World Championship in the French town of Vendée, where Repsol Honda Team ace Toni Bou rode to an overwhelming triumph, dominating every phase of the event.
In the first qualifying round, Bou laid down the gauntlet, collecting just a single penalty point in the six-section course, as the eleven-times champion sauntered through the relatively low-difficulty obstacles. The second phase of the competition, held in the Vendespace Sports Complex, saw Toni Bou included in a group with James Dabill and Benoît Bincaz, with only the top-finisher going through to the final. The Montesa Cota 4RT rider replicated the near perfect first lap to comfortably seal a place in the final.
The final turned out to be a face-off with former team-mate Jaime Busto, whose six points were no match for the incumbent champion who picked up a solitary penalty mark en route to victory.
The next round of the 2018 X-Trial World Championship will be held on Saturday January 13th in Montpellier, France.
RACE: 1st STANDINGS: 1st
We have started a new season and we knew that we would have a fight on our hands, especially when we saw how easy the sections were. Jaime pushed harder than we’d expected, putting in a very good lap and turning out to be a great rival. I think I made a few more mistakes and if things continue like this, the championship could turn out to be a hotly-disputed one. It is important to start with a victory and with good sensations. Now we will rest a bit and continue with the pre-season which we haven’t yet been able to do so far.
The rivals have shown that we cannot let anything slip and we will have to see if the sections get a bit more demanding in the future. I think that today’s podium will be seen again in many more of the upcoming events, hopefully with Toni at the top, although it won’t be easy.