Trial World Champion
Toni Bou was yesterday crowned Outdoor Trial World Champion for the fourth consecutive season, a prize which adds to his four Indoor World Champion titles won over the same period.
Since in 2007 this 20 year-old from Barcelona was signed up by the Repsol Montesa Honda team, his command over the world of balance on two wheels has been incredible.
Seven wins out of the ten events contested, an overwhelming percentage. Can the bar be raised any higher?
"It´s very difficult, even more so with the new regulation. The truth is that it's very hard to maintain this consistency because winning means you have to ride the zones first at the next event which makes it more difficult to win again but, we've had a really good season".
Has there been any time when you thought your dominance might be in danger?
"Yes because, as I said, the fact of winning and knowing that you have to go out first at the next race adds a lot of pressure. Most of all in Portugal where I finished fourth, and could have ended up further back. The other riders caught up on points but we stayed confident without doubting the team or ourselves and we managed a great season".
Fourth consecutive World Championship, eighth if we include the Indoor World Championships. Where's the ceiling for Toni Bou?
"I don't know because we are working really hard, putting in a lot of effort every year and we all want to keep winning. I'm really happy with the team, with the bike and the intention is to keep up the standard of work year after year".
Do you feel you are strong enough to reach Lampkin's seven consecutive title record?
"The truth is that it's still some way off for us. To win four titles in a row is a lot and we are very happy to have achieved that. They are two very different times and we have to be proud of what we are doing. Obviously we would like more but we have to look year to year, race to race and keep working hard every day".
What did you think of the standard of your rivals?
They are of a very high standard, doing really good work and, although it's true that I have managed to win a lot of events, many times it's been by very few points. The truth is that with my team, we're very strong and we've had some good races but the others are very close and we can't sit back and relax".
What did you think of the rule change which makes the winner of one event go out first at the next?
"It's interesting and difficult to evaluate because sometimes it's been good and other times not so good. I've been the only one able to win events consecutively, going out first, but it's true that in races like Portugal, it was much more difficult. On the other hand, when I went out first, my rivals were quite far behind and I was able to make up a lot more points, so in some ways it's also been a positive thing".
Sometimes you have said that the level of difficulty of the trials is very low. How would you raise it?
"It's complicated because it's true that there are races which, at first, seem to be a difficult trial, like here in Italy, but then we are able to run it without incurring many penalty points. We are all riding at such a high level that it makes things very difficult for the organisers".
Your next goal?
"First I'm going on holiday. We've had a really good season, working a lot and now it's time to have a good rest because straight afterwards we'll be back at work to try to renew the Spanish Championship titles".