Toni Bou Takes 2019 X-Trial World Championship
With a stunning victory in the Final at the 2019 Marseille X-Trail in the Palais des Sports on France’s Mediterranean coast, Repsol Honda Team’s Toni Bou won his 13th consecutive X-Trail World Championship. In a streak that began in 2007, Bou has won 25 FIM X-Trial (indoor) and Trial (outdoor) World Championships in a row—arguably the most amazing run in the history of motorsports.
“It’s been as demanding as it has enjoyable,” Bou said of the title-clinching victory at Marseille. “This was my first chance to claim the Championship, and I took it, even though it wasn´t easy. The sections meant we had to give our absolute best, and that meant the spectators enjoyed the show.”
Bou struggled in his Round 1 Heat, taking the maximum penalty of five points in three of the five sections. That put Bou in P4 after the first round. Things improved for Bou, as he won his Round 2 Heat, putting him into the Final against Jeroni Fajardo (Gas Gas Factory Team). It was Fajardo’s first Final since 2015.
Bou’s longtime rival Adam Raga (TRRS Factory Team) was relegated to the Runner-Up Final, as he missed out on the Final due to the overall time tiebreaker. Raga handly beat Miquel Gelabert (Sherco Factory Team) in the four-section Runner-Up Final, 7-11.
Fajardo had a fruitless Final, taking the maximum penalty in all six sections. Bou retaliated with a pair of cleans to end the night with 14 points to Fajardo’s 30, putting an exclamation point on Bou’s title.
“I’m really happy to be back in the Final and with second position,” Fajardo said. “but I just couldn´t keep up with Toni who took a well-deserved victory in the Final.”
With four wins in the first five of the six rounds, along with one P2 finish, Bou has amassed 95 points. Raga, who has finished in P3 the last two rounds, dropped 21 points behind Bou in the X-Trial standings with one round remaining With only 20 points on offer for a win, Bou clinches his 13th FIM X-Trail World Championship with the Andorra round remaining. The win is Bou’s 61st career X-Trial victory. Raga also nailed down the runner-up spot in the championship with a 25-point cushion over Jaime Busto (Gas Gas Factory Team).
“I’m super happy with the new title,” Bou said. “Today was a very hard trial with a very high level, which is what I like. I had a hard time getting into the event; I did not feel comfortable, maybe because of my nerves. Both in the first round and in the semi-finals, it was pretty tough for me. Finally, we managed to make it through to the Final—more by strategy rather than riding skills. The best way to get a title is with a victory, so I’m very happy about that.”
“I was keen to claim the title here,” Bou said, “and avoid being under pressure in X-Trial Andorra, where there were will already be enough expectation as it is my home race. Now I know that we will be there to celebrate, and I hope to win in front of my fans to finish the season. This 13th title has been more complicated than some of the others since my rivals have really pushed hard all season and I have never been able to relax. But I have gradually been improving and tonight has been the culmination of my hard work.”
2019 X-Trail World Championship Standings (after 5 of 6 rounds)
- Toni Bou, Montesa, 95 points (4 wins)*
- Adam Raga, TRRS, 74 (1 win)**
- Jamie Busto, Gas Gas, 49
- Jeroni Jajardo, Gas Gas, 46
- Benoit Bincaz, Beta, 39
- Miquel Gelabert, Sherco, 23
- Jorge Casales, Vertigo, 6
- Gabriel Marcelli, Montesa, 6
- Takahisa Fujinami, Montesa, 5
- Luca Petrella, Beta, 5
*clinched 2019 X-Trial World Championship
**clinched 2019 X-Trial World Championship runner-up