Bou clinches title in difficult conditions2009-09-13 11:24
Repsol Montesa on board his factory Cota 4RT secured his third successive SPEA FIM Trial World Championship, with a hard fought fourth place at the final round of the series. Heavy rain mid way through the French Grand Prix made the closing trial of the 2009 campaign a real lottery, as the once dry sections suddenly became incredibly slippery. Bou's team mate Takahisa Fujinami faired better in the changing conditions and finished as runner up to eventual winner Adam Raga — Gas Gas. This was enough for Fujinami to hold on to third in the series for the second year in a row. Jeroni Fajardo — Beta claimed the last podium place, as Bou finished off the podium for the first time this season.
The popular French ski resort of Isola 2000, located high in the mountains approximately ninety kilometres north of the costal city of Nice provided the perfect setting for the climax of the 2009 series. Sitting at two thousand metres above sea level, the venue offered a good variety of typical alpine terrain. A mixture of boulder-strewn streams and steep dry rock outcrops created the basis of the sections, which in the majority were both flowing and natural in style. Such was the extent of the terrain, four events of a similar kind could have been run in the area without ever using the same piece of ground twice.
The threat of rain was always there, but with clear blue skies opening the day, the riders were perhaps lulled into a false sense of security as they made relatively light work of the opening hazards. It was veteran campaigner Dougie Lampkin — Beta, riding with an injured wrist who made the early running and only a failure in the penultimate section on the opening lap prevented him heading the mid point standings. Whilst best on observation, with just four marks Fujinami slotted in behind Raga at the halfway stage as three time penalties added heavily to his score. Four stroke mounted Bou also fell foul of the time clock and found himself down in joint fourth place after the first lap despite riding with no real pressure.
Raga was long gone by the rain finally arrived, and only had two sections to ride in the worsening conditions, which was considerably less than his main rivals had to endure, as the skies continued to darken further overhead. Raga's loss of a mere two marks for his second lap was always going to be impossible to beat, and has to be congratulated for his foresight. Both Fujinami and Bou battled on, but back to back fives in section thirteen and fourteen meant that Toni would take his third outdoor World title with his worst result of the year. Takahisa riding his factory Cota 4RT remained calm in the difficult circumstances to come home second, as the Montesa duo once again took two out of the top three places in the final standings and in doing so also secured the manufacturers title too.
Fujinami - 2nd : "Overall I am happy, as I made some really nice riding during the first lap, and without the time problems I should have been leading. The second lap was a real fight and when the rain was at its worst I was in section nine. I made a nice clean here, but then in the next section I made a five as it was too slippery. My condition has been good today, and I think I was very strong mentally when the rain came. Third in the championship is OK, especially as I was forced to retire for the first time in my career on the first day of the British GP. Anyway despite this I still had a good advantage of fourth place in the series."
Bou — 4th : "This is not the perfect way for me to win the title, it feels a bit strange as obviously I am very happy to have won the championship, but I can not be happy with my performance today. I made two very big mistakes in sections thirteen and fourteen on lap two and these put me off the podium. Anyway it is not just about today, as my bike has been working well all the year and my team has worked incredibly hard every week to give me this great opportunity. I want to say a big thank you to them all. After the Trial Des Nations next weekend, I will make a small party and will enjoy a short rest before I begin preparing for next season."
Laia Sanz — Repsol Montesa HRC enjoyed a contrasting two days at the French event. On Saturday she claimed her second win in the ladies series and in doing so netted her ninth FIM Women's Trial World Championship, with the best two out of three rounds counting towards the overall title. Whilst she can go to the final round in Italy next weekend in a relaxed mood, her celebrations were cut short as she finished down in fifteenth position in the Junior class today amongst her male counterparts.
Rider: Antonio Bou - Spain.
Team : Montesa Honda.
Race machine : Cota RT4
Racing number : 1
Date of birth : October 17, 1986.
Birthplace : Barcelona.
First race : 1999 February.
First race win : 1999 February.
World Trials debut : 2003. Ireland, Bangor.
First World Trials win : 2006. Spanish Grand Prix, Nigran.
Total World Trials wins : 26 outdoor, 2 x Beta — 24 x Montesa Honda — 14 x indoor.
Total World Trials podiums : 43 outdoor.
World titles : 6. 3 outdoor 2007, 2008, 2009 - 3 indoor 2007, 2008, 2009.
Career highlights — Antonio Bou
1999 : Catalan Cadet Trials Champion
2000 : Spanish Junior Trials Championship
2001 : Spanish Junior Trials Champion
2002 : Spanish Outdoor Trials Championship
2003 : 13th World Outdoor Trials Championship
2003 : European Outdoor Trials Champion
2004 : 9th World Outdoor Trials Championship
2005 : 5th World Outdoor Trials Championship
2005 : 7th World Indoor Trials Championship
2006 : 5th World outdoor Trials Championship
2006 : 3rd World Indoor Trials Championship
2006 : Spanish Outdoor Trials Champion
2007 : World Trials Champion — Montesa Honda
2007 : World Indoor Trials Champion
2007 : 2nd Spanish Outdoor Trials Championship
2008 : World Trials Champion — Montesa Honda
2008 : World Indoor Trials Champion
2008 : 2nd Spanish Outdoor Trials Championship
2009 World Trials Champion — Montesa Honda
2009 : World Indoor Trials Champion
1. Adam Raga (SPA-Gas Gas), 7 ;
2. Takahisa Fujinami (JPN-Montesa), 18 ;
3. Jeroni Fajardo (SPA-Beta), 22 ;
4. Toni Bou (SPA-Montesa), 24 (20x0) ;
5. Albert Cabestany (SPA-Sherco), 24 (19x0) ;
6. Marc Freixa (SPA-Gas Gas), 31 ;
7. Dougie Lampkin (GBR-Beta), 34 ;
8. Loris Gubian (FRA-Gas Gas), 45 ;
9. Daniel Oliveras (SPA-Sherco), 49 ;
10. James Dabill (GBR-Gas Gas), 66 ;
11. Alexz Wigg (GBR-Beta), 68 ;
12. Michael Brown (GBR-Sherco), 80 ;
13. Nicolas Gontard (FRA-Gas Gas), 145
World Championship final positions ;
1. Bou, 200 ; 2. Raga, 188 ; 3. Fujinami, 147 ; 4. Fajardo, 136 ; 5. Cabestany, 128 ; 6. Lampkin, 118 ;
7. Dabill, 101 ; 8. Freixa, 96 ; 9. Gubian, 74 ; 10. Brown, 64 ; 11. Oliveras, 54 ; 12. Kuroyama, 16 ;
13. Himmanen, 15 ; 14. Wigg, 11 ; 15. Morris, 9
Source: Honda Pro Image
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