X-Trial

Report: Bilbao X-Trial World Championship 2019

Report: Bilbao X-Trial World Championship 2019

Toni Bou - World X Trial

Toni Bou (Repsol Honda) broke the 2019 X-Trial Championship deadlock between himself and arch-rival Adam Raga (TRS) last Saturday evening and restored his series lead in Bilbao after a fine victory in another close-fought Final between the Catalan duo.

The pair were locked together on points going into the round in northern Spain having earned a win and a second place each, Bou winning the opening round in Budapest and Raga striking back brilliantly in Barcelona.

And just as at X-Trial Barcelona two weeks ago, the winner was only determined in the final section, when the reigning and 12-times champion held on to a two-mark advantage over Adam Raga (TRRS) to secure his 59th career victory.

Raga ensured another close-fought night though and was on top form from the off, topping the standings in Round One and matching Bou´s efforts in Round Two to set-up another classic head to head. But Toni snatched the early lead in the Final, making it through the challenging second section with a clean after Raga had recorded a disappointing five as he sought to apply the pressure.

The margin was further extended in section four, putting Bou within touching distance of victory, although he then failed in his bid to secure the trophy with a section to spare, with a surprise section five, to set up a final-section showdown.

Still two marks clear though, Bou was left to hold his nerve to claim the win and with it the championship lead.

But while the top two were involved in their own, personal battle for supremacy, young French challenger Benoit Bincaz (Beta) put in one of the best rides of his career to date.

Bincaz finished the second round just two marks from a place in the Grand Final but secured his place on the podium in the Consolation Final with a sensational victory over local hero Jaime Busto (Gas Gas), who was disappointed to finish fourth on the night.

Busto’s Gas Gas team-mate Jeroni Fajardo drops behind him in the championship standings, having managed an underwhelming sixth-place finish.

Miquel Gelabert (Sherco) beat his countryman by a small margin after each had recorded three maximums in round two.

Gelabert continues to improve, though, having joined the series in Barcelona after being forced to miss the opening round in Budapest, Hungary, through an ankle injury.

Yet another teenage Spaniard, Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa) was the pick of the group of three eliminated in the opening round where they were the section-opening guinea pigs.

Italian Luca Petrella (Beta) and X-Trial debutant, Norwegian Sondre Haga (TRS) also bowed out in the preliminary phase in front of almost 5,000 spectators.

Haga discovered just how hard a task it is to break into X-Trial with four maximums from the five opening sections.

This youthful trio were effectively the sacrificial lambs, getting the action underway in the first of the three preliminary heats, but they all gained valuable experience in this extreme discipline.

Only the top two riders made it through the fourth of five sections on the opening encounter, Raga needing one while Bou managed a stunning clean.

Unfortunately no Brits either qualified for, or were invited to contest the Bilbao round.

The 2019 World X-Trial series cracks on with Round 4 in Granada, Spain, this Saturday, February 23.

Results: WORLD X-TRIAL – Round 3 Bilbao, Spain
Round 1
1 Adam Raga 2
2 Toni Bou 3
3 Jaime Busto 6
4 Jeroni Fajardo 7
5 Benoit Bincaz7
6 Miquel Gelabert 9
7 Gabriel Marcelli 12
8 Luca Petrella 15
9 Sondre Haga 21
Round 1 – Heat 1
1 Gabriel Marcelli 12
2 Luca Petrella 15
3 Sondre Haga 21
Round 1 – Heat 2
1 Jeroni Fajardo 7
2 Benoit Bincaz 7
3 Miquel Gelabert 9
Round 1 – Heat 3
1 Adam Raga 2
2 Toni Bou 3
3 Jaime Busto 6
Round 2 – Heat 1
1 Toni Bou 6
2 Jaime Busto 12
3 Miquel Gelabert 16
Round 2 – Heat 2
1 Adam Raga 6
2 Benoit Bincaz 8
3 Jeroni Fajardo 18
Runner-Up Final
1 Benoit Bincaz 5
2 Jaime Busto 11
Final
1 Toni Bou 7
2 Adam Raga 9
X-Trial Classification
1 Toni Bou (Final) 7
2 Adam Raga (Final) 9
3 Benoit Bincaz (R-Up Final) 5
4 Jaime Busto (R-Up Final) 11
5 Miquel Gelabert (Rd 2) 16
6 Jeroni Fajardo (Rd 2) 18
7 Gabriel Marcelli (Rd 1) 12
8 Luca Petrella (Rd 1) 15
9 Sondre Haga (Rd 1) 21
POINTS AFTER ROUND 3
1 Toni Bou (Esp Montesa) 55
2 Adam Raga (Esp TRRS) 50
3 Jaime Busto (Esp Gas Gas) 30
4 Jeroni Fajardo (Esp Gas Gas) 25
5 Benoit Bincaz (Fra Beta) 24
6 Miquel Gelabert (Esp Sherco) 10
7 Jorge Casales (Esp Vertigo) 6
8 Takahisa Fujinami (Jap Montesa) 5
9 Gabriel Marcelli (Esp Montesa) 3
10 James Dabill (GB Beta) 3
11 Luca Petrella (I Beta) 3
12 Sondre Haga (Nor TRRS) 1
13 Dan Peace (GB Sherco) 1