The 2020 FIM X-Trial World Championship hits round five out of seven in Bilbao, Spain, this Saturday, February 15, and Brit Toby Martyn gets his second chance to go up against the world’s best as one of the invited ‘event’ riders.
Toby rode Beta when he finished last in Rennes, France, before Christmas but has been on fire since a late switch to TRRS machinery and the Cornish teenager was the toast of the Sheffield Indoor where he finished a superb fourth.
Toby joins Jeroni Fajardo (Sherco) and Jorge Casales (GasGas) to take on the five, series contracted riders who are of course Toni Bou (Repsol Honda), Adam Raga (TRRS), Jaime Busto (Vertigo), Benoit Bincaz (Beta) and teenager Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa).
Vertigo’s Jaime Busto targets top spot as he returns to the venue, just 20 KM from his birthplace in Gorliz. Says Busto, “I am really looking forward to riding in front of my family, friends and countrymen because, for me, it’s extra motivation rather than additional pressure.
Last year I finished fourth, but on Saturday I want to be as high as possible on the podium. I arrive third in the World Championship behind Bou and Raga and the idea is to consolidate this position.”
Of the eight riders who line up in Bilbao, six have already made it onto the podium. Reigning and 13-times World Champion Toni Bou and persistent rival Adam Raga are the only men to have done so in every round, and they lead by a comfortable margin arriving in the Basque Country.
Their rivalry has been as competitive as ever, Bou under real pressure in the first two X-Trials of the 2020 calendar year, which both went down to the final section.
X-Trial Budapest star Marcelli and Bilbao event riding duo Fajardo and Casales will also be hoping to get back onto the box.
Casales earned automatic qualification for the season’s fifth round with a podium last time out in Barcelona. X-Trial Bilbao will also be an important night for lone Frenchman Bincaz.
Having put in his best performance of the season so far in Barcelona, the Beta rider will be keen to maintain his form.
All British eyes will be on Toby though and TMX joins all our fans in wishing Toby all the best in what is, without doubt, the toughest form of trials.
A result of any kind here would be a superb boost for the British teenager.
X-Trial 2020 Standings (after four rounds)