Bou back on top in Geneva 12 years later

May 4, 2024
by Pere Flores @Perflo135 / FIM X-Trial Journalist

Bou back on top in Geneva 12 years later

The reigning World Champion extends his winning run after a demanding night in Switzerland

Toni Bou (Repsol Honda Trial Team) claimed his fourth consecutive victory of 2024, but in the closest Grand Final yet this season.  Only in the final Section was Bou able to confirm victory ahead of Gabriel Marcelli and Toby Martyn in an all-Montesa podium.  

Bou also conceded only his second Championship point with defeat in the opening Round to Marcelli, setting the tone for a challenging night.  A second-Round crash for the 17-times World Champion wasn’t enough to deprive him of top spot after the nine qualifying Sections, but it was enough to leave him with an injured shoulder that restricted his later rides and ultimately his winning margin to just four marks.  

Excellent performances in the challenging Section Three proved the basis for a strong night to Marcelli, giving him his first bonus point of the season in Round One, then bringing him back into contention in the Final.  But ultimately his failure in Section One proved too costly for him to really take the fight to Bou, who was already 8 marks ahead after just the opening two Sections.  

Toby Martyn secured the third podium of his career with an excellent Round Two display, seeing off Jaime Busto (GasGas) who was left to rue his three consecutive fiascos in Round One.  Busto’s early elimination for the first time this season sees him slip behind Marcelli to third in the Championship.  

Benoit Bincaz (Sherco) consolidated his place in the series’ top five, and therefore his qualification to X-Trial Andorra la Vella in October, by beating Matteo Grattarola (Beta).  Just as in Chalon-Sur-Saône and Nice it was another miserable second run that ruined the Italian veteran’s night, as this time he went from only three marks behind the podium places to finish a disappointing seventh.  

That allowed Gaël Chatagno to claim an impressive scalp after his strong second Round on his and Electric Motion’s X-Trial debut with sixth.  Home rider Noé Pretalli (GasGas) completed the finishers, also on his debut.  

Toni Bou (1st): “It has been a tough one today and plenty has happened, but a win is the best reward.  In the first Round I misunderstood the rules in Section Four.  Then I dominated Round Two until I rushed a bit in the last Section and hurt my shoulder in a crash.  That meant I never really felt comfortable in the Final even if I started very well.  I am happier with the result than my riding: four wins out of four so far and winning here in Geneva as I did when we last visited twelve years ago.”  

Gabriel Marcelli (2nd): “This is a great result and I have to enjoy it.  I rode at a very high level in Round One which gave me the bonus point.  Then I was second in Round Two and in the Final.  In the end a mistake in Section One left me too far from the fight for the win.  But it has been a great night and these are good points for the Championship.”  

Toby Martyn (3rd): “I am happy to be back on the podium at World Championship level.  We have really worked hard this season so far, so this is a great reward.  The course was very demanding in all of the Rounds but especially the Final, but the important thing is the result.”  

The FIM X-Trial World Championship now heads into its summer break before returning for X-Trial Andorra la Vella on 5th October.