Toni Bou raised X-Trial's all-time record with his seventeenth world title
Toni Bou claimed his latest FIM X-Trial World crown in the style of all great Champions, with a superb victory. X-Trial Madrid provided one of the most exciting Finals of 2023 so far, as Bou duelled to the very last with his teammate Gabriel Marcelli, with only two marks separating them at the end of the night.
Bou had to dig deep and come back from five marks down after a rare error in Section Two, while Marcelli started the night with a hat-trick of cleans to take control. Then it was Bou’s turn to hit back, stringing together three cleans of his own and pulling level when Marcelli suffered his first fiasco in Section Four.
On this second visit to the Madrid Arena, after the event’s re-launch in the capital last year, the stage was set for a dramatic finish and the sport’s stars didn’t disappoint, providing a Final only decided in the last half metre of the final section. Bou was first through, only just home with a three-mark score. Marcelli, needing at least to match him to keep alive his hopes of a first career victory, dropped an early mark and then failed at the final hurdle.
Thus it was a near-perfect night for the Repsol Honda Trial Team, with this 1-2 finish and a first maximum of the season for Toni Bou, who also settled his 17th world title as his only remaining rival Jaime Busto failed to make the podium for the first time this season. It was Great Britain’s Toby Martyn who claimed Busto’s scalp for only his second trip to the rostrum, and one which completed an all-Montesa top trio in Madrid.
A disastrous first lap for Adam Raga (TRRS) with three failed sections meant that even though he tied with Toni Bou for top spot in Round Two he could only recover enough marks to claim fifth. Aniol Gelabert (Beta) sat five clear of Raga at the half way mark in qualifying, but with the veteran’s outstanding second run Gelabert was forced to settle for sixth. Meanwhile Benoit Bincaz (Sherco) beat Matteo Grattarola (Beta) and Sondre Haga (GasGas) in the final three places.
Toni Bou (1st): “It has been a fantastic night because along with Gabri we have made it a spectacular Final, and for me because of winning all three Rounds tonight and winning another X-Trial World Championship title in the best possible way. I am a very competitive person and I was really keen to make sure I won on the night, and even more so when it got tough because of my mistake in the second Section. That result and a superb performance from my teammate meant we were fighting right to the finish.”
Gabriel Marcelli (2nd): “I had the chance to win right to the final metre of the last Section, so it was a great Final. And it has been a perfect night for the team, with a 1-2 finish and Toni’s world title. For me, being consistently on the podium, with three second places now, shows the step forward I have made this season.”
Toby Martyn (3rd): “I am really happy and almost speechless. I have been very consistent throughout the night and my reward is a second X-Trial podium. Of course I have worked hard and we also made some changes on the bike that have worked well. A great night for me.”
The seventh and final stage of this 2023 season, X-Trial Vendée, rounds out the season in a week’s time on 11th November.