Bou opens the 2024 season with a dominant victory

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

Bou opens the 2024 season with a dominant victory

The reigning World Champion posted his 17th X-Trial Barcelona win in a demanding Final

Toni Bou (Repsol Honda Trial Team) recorded his 80th X-Trial victory by taking first blood in the 2024 season at his home Round.  Bou claimed maximum Championship points by topping every phase of the night’s competition and dominating in a challenging Grand Final ahead of Jaime Busto (GasGas) and Gabriel Marcelli (Repsol Honda Trial Team).  

The key to Bou’s success was an impressive series of rides mid-way through the Final, in which he posted just five marks in sections two, three and four, while his two rivals failed each and added fifteen marks to their scores.  

Busto put in a damage limitation exercise by taking second place thanks to a clean in Section One that also briefly gave him the lead.  From two marks down, Gabriel Marcelli could only recover one in the sixth and last Section so had to content himself with third.  But he had only just held on for a spot in the Final after dropping marks in Sections Two and Four of the second Round and was forced to complete Section Five in a startling 20-second effort to progress.   

Matteo Grattarola (Beta) only missed out on qualifying at the hands of Marcelli by a single mark after he posted the third-best score in Round Two; he climbed from fifth - despite opening the sections at the start of the night - to fourth at the expense of Adam Raga.  On his Sherco debut, the veteran 41-year-old made a costly error in Section One of Round Two that cost him a rostrum return.  

Toby Martyn (Montesa) saved his night with sixth place, despite having sat eighth and last following his first run with a failure in Section Five.  A much-improved display in Round Two moved the Brit past Benoit Bincaz (Sherco) and Aniol Gelabert.  Gelabert, in his first appearance under the roof of the Palau Sant Jordi, made a nervous start to his TRRS career and dropped into last place as the only rider to fail three Sections in Round Two.   

Toni Bou (1st): “I am really very satisfied with this victory because it is the best way to start my title defence and I did it by leading throughout.  The Final was very difficult as you would expect from a historic event like Barcelona.  I felt good right from the start of the night, and my only mistake was in the first Section of the Final.  But from the second to the fourth Section I built a lead to confirm the win.”  

Jaime Busto (2nd) “Second place is my best result at X-Trial Barcelona and I rode with a lot of confidence so I am pleased.  This second place shows how hard we are working and that we’re close to winning World Championship Rounds.”  

Gabriel Marcelli (3rd): “I am pleased with third place which continues my podium run from last season.  It was a shame not to be able to repeat my second place from last year here in Barcelona, but perhaps I let the pressure of chasing my first win get to me.  This third place though is very important.”  

Berta Abellán (Scorpa) won the fourth edition of the Barcelona Women’s Trophy ahead of three-times winner Emma Bristow (Sherco) and Italy’s Andrea Sofia Rabino (Beta).  

The second X-Trial World Championship Round is X-Trial Chalon-Sur-Saône which takes place on 15th March.