Bou unbeatable in Chalon-Sur-Sa˘ne


March 15, 2024
by Pere Flores @Perflo135 / FIM X-Trial Journalist

Bou unbeatable in Chalon-Sur-Sa˘ne

The reigning World Champion is yet to drop a point in 2024 after his second Round win

Toni Bou (Repsol Honda Trial Team) schooled his rivals yet again at Round Two of the X-Trial World Championship, claiming victory at X-Trial Chalon-Sur-Saône with a dominant display.  On top of his game, the 17-times World Champion took Round One with just a single mark on his account, cleaned his second run and went through the Final without suffering a single fiasco.  Bou finished the night with a ten-mark winning margin, just as at the season opening X-Trial Barcelona six weeks ago.  But this time his closest rival was teammate Gabriel Marcelli, Jaime Busto (GasGas) five marks further back in third.  

Bou took the lead of the Final from Section Two where he posted back-to-back cleans and each of his rivals posted two marks.  Busto held second at that stage but collapsed with four consecutive failures, while Marcelli moved into second and kept up the pressure on Bou until his victory was assured in the penultimate section.  All that remained was for the Championship leader to put the finishing touches to his latest success as the only rider successfully through the biggest step of the night in Section Six.  

Behind the series’ top three, Toby Martyn (Montesa) missed out on a place in the Final as a result of a costly Section Five failure in Round One.  But the Brit took fourth after the nine qualifying sections by a single mark over Benoit Bincaz (Sherco), the pair’s performances in the very first Section of the night separating them.  Meanwhile Adam Raga (Sherco) suffered another evening to forget, one of only two riders to fail two sections or more in Round One ruling him out of podium contention.  In fact Raga snatched sixth only after a dramatic fall from grace for Matteo Grattarola (Beta) who, after finishing Round One just three marks from the eventual finalists, came apart with what appeared to be a mechanical problem in Round Two.  Hugo Dufrese rounded out the participants with two successfully completed sections in only his second X-Trial appearance.  

Toni Bou (1st): “I am very happy because tonight I rode at a high level and was very close to perfection.  Even if my rivals were pretty close, I managed to score only one mark in nine qualifying sections.  And then in the Final I felt even better, and I was able to take a lead right from the start.  The team has done a great job and I am rightly proud of them”  

Gabriel Marcelli (2nd): “I am satisfied with this second place but above all with my riding.  I think I rode quite well despite the two mistakes in the last sections that ended my hopes of victory.  Anyway, the points for second place are still very good for the Championship.”  

Busto (3rd): “I rode very well in the first two Rounds but that all went to waste in the final when I failed Section Three.  That has left me with mixed feelings.  The positive side is to have remained on the podium.  But now I need to get back to work to do better next time.”  

The X-Trial World Championship remains in France for the third Round of the 2024 series in a week’s time, X-Trial Nice from the Palais Nikaïa on 22nd March.