Toni Bou - Repsol Montesa returned to his more familiar position as he won the second and final day of the opening round of the 2012 FIM Trial World Championship held in La Bresse, France.
Bou held his nerve on another low scoring day to see off lap one leader Jeroni Fajardo – Beta who would eventually finish as today’s runner up. A mistake early on the second lap meant Fajardo had to endure a drawn out tie-break decider with Albert Cabestany – Sherco to finally earn his second place after the Spanish pairing finished the event on fourteen marks apiece and could only being separated on overall time.
For the second day running it was an all Spanish podium, but this time day one winner, Adam Raga – Gas Gas was absent from the rostrum celebrations when he lost out on his own most cleans tie decider with Takahisa Fujinami - Repsol Montesa to be demoted to a damaging fifth spot. As a consequence of Raga’s poor showing today, Bou has now opened up a six point lead at the head of the general standings, whilst the next three riders in the series – all from Spain- are all only separated by a single point.
The organisers faced a difficult call this morning, whether to modify the sections or not in order to increase the severity. However, in the end only small changes were actually made as the predicted rain threatened to do its own damage, but with the anticipated storm never arriving, the riders faced another relatively low scoring day. Having been defeated yesterday, these were hardly the conditions Bou was hoping for as it was always going to be hard for him to create an advantage over his rivals, especially when he knew that one mistake could spell disaster as it did yesterday. The reigning champion responded well and absorbed the pressure to take his first victory of the season.
Alexandre Ferrer – Sherco continued his winning ways as he made it two wins from two starts in the Junior class to open up a healthy ten point lead in the general standings after just one round. Cedric Tempier – Sherco and Benoit Dagnicourt – Beta made it an all-French podium, as they finished second and third respectively on day two. Tempier now holds second spot in the series rankings following his fourth and second positions. Belgium Maxime Warenghien – Gas Gas was fourth today, whilst Pol Tarres – JotaGas from Spain was placed fifth. Tarres is now fourth in the championship points table, just one point behind his compatriot Francesc Moret –Montesa who could only manage sixth spot today.
Norway’s Sverre Lundevold – Beta was the surprise and runaway winner of the Youth class today. Ninth yesterday on his World debut, Lundevold produced an outstanding ride today to win by fifteen marks from his team mate Bradley Cox – Beta. French rider Steven Coquelin –Gas Gas leads the Youth standings after the opening two days of his home GP.
Although Coquelin could not repeat his first day win and only managed to take third place on day two, he holds a one point lead over Britain’s Cox who opened his 2012 campaign with two consistent runners up spots and in doing so declared himself a title challenger. Cox recorded the best lap of the Trial today, his two-mark loss on the second lap being a massive improvement on the thirty marks he dropped on his initial tour.
The next round of the 2012 series will see the FIM Trial World Championship visit Australia for the first time in its long history. This two-day event will take place at the end of May, giving the riders and teams a short break before they head south.