Toni Bou has a phenomenal twenty-four Trial World Championship titles -twelve indoor and twelve outdoor- but he is also passionate about roadracing, following MotoGP with interest and declaring himself a great admirer of Repsol riders Marc Márquez and Dani Pedrosa. He spoke about the pair ahead of the Aragon GP this weekend.
As a repsol honda team rider, during the year you attend several events with Marc Márquez and Dani Pedrosa. With your packed schedule, do you ever have time to watch their races?
“Yes, whenever I can I watch all the MotoGP races and I follow the Repsol Honda team. If I miss one because I’m away, I try to record it to watch when I get home, because I’m a big fan.”
Since when do you follow MotoGP? Who were your favorite riders?
“I’ve followed roadracing all my life. I’m passionate about anything with an engine. I was a fan of several riders, but right now I’d have to go with the most recent for my favourite, and that’s Marc [Márquez].”
Marc has a 67-point advantage with 6 races remaining. What do you think has been the key to him achieving this lead?
“The key to Marc’s success this year has been his consistency, not crashing, being competitive and finishing all of the races. If you can’t win, it’s best to place on the podium and that’s what Marc has done many times this year. That has been the key in such a tight season, and made him find a big lead over his rivals.”
How do you think he has to face this final stretch of the season?
“It’s tricky, because I imagine that he will want to rack up more victories. The priority has to be the championship and clinching the title; Once he has that, he can take more risks and crash as many times as he wants in search of winning races, but for now he has to continue in the same way. If he can win, then all the better, but if he doesn’t then he has to try to place as high up as possible -and for the moment he is doing very well.”
Did you watch the San Marino GP? What did you think of the performance of Marc and the two Ducati riders, and the many overtaking moves between Marc and Jorge?
“Yes, I watched it and I enjoyed it very much. I think the Ducati riders are in great form. When there are two riders on the same team at the front, that confirms that they have a very competitive bike. Marc rode a very intelligent race, fighting with Jorge [Lorenzo] for many laps. In the end, Lorenzo seemed to have something extra, but you could see that he was very close to the limit when he crashed. ‘Dovi’ had a great race and Marc was very smart. Hopefully there will be more races like this and Marc will finish in front.”
Since 2007, when you debuted with the Repsol Honda team, you have met Dani on numerous occasions. What would you highlight about his career?
“Many things; Above all, he is an amazing person. Whenever we have had the chance to get together, I have enjoyed some very good times with him. On track, Pedrosa is a great rider, with a technique like no other and when he has the bike where he needs it, he is unstoppable. His height and body have hindered him a little, because when the bike has a problem or it is hard to heat the tyre up, it is very difficult for him to fix it. However, with the technique that he has, he has managed to compensate for it for many years and mark an era in MotoGP.”
A few years ago you had the opportunity to ride Dani Pedrosa’s MotoGP bike. How do you remember the experience?
“It was an unforgettable experience. The feeling of speed and especially the braking stood out. I was very surprised; In addition to how well the bike rode. I had never taken a road bike out and I was able to get my knee down on the second or third corner. I got the feeling that it was a small machine for the power it has; I’m not very big and it was difficult to fit me on it. But without a doubt, I was very impressed by the acceleration and braking.”
Do you think that two sports as different as MotoGP and TrialGP have similar points? How would Toni Bou do in MotoGP? Do you think you would be competitive?
“All sports have things in common, especially with engines. Would I be competitive? That is very difficult to say; If I had the technique, then definitely, since my character is one hundred percent competitive and I would always fight to give my all. But I only rode a race bike once and it was Dani’s MotoGP machine. I experienced incredible sensations, but I was far from competitive. I would need a lot of time, but I think I could enjoy the sport.”
Your 24 titles at age 32 are a big milestone, but at 25 years old Marc has already taken 6 World Championships. How far do you think Marc can go?
“Marc has no limits; he himself doesn’t know how far he is able to go. He makes an incredible difference and has a plus point that others don’t have. It’s going to be hard for someone else to dominate the championship like Marc is doing. I don’t remember any rider who has achieved what he has. When he had the best bike, like in 2014, he destroyed his rivals. When he didn’t, it was incredible to see how he got past the others. He can win many titles and his limit will only be known in the future.”