Toni Bou: “I never dreamed of getting this far”

6 minutes

Toni Bou became a 13-time X-Trial World Champion this past Saturday

Toni Bou levantando trofeo
Toni Bou: “I never dreamed of getting this far”

After taking four victories and a second position from five races, Toni Bou earned yet another X-Trial title this past weekend. Since joining the Repsol Honda team in 2007, the Spaniard has won every edition of the indoor series -in addition to 12 outdoor titles.

[Question] What do you think about these 25 titles?

[Answer] Winning a 25th World Championship is incredible and I never dreamed of getting this far. We are very happy and proud of the work we have done, because it has been a very hard year due to injuries, the difficulty of each round and the level of competition. It hasn’t been easy to achieve the results we have.

[Q] Are you aware that this means 25 titles in the year Repsol and Honda celebrate 25 years together in the MotoGP World Championship?

[A] Yes! I was lucky enough to be present at the 25th anniversary celebrations for Repsol and Honda. It’s a very nice number, so I’m very proud that luck has made this anniversary coincide with my 25th title.

[Q] There have been some very even rounds, but you have achieved four victories and a second position. What has been the key this year?

[A] I think consistency; I have always been competitive and reached every final. The 5 point difference between first position -20- and second -15- is very noticeable.

Toni Bou en prueba indoor
Toni Bou en prueba indoor

[Q] Did you start the season with doubts due to injuries?

[A] When you’re not feeling good physically, it’s always complicated. I couldn’t do preseason as I wanted and in Barcelona I picked up a small injury that made me lose a bit of fitness. That also affects your confidence a bit and made it a tough year, but in terms of results, except for the Barcelona race – in which we fought until the last zone – things have been very good.

[Q] In Barcelona you took a knock to your back and in Marseille you also had some crashes. Have victories come at more of a price this year?

[A] Yes. Each year it gets more difficult. The zones become more demanding -especially in the final- and I have crashed several times. I suppose that not being one hundred percent fit meant that I wasn’t so agile, meaning it is harder to avoid damage when you fall.

It’s a circle, because when you have an injury it is easier to suffer a relapse, and it is also harder to get through the zones. Now it is very important to recover well and enjoy this moment, because winning when you are not at one hundred percent is very difficult.

[Q] You’ve used strategy this time around, in addition to your riding.

[A] There hasn’t been another option. With these types of regulations, sometimes you have to use strategy. In this case it has worked for me. Although it’s also a matter of luck, because  in competition many things can happen at any round.

[Q] What do you think of the current format, with a first stage, semi-final and final?

[A] It’s always complicated for the riders, because there are so many stages and you need to keep at zero. The eliminations are head to head, not with all the riders in a group, and that makes it more difficult. We understand that it can be better for the show, but it’s something that will depend on the fans.

We should ask them, assess their views, and see if it is good for the sport, although I personally believe that the show can also be created in other ways and it is not easy to say.

The obsession to get better every day and never wanting to lose, that’s what allows you to be at the top for so many years.

[Q] Did you watch the Qatar Grand Prix? What did you think of the first MotoGP race of the season?

[A] Yes, I saw it. I am a big fan of MotoGP, and especially of the Repsol Honda Team, and I enjoyed the race a lot. It was very exciting, because it seemed that everyone could ride within the same second and that makes us think that it will be a very close year.

[Q] Would you like a Trial GP in Qatar? To which countries would you like to go to compete?

[A] I would like it very much. It’s a different country and it would be great to compete there, because that’s where the MotoGP World Championship starts. I would also like to ride in South America again, in places like Brazil or Argentina; they are beautiful countries where I have already ridden and to which I would love to return.

[Q] What do you think we can expect from Marc Márquez and Jorge Lorenzo this season?

[A] From Marc, we can expect anything and everything. He is an incredible rider and, as young as he is, he is already a legend. I’m sure he’ll have a chance to win almost every race and he’s going to give us a lot of enjoyment.

Jorge is more of an unknown, because he is a great rider and we need to see how he adapts to the Honda, after a preseason hindered by injury. I’m sure we are going to see some very good duels and they are going to form a super team.

[Q] Marc Márquez, Leo Messi and Toni Bou. What do you think is the secret that makes such a difference between the three of you and your rivals?

[A] Both Leo Messi and Marc are one-offs and I am delighted to be compared to them. I would say that the talent we have had since childhood and the passion for what we do are the characteristics that all three of us share. The obsession to get better every day and never wanting to lose, that’s what allows you to be at the top for so many years.

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