Toni Bou wins his 10th consecutive X-Trial World Championship!
On Friday evening, in Marseille, Toni Bou continued to make a name for himself. With his third victory of the season in the fourth and last round of the X-Trial World Championship, the Repsol Honda rider won his 10th consecutive X-Trial. It is also his 19th World Champion title in this sport, counting both indoor and outdoor, over a decade in which he has broken all records and has become one of the most successful sportsmen in history.
Ten years of being the best in the world. How do you achieve something like that?
“It’s something incredible that I can’t even explain. I’m living the dream and I couldn’t be happier. I would have never thought I could reach this point. If I had pushed myself to get 19 consecutive titles, I would have never achieved it. This season we only had four races and in the first one I finished second and suffered a lot. From then on, we went all out to defend the title. These last three months felt very long, but once again we did a great job alongside the entire Repsol Honda Team.”
How has motorcycle trial changed over the past 10 years?
“The bikes evolve and our level gets higher every year. We have increasingly complicated rounds and every year we make the organizers’ jobs harder, because our levels keep improving. In Marseille we all finished with very few points and that’s one of the factors that show that the riders have been progressing and improving.”
And how have you, Toni Bou, changed?
“I hope I haven’t changed too much as a person, although I’m 10 years older. I have matured a lot as a rider and I’ve had to learn how to deal with pressure. Days like Friday aren’t fun and it’s hard to take because you can’t make mistakes. In a race with only five zones, a mistake in any of them can cost you a lot.”
In what way do you think you have contributed to the world of motorcycle trial?
“I always used many things I learned from bicycle trials, and, for example, I use my body a lot to push the bike. My riding is very physical and I think that has impacted many of the young riders that are arriving now, many also come from the bicycle world and also have a more physical style. They have a very high level and they are very precise riders.”
“We don’t have much time to rest”
Your life has revolved around trial since a very young age. What have you had to sacrifice? What have you missed?
“Naturally, as with all athletes, when you’re young you have to sacrifice a lot of things, but you do it because it’s worth it for you. In my case, the compensation has been all the success I’ve achieved, and everything I enjoy about being on my motorcycle and my daily routine. You lose a lot of time with your friends and family with all the trips and the competition, but that is made up for with other things.”
Which memory would you highlight from the past 10 years?
“The most special moment is clearly the first one, in Menorca in 2007, because it was the first World Championship. It was a very complicated championship and winning it for the first time made all the difference. I would also mention this last one, because I suffered a lot and we had to fight a lot. It was the first time I didn’t win the first race of the Indoor season, so being behind and having to recover was also a nice thing to experience.”
After 19 titles, you’re the favourite for the outdoor World Championship. Do you feel a lot of pressure to win your 20th title?
“We still need to go step by step. Having won the Indoor World Championship title gives me momentum. We don’t have much time to rest, because in two weeks we have the first outdoor round, but we’ll breathe a bit to recover, because they were three very hard months. Being only four races, which got more complicated due to the result of the first, I want to relax and start preparing well, because the rules are very different and it’s usually more difficult for me.”
A lot of trial riders have switched to enduro or even to the Dakar. Have you thought about trying another discipline?
“Not at the moment. Of course, I really like everything related to motorsports and, if I do something, I’d like to be competitive. But for now, what I like is the Trial and all the work that goes into it. Right now it’s difficult for me to think about anything else.”