27/04/13 - FIM World Champ.: Motegi, JAP

Bou wins first day of Japanese Grand Prix

Reigning champion Toni Bou – Repsol Montesa picked up from where he left off last season by winning the opening day of the 2013 FIM Trial World Championship in convincing fashion. Bou’s winning margin on the first of two days of competition at the Japanese Grand Prix was twenty marks over second placed rider Adam Raga – Gas Gas. Riding under the new no-stop rules Bou once again confirmed his sheer supremacy in the slippery conditions that caught out all of the riders during the day. Albert Cabestany – Sherco struggled to match the leading duo, but still managed to snatch the last podium place away from home hero Takahisa Fujinami – Repsol Montesa who eventually ended up in fourth spot.

Despite suffering from severe sickness Jeroni Fajardo – Beta battled well to secure fifth position and pushed his team mate James Dabill –Beta into sixth place by a mere there marks as the British rider faded over the closing stages. Tomoyuki Ogawa – Honda was the best-placed ‘wild-card’ entrant in seventh position, as he finished five marks clear of Michael Brown – Gas Gas. Kenichi Kuroyama – Yamaha and Jack Challoner rounded out the top ten respectively on a day when everyone was adapting to the new rules.

Heavy rain late yesterday afternoon forced the local organisers to make several changes to the twelve sections that were plotted on the mainly wooded hillsides, which overlook the tarmac facility. Most of the hazards featured the customary array of carefully placed boulders that became increasingly slippery as the mud dragged onto their smooth surfaces, and this despite the drying effect of the sun overhead. Maintaining forward motion when grip was at a minimum was a real test even for the leading World Pro riders and took its toll on the totals by the time the third lap had been completed.

With a total of ten, Bou was five marks clear of Raga after the first lap, and further stretch his advantage with two following single digit lap scores, whilst at the same time even his nearest challengers were watching their own scores rise rather than fall. The unpredictable nature of the conditions was highlighted as Toni was caught out on each of his three tours, his failures being in a different section on each occasion. In truth this did little to dent Bou’s confidence as he marched on to his fifty-first GP win.

Although the conditions were very different to his native Spain Jorge Casales – Gas Gas used the opportunity of the opening event of the year to confirm himself as a real title contender by winning the Junior class, this being his first victory at this level. He recorded two strong closing laps to beat Pol Tarres – Sherco by seven marks, despite Tarres posting the best lap of the Trial on his final tour. Early class leader Jack Sheppard – Beta slipped back as the day went on, but he still was able to take his place on the last step of the podium four marks back from Tarres.

Matching Casales, Italian rider Pietro Petrangeli – Gas Gas also recorded his first ever win, his in the Youth class as he edged out Quentin Carles de Caudemberg – Beta by a single mark in what was a high scoring event for this category. Previously Petrangeli’s best result was fourth spot, which he achieved on three separate occasions, and thus he had never been a podium finisher prior to his maiden victory today. Kenny Thomas – Beta made it two French riders on the rostrum as he trailed his compatriot by seven marks after three tough laps for the youngsters. Akira Isogaya – Beta was the highest placed home rider in this division, with him claiming tenth position.

Photos and news by FIM press manager, Jake Miller

To know more about the application of the new rules, I mean the NON STOP, here are the opinion of Bou, according to a press release by Honda-Montesa:

“There’s nothing better than to begin the championship with a victory, which hasn’t been easy to achieve, as the zones were quite difficult, I risked a lot so as not to stop in the zones and things went well. To win in Honda’s home is always special, but this time I’d like to thank the team for the great work done on the new engine, which has worked very well in its debut in the outdoor world championship. I’m satisfied by the victory, but not so happy with the new regulations, which will make us all suffer this year. The officials have been strict here, as they should be, but it’s evident that it will be impossible to judge each doubtful situation equally so as to be fair with everyone. There have been complaints and I’m sure that this is going to complicate the championship”.


Come avevamo previsto Bou può vincere con il Non Stop così come con il vecchio regolamento. Tre giri di 12 zone, regola nuova di quest'anno (l'organizzatore che puo' scegliere fra 2 giri con 18-20 zone o tre con 12-15) e Bou in testa dall'inizio alla fine. Venti punti in più per Raga, secondo davanti a Cabestany. Grattarola finisce al 13° posto in una classe "ricca" di 20 piloti.

Grande Petrangeli vincitore nella Youth con Giarba al quarto posto. Completa la spedizione italiana Fioletti, 14°. Sarà una classe dove gli azzurri non mancheranno di farsi onore.

Nella Junior il livello è molto alto ed i nostri dovranno lavorare molto per combattere con i primi. Tutti a punti comunque: da Poli (11), Saleri(12),Cabrini(13) e Locca(15).

Dalla voce di Toni Bou secondo comunicato stampa della Honda-Montesa (che trovate in fondo):

"Non c'è niente di meglio che iniziare il campionato con una vittoria, ma non è stato così facile perchè le zone erano veramente difficili. Ho richiato molto a non fermarmi nelle zone, ma mi è andata bene. Vincere a casa dell'Honda è sempre speciale, ma stavolta devo ringraziare il team per il grande lavoto fatto sul nuovo motore, che ha funzionato molto bene già al suo debutto di oggi. Sono soddisfatto della vittoria, ma non contento del nuovo regolamento, che farà soffrire tutti quest'anno. I giudici qui sono molto severi, come dovrebbe essere, ma è evidente che sarà impossibile giudicare ogni situazione dubbia in modo uniforme ed essere imparziali con tutti. Ci sono state delle proteste e sono sicuro ci complicheremo la vita nel campionato."


1. Toni Bou
2. Adam Raga
3. Albert Cabestany
4. Takahisa Fujinami
5. Jeroni Fajardo
6. James Dabill
7. Tomoyuchi Ogawa
8. Michael Brown
9. Kenichi Kuroyama
10. Jack Challoner
11. Fumitaka Nozaki
12. Alexandre Ferrer
13. Matteo Grattarola
14. Yoshiaki Nomoto
15. Dani Oliveras
18. Pere Borellas
19. Akio Saito


press releases ---- comunicati stampa