Repsol Honda Team rider Toni Bou, with a masterful ride, secured victory today in Comblain-au-Pont in the fifth round of the TrialGP World Championship. Takahisa Fujinami, likewise rode an excellent trial to narrowly miss out on a repeat of last year’s podium by a single point.

It turned out to be a gruelling course for the fourth round of the top-tier trial competition. The sweltering heat proved to be the day’s main protagonist forcing both riders and minders alike to take on constant refreshment to hydrate themselves and avoid wilting before the two fifteen-section laps had been completed.

Toni Bou suffered on the hard terrain, the climbs and the slippery slabs of rock. There was barely a difference between the champ and Jeroni Fajardo throughout the entire trial, until the competition reached the final section of the last lap, where the Repsol Honda Team star was able to seal his fifth season victory. Bou hasn’t been off the top step of the podium since last year’s trial in Andorra. The win stretches the incumbent champion’s lead at the head of the overall standings and gives him a nineteen-point cushion over the nearest second place rival.

Japanese rider Takahisa Fujinami pulled off a spectacular fourth place, a mere point away from a place on the rostrum. Today “Fujigas” was the first top-flight rider to open the track this morning but nevertheless rode a noteworthy trial. Fujinami holds fourth spot in the overall rankings.

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The next trial world championship outing will take place in Portugal on 13th and 14th July, although prior to that Toni Bou has a date with the Spanish national championship in Pobladura de las Regueras, León.

Toni Bou


Today was a very tough race. It was very easy to fail but very difficult to recover. On the first lap we had Fajardo ahead who had a great trial, but on the second I was able to come back and put up with the pressure well. I was able to take the win in the final section in front of the spectators, which was very nice. Looking ahead to the championship, today has been a very important day to take things one step further. Congratulates also to Fujinami, who today also had a great ride opening the track.

Takahisa Fujinami


Today I fought a lot. When I opened the sections I did not know that so many riders were picking up so many penalties, so I was not aware of my position. On the second lap I went all out for it and finally I came very close to the podium. A pity but considering that I had opened the track, I am very happy with how I rode today. It was tough because of the heat, not only for me, but for the minders, the mechanics… so thank you very much to the whole team. We are motivated to continue.

Miquel Cirera

Team Manager

Today was a complicated trial. Toni had more difficulty than usual, but fought to the end as we are used to seeing and managed to win the event. Fujinami today was spectacular too. Opening the sections is not an easy task and he finished just off the podium, so very well done. I want to congratulate the whole team. Today they have all worked very hard and in very harsh conditions, either because of the terrain or because of the heat. We will continue to battle on towards the next date in two weeks time in Portugal.

Rider Standings

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team
1 BOU Toni 1 SPA 100 Repsol Honda Team
2 RAGA Adam 67 SPA 81 TRRS Factory Team
3 FAJARDO Jeroni 2 SPA 67 Gas Gas
4 FUJINAMI Takahisa 6 JPN 66 Repsol Honda Team
5 BUSTO Jaime 69 SPA 51 Vertigo Factory Team
6 DABILL James 22 GBR 50 Beta Factory Racing
7 KADLEC Franz 66 GER 43 TRRS Factory Team
8 CASALES Jorge 33 SPA 42 Vertigo Factory Team
9 BINCAZ Benoit 73 FRA 39 Beta Factory Racing
10 GELABERT Miquel 9 SPA 33 Sherco Factory Team
11 PRICE Jack 34 GBR 26 Gas Gas
12 PEACE Dan 38 GBR 14 Sherco Factory Team
13 FARRE Arnau 19 SPA 11 Team Jotagas
14 NOGUERA Oriol 13 SPA 10 Team Jotagas
15 KUROYAMA Kenichi 98 JPN 7 Yamaha Racing
16 RIVA  Andrea 96 ITA 6 TRRS Factory Team
17 NOZAKI Fumitaka 99 JPN 3 Yamaha Racing
18 OGAWA Tomoyuki 97 JPN 3 Honda

Photos: Honda Racing Corporation

Rugby league has its State of Origin, and the New Zealand motocross community has its own version of the “mate versus mate” showdown, the Battle of the Clubs.

This Saturday the Taupo Motorcycle Club will host the tenth annual Battle of the Clubs (BOTC) motocross, a fund-raiser to assist New Zealand’s three-rider national team to again enter the sport’s “Olympic Games of Motocross”, the annual Motocross of Nations (MXoN), this year being held at Assen, in The Netherlands, in late September.

Team New Zealand finished 17th overall out of 30 countries when the MXoN was staged in the United States last year, Bay of Plenty riders Cody Cooper and Rhys Carter and West Auckland’s Hamish Harwood waving the Kiwi flag at that 2018 event in Michigan.

But it’s very expensive to send a team of three riders, their bikes, mechanics and everything they need to compete to the other side of the world each year and, with this in mind, the Taupo club came up with a domestic equivalent of this great international event, the BOTC.

The annual fundraiser initiative has provided a significant financial boost to the Team New Zealand campaign each year since the inaugural BOTC was held in 2010.

The BOTC encourages some of the country’s most talented motocross riders to put aside their traditional rivalries and brand allegiances and instead join together and compete under provincial colours.

The club-based teams at the BOTC in Taupo will each comprise 10 competitors – four mini bike riders, three juniors and three senior riders – who will race bikes ranging in engine capacity from 50cc to 450cc.

Each contestant rides twice, with the three worst results to be discarded so that only 17 of the 20 results at the BOTC are counted in the final tally.

Racing this Saturday will again be at the popular Digger McEwen Motorcycle Park, on the outskirts of Taupo.

“We want to thank in advance the motorcycling community for their support,” said Taupo’s Bevan Weal, who will again co-manage the Kiwi team at the MXoN, working alongside New Plymouth’s Shayne King. “The BOTC is a huge part of our fundraising for the MXoN. It is an awesome way for all the riders around the country to be a part of getting Team New Zealand to the other side of the world.”

The Cambridge Motorcycle Club won the BOTC event for a record third consecutive time last year and they could again be one of the favourites to win this time too, with top national riders such as Jacob Steel, Reef Wheki and Carter Hanes set to wave the flag for them.

Mosgiel should be strong too, with Courtney Duncan, Sam Cuthbertson and Jack Symon included in their squad, while the Bay of Plenty Motorcycle Club entry includes respected riders Tyler Steiner, Darren Capill and national junior 125cc champion Madoc Dixon.

The Nelson Motorcycle Club will have national junior women’s champion Roma Edwards to fly their flag, while Christchurch has former national MX1 champion Justin McDonald, Tauranga has former world champion Ben Townley in its squad and Taranaki is boosted with multi-time former national champion Daryl Hurley on its roster.

Hurley and Townley have, on several occasions, represented New Zealand at the Motocross of Nations, including on two of the three occasions that New Zealand finished third overall at the event, Hurley in Belgium in 2001 and Townley in the UK in 2006.

More than $10,000 was raised at the event last season, that cash going towards New Zealand’s three-rider entry to the MXoN in the US last year, and it is hoped a similar amount will be raised this weekend.

Words and Photo by Andy McGechan


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Photos: Husqvarna Motorcycles Press

A historic day at the tenth round of the MXGP World Championship in Teutschenthal, Germany, saw the Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP team celebrate nine podium finishes with both riders, Arnaud Tonus and Gautier Paulin, uncorking bottles of champagne atop the MXGP podium. It is the fourth time this season that YZ450F riders have made up two thirds of the premier class podium, and the duo are now tied on points for fourth in the Championship Standings, 1-point shy of Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Jeremy Seewer, who remains third after missing the podium by 1-point.

An explosive start to the opening MXGP race saw all four Yamaha YZ450F riders force their way into the top-7. Paulin had the initial advantage but was quickly passed by Seewer and Tonus as Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Romain Febvre railed around the outside of five riders on his way to sixth, from tenth position.

Up front, Seewer chased the Championship Leader Tim Gajser as Tonus, Paulin & Febvre engaged in an epic three-way battle for fourth. On lap four, Febvre switched up most of his lines in search a way past his French compatriot Paulin.

Seewer managed to retain second position despite a small fall when he ran into the back of Gajser. Unfortunately, he lost some time in the incident which allowed Julien Lieber to make a pass with 11-minutes left on the clock.

On Lap-9, Febvre out-dragged Paulin down a rutted straight for a place inside the top-five, while Tonus dramatically picked up the pace after Lieber crashed and made second position available.

The number ‘4’ reeled in his smooth riding Swiss compatriot and was able to capitalize on an error on the final lap to finish as the runner-up. Seewer, Febvre and Paulin rounded out the top-five in that order.

A frantic start to the second and final race saw Febvre crash at speed on the start straight while his teammate Seewer looped out at turn-two.

Tonus was quick to move into third position after a top-five start where he remained unchallenged for the entire 30-minute plus 2-lap duration of the race, while his teammate chased him around turn-one and had to dig deep to steal fourth position from Max Anstie on the final lap.

Seewer and Febvre were impressively resurgent. The ’91’ wasted little time clawing back a place inside the top-ten, and was able to finish a hard fought eighth, while Febvre put in an awe-inspiring charge from last position to finish 12th.

Seewer’s incredible race revival saw him miss the podium by 1 single point. He tied on points for fourth overall and has retained third in the Championship Standings. Tonus and Paulin are tied for fourth in the Championship Standings. The duo trails Seewer by 1-point, while Febvre has moved up to 11th after missing four rounds due to injury.

The next round of the MXGP World Championship will take place in Palembang, Indonesia, on the weekend of July 7th.

Arnaud Tonus

2nd MXGP Overall, 4th MXGP Championship Standings

“This weekend was a bit more challenging because I had a tough qualifying race yesterday, so I was pretty far out on the start and I had to dig deep going into the first corner, but I managed to be inside the top-five in both races. I had a good battle with the Yamaha riders in the first race, but I managed to pass Jeremy on the last lap when he made a mistake, and then I had another good race in Race 2 and was able to finish on the box for a fifth time. It was also amazing to have Gautier up on the podium with me. We have a great atmosphere inside the team, and this is a very special moment for us and the team. I am super happy for him.”

Gautier Paulin

3rd MXGP Overall, 5th MXGP Championship Standings

“I can’t thank the Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP Team enough. For the past few weeks it has been tough for me, I have been off the podium. I had a big crash in Portugal and then was unlucky in France and then met the ground again in Russia. Last weekend in Latvia, I felt more like myself, but I didn’t reach the points I wanted to, but the feeling was there and it was a good training. It was tough, I had to fight hard for this one, but I know and have known my entire career that nothing comes for free, so I fought and now I am here and it feels great.”

Jeremy Seewer

5th MXGP Overall, 3rd MXGP Championship Standings

“I had a really really good weekend. Now I am starting to pick up the flow right from the Time Practice. I missed the podium by 1-point even with a crash in Race 2, but I felt good all weekend. I was up there in the top-five and top-three all weekend. I fell in Race 2 and I fought really hard to come back through the pack really quick which takes a lot of energy especially on a tough track like this. I am happy with everything; I took good points which is the goal at the end of the day. I just want to keep collecting points and moving forward.”

Photos: Yamaha Racing Press

Repsol Honda Team rider Toni Bou stormed to victory with a fine performance in Zelhem in the fourth round of the TrialGP World Championship. Team-mate Takahisa Fujinami finished the trial in an excellent fourth position.

The course of this, the fourth round of the highest tier competition, proved to be a demanding one where it was easy to make mistakes in overly-easy sections. The Repsol Honda Team rider took control from the off-set and kept the field in check right until the very end where he earned top spot on the podium. With just one penalty picked up on the first lap – five points for time – and an error-free second lap, the Montesa Cota 4RT rider performed a near-flawless trial. Bou now has a sixteen-point advantage over the nearest second-placed rival at the head of the overall TrialGP world championship leader board.

Bou’s Repsol Honda Team companion, Japanese rider Takahisa Fujinami, took a brilliant fourth place in a trial very little suited to his riding style. The result takes ‘Fujigas’ to 53 points, where he continues to hold third overall place in the world championship overall standings. The Repsol Honda Team get no rest for now, as next weekend, 29th and 30th of June, sees the fifth round of the TrialGP campaign in Belgium.

Toni Bou  1


Today we were very clear that it was a day of endurance. At the start of the race, a small mistake would have put you behind, so we knew that it would be tough. We did as well as we could for such a trial. It was a pity about the time penalty on the first lap, since I had a good second lap with zero points. I am in a good moment of riding and physical fitness, so I am very happy. Also thanks to the team for all their work.

Takahisa Fujinami  6


The terrain and the sections that I found today were really difficult for me. There were many steps, many triples… and everything was quite dry. I started badly, but afterwards I recovered a lot. I am very happy with my riding today. This fourth position is very important for the general standings and we will try to get back on the podium next week, in Belgium.

Miquel Cirera

Team Manager

Today Toni had a great trial. It is never easy to win and especially today, which was so easy, which made everything very complicated. And for Fujinami it was like a victory, since it was a trial that, theoretically, was hard work because it was like an indoor event, so this fourth position for him is like a podium. They have been very good results towards the overall championship result. Next week we are in Belgium.

Rider Standings

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team
1 BOU Toni 1 SPA 80 Repsol Honda Team
2 RAGA Adam 67 SPA 66 TRRS Factory Team
3 FUJINAMI Takahisa 6 JPN 53 Repsol Honda Team
4 FAJARDO Jeroni 2 SPA 50 Gas Gas
5 DABILL James 22 GBR 42 Beta Factory Racing
6 BUSTO Jaime 69 SPA 40 Vertigo Factory Team
7 KADLEC Franz 66 GER 36 TRRS Factory Team
8 CASALES Jorge 33 SPA 32 Vertigo Factory Team
9 BINCAZ Benoit 73 FRA 30 Beta Factory Racing
10 GELABERT Miquel 9 SPA 27 Sherco Factory Team
11 PRICE Jack 34 GBR 23 Gas Gas
12 NOGUERA Oriol 13 SPA 10 Team Jotagas
13 PEACE Dan 38 GBR 10 Sherco Factory Team
14 KUROYAMA Kenichi 98 JPN 7 Yamaha Racing
15 RIVA  Andrea 96 ITA 6 TRRS Factory Team
16 FARRE Arnau 19 SPA 6 Team Jotagas
17 NOZAKI Fumitaka 99 JPN 3 Yamaha Racing
18 OGAWA Tomoyuki 97 JPN 3 Honda

Photos: Honda Racing Corporation