Toni Bou becomes the first leader of the 2019 TrialGP World Championship after achieving a notable victory in a trial made complicated by the delicate state of the competition terrain. Team-mate Takahisa Fujinami earned a well-deserved sixth position after displaying good form.

The opening of the FIM TrialGP World Championship was marked by rain which appeared intermittently throughout the weekend at the OffRoad Park in Pietramurata (Italy). The sections were muddy and required impeccable precision by riders to be able to salvage anything out of each section.

After qualifying yesterday, Toni Bou and Takahisa Fujinami were forced to practically open the track with virtually no reference points ahead. The opening trial, featuring fifteen sections over two laps, proved to be a tough affair. On lap one Toni Bou picked up several penalty points for two serious, yet surprising errors. The Champion did, nevertheless, hold onto the leadership through the opening lap. On lap two, the Repsol Honda Team rider dug deep to break away from the pack at the head of the leader board. Bou finished the day atop the podium, sporting a 28-point advantage over the nearest second placed rival.

Repsol Honda Team companion Takahisa Fujinami got off to a fine start in the outdoor season finishing in sixth position in spite of having been in the tussle for the top positions. However, errors in the latter stages of the trial left the Japanese rider without options of a rostrum place.

The next round of the TrialGP World Championship will be held at the Motegi circuit in Japan, with a double-day event. The qualifying round takes place on June 7th with the main events on 8th and 9th June.

 

Toni Bou  1

TRIAL: 1ST   STANDINGS: 1ST

I am very happy with my riding today. It is true that on the first lap I made two serious mistakes by pushing against two arrows. On the second I had a great ride picking up just four points in a very complicated trial where the terrain was very slippery. I wish to thank the whole team because they have worked very hard all winter to get us here in such strong shape.

 

Takahisa Fujinami  6

TRIAL: 6TH  STANDINGS: 6TH

The first lap of this trial in Italy went pretty badly but on the second one I was able to pull back a little bit and until section ten was in fourth position. In the final sections I made mistakes that made me drop to the sixth position. I am very happy with the bike. This season I have also worked a lot physically, so I feel good. Now, to fight for the next race in Japan.

Miquel Cirera

Team Manager

Today the terrain was really difficult, it was very slippery and it was very easy to make mistakes. Toni made many mistakes on the first round but for the second the spectacular Toni of always was back. He produced one of the best laps ever made in a world championship event. Meanwhile Takahisa Fujinami worked hard, on several occasion reaching his rivals at the top, but a sixth overall position at the start is not bad at all. It has been a fine start to the world championship, but we will continue working towards the next event in Japan.

Rider Standings

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team
1 BOU Toni 1 SPA 20 Repsol Honda Team
2 FAJARDO Jeroni 2 SPA 17 Gas Gas
3 RAGA Adam 67 SPA 15 TRRS Factory Team
4 BINCAZ Benoit 73 FRA 13 Beta Factory Racing
5 BUSTO Jaime 69 SPA 11 Vertigo Factory Team
6 FUJINAMI Takahisa 6 JPN 10 Repsol Honda Team
7 GELABERT Miquel 9 SPA 9 Sherco Factory Team
8 KADLEC Franz 66 GER 8 TRRS Factory Team
9 DABILL James 22 GBR 7 Beta Factory Racing
10 NOGUERA Oriol 13 SPA 6 Team Jotagas
11 PRICE Jack 34 GBR 5 Gas Gas
12 FARRE Arnau 19 SPA 4 Team Jotagas
13 CASALES Jorge 33 SPA 3 Vertigo Factory Team
14 PEACE Dan 38 GBR 2 Sherco Factory Team
15 RIVA  Andrea 96 ITA 1 TRRS Factory Team

Words and Photos: Honda Racing Corporation

Team HRC’s Tim Gajser made it two overall victories in a row, as he swept the MXGP of France in convincing one-one fashion. The Slovenian rider was made to work for both moto wins, but he proved all weekend that he was the fastest rider on the track and this speed shone through as he won his fourth consecutive race to close the gap at the top of the MXGP championship to just 10 points. For teammate Brian Bogers, he wasn’t able to put in the results that he wanted but now has a weekend off to try and build for the eighth round of the series in Orlyonok, Russia on June 8-9.

With confidence high after his double moto win in Portugal last weekend, Gajser knew that another good performance here would really get him right back into the championship battle. With the hard-pack surface suiting his skillset, he and his CRF450RW were fastest in every session on Saturday and then he backed that up on Sunday with two smooth and controlled motos. In the first race, he quickly moved to the front of the field after a top five start, where he then put in a couple of sprint laps to create a gap that he managed until the chequered flag. For race two, he had to work a bit harder as a bad jump meant he had to work his way through from around 10th place. He moved into fourth place after a lap and then gradually worked his way to the front of the field, with some nice passes and real display of throttle control on this tricky St Jean d’Angely track. The two wins meant 50 points and that has closed the gap at the top of the MXGP championship to just 10 points, with eleven rounds still remaining.

Orlyonok in Russia is another hillside venue, with the stony surface very similar to the one this weekend in France. This means that as he heads into this short break, it should give Gajser even more confidence that he can extend this current winning run and maintain this high level of performance that has seen him win six of the last eight motos. It is also a place that Bogers has performed well at in the past and the Dutch rider will be hoping that revisiting the track can revive his fortunes that have taken a bit of a downward trend in the past couple of rounds.

A crash early on in race one left him with a lot of work to do and he couldn’t quite make it all the way back to the points scoring positions. Race two went better as he scored six points and rode a pace similar to those inside the top 10 but he’ll still be hoping for more and this weekend off should give him the chance to help make that happen.

Tim Gajser  243

I’m really happy how both days went. I was having fun on the track and even though it was rough and sketchy in some places, it was still enjoyable to race on. In the first race, I took a little time to pass the guys in front of me before getting the lead and making a gap to control the race. In the second moto I clipped the gate and almost went over the handlebar off the start but I recovered and near the back it felt like. I made some passes to get near the front and then settled for a couple of laps in third before making a strike to get out front. I’m just really happy how things are going at the moment and I hope to continue this momentum into Russia. I am having fun on the bike and I am enjoying putting in the work with the rest of Team HRC. We have a great environment that is helping me this season and it is such a great feeling to win these races and reward the effort that everyone is putting in.

Brian Bogers  189

It didn’t go as well as I hoped it would go today. I didn’t get the best start in race one and I crashed early on. I was riding against myself and made a lot of mistakes. It definitely wasn’t an enjoyable experience out there. In race two I got a better start and was around 13th and I felt a lot better. Unfortunately I stalled the bike and lost a couple of positions so that didn’t help me, but the riding felt much better that the first race and I think my laptimes were good so although the end result wasn’t what I was after, I still hope I can use this to build towards the next race in Russia.

Marcus Pereira de Freitas

HRC General Manager – MXGP

Tim once again proved just how fast he can ride, and looked extremely impressive all weekend. The laptimes he was putting in on Saturday showed that he and the bike were working really well together and we just kept that momentum on Sunday when he showed again that he can perform under pressure and still control a race on a very tricky track. He has now won the last two overalls and closed the gap right up in the championship battle so we are extremely excited to head to Russia. There is a weekend off now, so we must remained focused but everyone in Team HRC is concentrating on the job at hand and confidence is running high.
We also hope that Brian can get his level back to like we saw in Mantova and Trentino. He has shown he can do it, so we must all work together to get him riding like that again. We know he has done well in Russia in the past, so we are hopeful of a similar effort after this weekend off.

Rider Standings

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team
1 CAIROLI Antonio 222 ITA 311 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
2 GAJSER Tim 243 SLO 301 Team HRC – MXGP
3 PAULIN Gautier 21 FRA 218 Wilvo Yamaha MXGP
4 DESALLE Clement 25 BEL 208 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing
5 JASIKONIS Arminas 27 LTU 190 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
6 SEEWER Jeremy 91 SWI 184 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team
7 TONUS Arnaud 4 SWI 162 Wilvo Yamaha MXGP
8 VAN HOREBEEK Jeremy 89 BEL 156 Honda SR Motoblouz
9 COLDENHOFF Glenn 259 NDL 144 Standing Construct KTM
10 LIEBER Julien 33 BEL 141 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing
11 JONASS Pauls 41 LAT 138 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
12 SIMPSON Shaun 24 GBR 129 RFX KTM Racing
13 LUPINO Alessandro 77 ITA 103 Gebben V Venrooy Kawasaki
14 MONTICELLI Ivo 128 ITA 87 iFly JK Racing
15 SEARLE Tommy 100 GBR 86 Bike It DRT Kawasaki
16 FEBVRE Romain 461 FRA 85 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team
17 ANSTIE Max 99 GBR 80 Standing Construct KTM
18 LEOK Tanel 7 EST 65 A1M Husqvarna
19 BOGERS Brian 189 NDL 62 Team HRC – MXGP
20 PATUREL Benoit 6 FRA 53 Gebben V Venrooy Kawasaki
21 TIXIER Jordi 911 FRA 40 Team VHR KTM Racing
22 BRYLYAKOV Vsevolod 18 RUS 31 JWR Yamaha Racing
23 STRIJBOS Kevin 22 BEL 29 JWR Yamaha Racing
24 BUTRON Jose 17 SPA 18 JD Gunnex KTM Racing Team
25 BERNARDINI Samuele 321 ITA 14 Ghidinelli Racing Team
26 PETROV Petar 152 BUL 14 Team Honda Red Moto
27 GOLE Anton 297 SWE 14 iFly JK Racing
28 KULLAS Harri 151 FIN 10 Wildcard Rider
29 VAN DER MIERDEN Sven 94 NDL 8 Wildcard Rider
30 FERRIS Dean 111 AUS 6 Wilvo Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing

Words and Photos: Honda Racing Corporation

Tokelove maintains Hooligan podium run for Indian Motorcycle
AFT star Johnny Lewis wow’s the crowds with FTR750
Pro-class battle heats-up

The MCN Festival of Motorcycling, held at Peterborough Arena, East of England Showground, played host to the Indian Motorcycle Flat Track Nationals last weekend with the flat track arena providing high octane entertainment right at the heart of the festival. Over 300 tonnes of new dirt had been added to the track and the venue was in prime condition for the event; yet unpredictable weather made for a frustrating start to the two days of racing with Saturdays Hooligan races cancelled due to consistent rain during the day.

Sundays Hooligan action more than made up it with heart-stopping moments as Indian Motorcycle’s Krazy Horse teammates Leah Tokelove and Lee Kirkpatrick battled bar to bar on their modified Scouts for position in the heat races. The Hooligan final saw a dominant performance from Gary Birtwistle leading from beginning to end although he was under constant pressure from Max Hunt. A red flag caused a restart from a line out and left Indian Scout rider Leah Tokelove having to fight her way back from fourth behind Grant Martin to take a well deserved third place, continuing her consistent podium streak.

Hooligan Results: 1 – Gary Birtwistle / 2 – Max Hunt / 3 – Leah Tokelove / 4 – Grant Martin / 5 – James Jordan

The Pro-class line up at Peterborough included AFT National number 10 Johnny Lewis, who had been touring Europe for the past three weeks promoting the sport, performing exhibition displays on the world-beating Indian FTR750 and training local riders through his Moto Anatomy Flat Track schools.

Johnny lined up with some of the best riders in Europe to provide a heavy hitting line up for the pro-class event, with qualifying heats seeing the Spanish Team Greenfield rider Gerard Bailo set the fastest lap ahead of Lewis and fellow Spanish rider Ferran Sastre. By the time the competitors lined for the final, there were six riders who had really shown they had the ability to win. As the green light came on it was the American Lewis who took the holeshot followed by British rider Rob Mear. Sastre and Bailo worked their way up the field and headed towards Lewis. As the race headed towards the closing laps the top three riders were swapping places on each corner but a crash at the rear of the field caused a red flag and the race was stopped with three laps to go. The result was declared on lap twelve with Gerard Bailo taking the win.

Pro-class Results: 1 – Gerard Bailo / 2- Ferran Sastre / 3 – Johnny Lewis / 4- Toby Hales / 5 – Rob Mear

Next up for the Hooligans will be the second round of the European Championship at El Rollo in Spain on the 15th June followed by round five of the Flat Track Nationals at Dirtquake in Eastbourne 10th August.

2019 HOOLIGAN CHAMPIONSHIP DATES

June 15  – El Rollo, Wheels & Waves, ESP – European Championship
August 9/10 –  DIRTQUAKE, Arlington Stadium, Sussex, UK
September 21/22 –  Greenfield Oval, Alford, UK – European Championship

Words: Indian Motorcycle Media, Photos: Tom Bing

This coming weekend the battle for the 2019 FIM TrialGP World Championship gets underway as Pietramurata di Dro, Italy, plays host to Toni Bou, who sets off on the path to conquer a thirteenth consecutive outdoor trial world title.

This weekend, May 25th and 26th, just a couple of weeks after the culmination of the X-Trial World Championship, the 2019 edition of the TrialGP World Championship kicks off. Repsol Honda Team once again line up their two official riders: multi-time champion Toni Bou and Japanese veteran Takahisa Fujinami.

For Toni Bou, the challenge is even greater. After twelve outdoor and thirteen indoor titles, the goal will be to maintain the exceptionally high level that he has shown for over a decade, which has seen the Spaniard remain the discipline’s undisputed number one. With eight trials this season, the Repsol Honda Team rider believes it will be very important to maintain a solid consistency to achieve this aim. In Pietramurata, Bou has managed to clinch top step of the TrialGP podium on the two most recent occasions.

In the fray, as always, will be Takahisa Fujinami, Repsol Honda Team’s Japanese trial rider. Twenty-four years after debuting in the Trial World Championship in Spain, ‘Fujigas’, who finished 2018 with 330 top-level participations, will be hunting down a top five overall place and, in addition, has the goal of a podium place in each round.

The Italian TrialGP starts on Saturday 25th with the mandatory administrative and technical checks. Once out of the way, riders will compete in the night-time qualification section, under the floodlights of the Metzeler Offroad Park in Pietramurata di Dro. Sunday 26th is race day, with ignition time set for 09:00 and the final podium due at 15:45.

Interview with Toni Bou: “Achieving all these successes is a dream”

Repsol Honda Team rider Toni Bou won the 2019 FIM X-Trial World Championship after a stellar season, winning five out of the six scheduled events. This marks a thirteenth indoor title for Bou, bringing his overall title tally to 25. The battle to add another indoor-outdoor double gets underway this weekend.

-This week a new TrialGP World Championship begins. What condition is Toni Bou in for the first calendar event?
-It was a very intense pre-season, where I wasn’t able to train as much as I had wanted after the fractured ribs in Japan which meant I was practically out for two months. In Barcelona I had another fall and took a turn for the worst, but little by little I have been getting it together physically and, after a great indoor season, I think we are ready to start a new TrialGP World Championship. Hopefully the physique will hold up well.

-13 world X-Trials. Is the next goal is to get the double with a thirteenth TrialGP World Championship?
-The positive part is that you win and you are successful. The “negative” part is that you are obliged to win in everything that you participate in. Everyone is expecting it from you! I am already used to this pressure and that is why I try to enjoy everything that I achieve. Now, we are well-prepared for the outdoor season and we will try to fight for this objective.

-Knowing you, I should imagine that the objective is the title… but what obstacles could be in the way this season?
– It will be a difficult year because there are only eight events and that means you can’t fail and miss out on the podium as that could complicate your goal. It will be very important to maintain good consistency and win the maximum number of trials possible. The rivals are always very motivated because beating the number one is a great victory. In addition, some have changed teams and can also be a good motivation for them.

-It was an intense and very closely-fought indoor championship
-Yes, it was a very tight year, things were getting tricky and qualifying for the final it was hard work! The slightest mistake and you are out!  It is gruelling and it’s easy to make mistakes. We have to work a lot mentally, we have to be very focused, but I think we achieved that this year. I am happy for the character that we showed. It was a season complicated by injuries; riding without being at 100%, then battling in all the trials and getting the final win in Andorra, which I think was the best way to end the championship.

-13 titles, 62 wins and 75 podiums… those stats are hard to replicate.
-The numbers are incredible. It is a dream. As a child I wanted to be a World Champion and having achieved all this is an outrage, something I could not even imagine. Not just one title -now there are 13 and these figures which are just unthinkable. Now, we just have to enjoy it, take advantage of everything and savour the positive moment.

2019 TrialGP World Championship

26 May TrialGP of Italy Pietramurata
8-9 June TrialGP of Japan Motegi
23 June TrialGP of Netherlands Zelhem
30 June TrialGP of Belgium Comblain-au-Pont
14 July TrialGP of Portugal Gouveia
21 July TrialGP of France Auron
22 Sept. TrialGP of Spain La Nucia

(Round 7 of the TrialGP, G.Britian, scheduled for the 1st of September, has not been confirmed yet)

Toni Bou

It was a very intense pre-season, where I wasn’t able to train as much as I had wanted after the fractured ribs in Japan which meant I was practically out for two months. In Barcelona I had another fall and took a turn for the worst, but little by little I have been getting it together physically and, after a great indoor season, I think we are ready to start a new TrialGP World Championship. Hopefully the physique will hold up well.

Takahisa Fujinami

There have been many years, 24, in the Trial world championship achieving many successes and this year I want to continue to enjoy driving riding. I think I’m in a good shape, I can compete at a high level. Last year I had a problem with my shoulder, but this time physically I feel great; I have prepared hard for a better performance. It will be difficult, because every time there are more and more riders with a very high level, but I will try to get on the podium in as many trials as possible.

Words and Photos: Honda Racing Corporation

 

The motocross World Championships heads to St Jean D’Angely, France this weekend for what will be the seventh round of the season and another chance for Tim Gajser to put himself on the top of the podium, like he achieved at the last round in Portugal. It also gives fellow CRF450RW rider Brian Bogers a chance to get back to his Mantova form, when he finished second in race two at the MXGP of Lombardia.

After riding so well to win in Portugal, Gajser is hoping for more of the same in St Jean D’Angely where he’ll arrive at the track filled with confidence. To come from behind and win both motos was an impressive statement and one that stands him in good stead on another track that will provide a real test for both rider and machine. The big uphills and downhills, as well as the rocky surface make it a tricky terrain to negotiate but the #243 machine is fully prepared to add to his two GP victories already this season.

For Bogers, the quick turnaround gives the Dutch rider a chance to move on from his Portugal results and build towards this seventh round of the series. In what is essentially his rookie season in the MXGP class, after missing all of 2018 with injury, Bogers has had a mixed bag of results so far and is looking to try and find a consistent level as the season heads towards it’s halfway point.

Unfortunately, Calvin Vlaanderen won’t be joining the team in France as he recovers from the operation to clean up the infection in his right leg. After pulling out of the MXGP of Portugal on the advice of the medical team at the track, he swiftly returned home to have the necessary surgery and is now looking to recover from the latest procedure. It is disappointing news for the CRF250RW rider and everyone in the team is wishing him the best after this latest setback.

This weekend the MXGP and MX2 riders are joined by the EMX250 and EMX125 classes for what should be another great weekend of racing. The first Team HRC bike hits the track at 13:00 (MXGP free practice) local time on Saturday 25th May with the qualifying race starting at 17:40. The first gate drop for the motos then happens at 14:15 on Sunday 26th May.

Tim Gajser  243

France is always filled with a lot of great fans so it’s always really cool to race motocross there. The hillside track makes a really nice venue to race motocross and it’s a place that I enjoy riding. I’ve had a couple of really good races in the past and hopefully I can continue the momentum from my one-one performance in Portugal and do well again this year. It will be another tough challenge but I am really looking forward to it.

Brian Bogers  189

I definitely like the St Jean D’Angely track, I think it’s a good track for me as I have had a few good races there already and I’m looking forward to going there and trying to get two more good results. This week I will go to France for training for a couple of days. It’s a good idea to ride on some French-style tracks to get a good feeling so I’ll be doing that on Wednesday and Thursday.

Marcus Pereira de Freitas

HRC General Manager – MXGP

Having three races in a row is tough for the riders and everyone in the team, but we are all doing a great job and staying focussed on the task at hand. France is always a nice race to go to with very passionate fans and hopefully a lot of them will be cheering on our pair of riders. Tim is obviously excited to get back onto the track again after winning in Portugal and Brian is hoping to perform like he did in Mantova, so we head to St Jean fully motivated to work hard and deliver some more good results. Unfortunately Calvin won’t be with us but we hope that he can make it a full Team HRC line up soon.

Rider Standings

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team
1 CAIROLI Antonio 222 ITA 285 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
2 GAJSER Tim 243 SLO 251 Team HRC – MXGP
3 PAULIN Gautier 21 FRA 197 Wilvo Yamaha MXGP
4 DESALLE Clement 25 BEL 175 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing
5 JASIKONIS Arminas 27 LTU 166 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
6 SEEWER Jeremy 91 SWI 153 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team
7 JONASS Pauls 41 LAT 137 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
8 VAN HOREBEEK Jeremy 89 BEL 136 Honda SR Motoblouz
9 TONUS Arnaud 4 SWI 122 Wilvo Yamaha MXGP
10 COLDENHOFF Glenn 259 NDL 120 Standing Construct KTM
11 SIMPSON Shaun 24 GBR 116 RFX KTM Racing
12 LIEBER Julien 33 BEL 114 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing
13 LUPINO Alessandro 77 ITA 85 Gebben V Venrooy Kawasaki
14 ANSTIE Max 99 GBR 80 Standing Construct KTM
15 MONTICELLI Ivo 128 ITA 78 iFly JK Racing
16 SEARLE Tommy 100 GBR 71 Bike It DRT Kawasaki
17 BOGERS Brian 189 NDL 56 Team HRC – MXGP
18 LEOK Tanel 7 EST 51 A1M Husqvarna
19 FEBVRE Romain 461 FRA 47 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team
20 PATUREL Benoit 6 FRA 40 Gebben V Venrooy Kawasaki
21 TIXIER Jordi 911 FRA 36 Team VHR KTM Racing
22 BRYLYAKOV Vsevolod 18 RUS 31 JWR Yamaha Racing
23 BUTRON Jose 17 SPA 18 JD Gunnex KTM Racing Team
24 STRIJBOS Kevin 22 BEL 15 JWR Yamaha Racing
25 BERNARDINI Samuele 321 ITA 14 Ghidinelli Racing Team
26 PETROV Petar 152 BUL 14 Team Honda Red Moto
27 GOLE Anton 297 SWE 13 iFly JK Racing
28 KULLAS Harri 151 FIN 10 Wildcard Rider
29 VAN DER MIERDEN Sven 94 NDL 8 Wildcard Rider
30 FERRIS Dean 111 AUS 6 Wilvo Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing

Words and Photos: Honda Racing Corporation