Toni Bou (Repsol Honda) could claim an amazing 13th consecutive TrialGP title tomorrow at TrialGP France – round six of the 2019 FIM Trial World Championship – at the Alpine venue of Auron and the Spanish superstar put himself in pole position with a commanding win in Qualification this afternoon.
All rounds feature two Qualification sessions with routes varying in severity depending on class. First and foremost riders must stay feet-up and then aim to complete the section in the fastest time possible.
Riders are balloted for starting positions for Q1 and their results in this then determine the running order for Q2 with their best result from both sessions determining where they begin Sunday’s main competition. The highest-placed finishers earn a valuable position at the back of the field.
The man-made section comprising huge, dry rocks saw lots of clean rides across all five classes in action today so time was the deciding factor and Bou showed a great turn of pace to take his fourth Qualification win in a row.
Jaime Busto (Vertigo) led after Q1 with a time of 0:28.31 but a maximum score at his second attempt handed the advantage to his compatriot whose second run of 0:26.64 saw him on pole ahead of Jeroni Fajardo (Gas Gas) who recorded a time of 0:28.20 at his second attempt.
“My feeling is very good because to start last tomorrow is really important,” said Bou. “I could win the title but it’s possible only with the victory. It’s always a big pleasure to ride here in France.”
Busto’s Q1 performance was good enough to secure third ahead of Adam Raga (TRRS) who carded 0:28.69 at his second attempt with Jorge Casales (Vertigo) making it an all-Spanish top-five with his clean ride in 0:29.01 in Q2.
Emma Bristow (Sherco) is unbeaten so far this season in TrialGP Women but she has yet to win a Qualification session and she came up just short in Auron with Sandra Gomez (TRRS) taking the win with a Q2 time of 0:21.00.
The British rider had led after the opening run but she couldn’t live with the pace of her Spanish rival in Q2 and ended the day in second with a time of 0:22.37 as America’s Maddie Hoover (Gas Gas) improved to third with a 0:22.39.
Spain’s Maria Giro (Montesa) was fourth ahead of Sarah Bauer (TRRS) from Germany.
Trial2 Qualification winner last time out in Portugal, Britain’s Toby Martyn (Beta) dropped a mark at his first attempt but made no mistake in Q2 with a clean ride in 0:25.68 earning him his second consecutive victory by over two seconds.
“Today’s gone well,” said Martyn. “We had a bad weekend in Portugal and the result wasn’t what we wanted but we’re heading into tomorrow on top and with plenty of confidence and as always we’ll be going for a win.”
Spain’s Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa) was second ahead of Luca Petrella (Beta) from Italy with Norway’s Sondre Haga (TRRS) fourth chased by series leader and defending champion Matteo Grattarola (Honda).
Vivian Wachs (TRRS) won the opening round of the Trial2 Women championship at TrialGP Portugal and the German rider came out on top in both Qualification sessions in France to secure her place at the back of the field with a time of 0:20.07.
Norway’s Erika Melchior (Sherco) was second with a time of 0:20.78 at her second attempt from Lenna Volpe (Sherco) from France who carded 0:22.23 in Q2.
Britain’s Alice Minta (Scorpa) scored a maximum in Q2 but will start fourth from last thanks to her opening clean run in 0:22.59 with France’s Caroline Moreon (Sherco) in fifth thanks to her second attempt of 0:22.78.
The Trial125 title will be decided tomorrow and championship leader and home favourite Kieran Touly (Scorpa) ended the Qualification session in second behind Alex Canales (Gas Gas).
Touly was a comfortable winner of Q1 with a time of 0:22.32 but a maximum at his second attempt left the door open to the Spaniard who went clean with a time of 0:21.15.
Italy’s Carlo Alberto Rabino (Beta) was third with a run at 0:22.43 just ahead of Arthur Rovery (Sherco) from France and Spain’s Pau Martinez (Vertigo).
The points-paying action gets under way at 10am tomorrow local time. You can keep up to speed with the weekend’s events by checking in to www.trialgp.com or by downloading the free TrialGP Live app and across our social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – just search for TrialGP.