The most successful rider in the history of off-road motorcycle sport, sublime Spaniard Toni Bou (Repsol Honda) has a habit of breaking records – starting in 2014 when he took his eighth FIM TrialGP title to eclipse the total of seven apiece shared by Trial legends Jordi Tarres and Dougie Lampkin.
He’s since bumped that total up to a fabulous 13 consecutive crowns and these, combined with his 14 FIM X-Trial titles, make him a 27-time World Champion with an incredible 116 TrialGP wins to his name.
On the eve of this coming weekend’s Italian TrialGP where – with a 10-point lead in the championship table – he starts favourite to win an unparalleled 14th TrialGP title, we caught up with the 33-year-old titan of Trial…
TrialGP: Toni, how has COVID-19 affected your preparation for the 2020 TrialGP championship?
Toni Bou: “It has affected me as it has everyone else. Being unable to train for three months, for an athlete, is not good at all. Even so, we’ve tried to keep in shape so that we’re ready for the return.”
TrialGP: You started off with a clear win on day one in France but struggled with an arm injury on day two. What happened, when did it happen and how is it now?
Toni Bou: “The first day my arm started to hurt and on Sunday it got worse. I suffered a lot but I still managed to finish on the podium. According to the specialist, it comes from an old injury from 2016 when I injured my shoulder. I trust that the rest [after Andorra] went well and that I can perform almost 100 per cent in Italy.”
TrialGP: Until day two in France you had not been beaten since June 2018. How disappointing was it to finish third? We know all great champions hate to lose…
Toni Bou: “It is true that I do not like to lose but I would say that disappointing is not the exact word, especially because of the condition that I was in. I was worried because I was physically unable to ride as I wanted to. I had no strength in my arms, I couldn’t control the bike. Finishing on the podium was already a feat.”
TrialGP: You lead Adam by 10 points heading into the Italian TrialGP – will you still ride to win or are you tempted to play it safe and think of the championship?
Toni Bou: “Whenever I ride, I do it to win. As we all do. I don’t think that any driver, with a chance of winning, doesn’t do it. In some cases playing it safe is not always the best option.”
TrialGP: You are very active on social media and on your videos always look to be having great fun – is enjoying Trial the main reason for your incredible run of titles?
Toni Bou: “You could say that. I like to have fun and enjoy myself with the bike, with friends.”
The 2020 Hertz FIM Trial World Championship concludes on October 9-11 at the Italian TrialGP at Lazzate. For regular updates and live results go to the new-look www.trialgp.com website or check out our social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – just search for TrialGP.