Reigning champion Toni Bou (Montesa) tightened his grip on the 2024 Hertz FIM Trial World Championship with a crushing victory in the premier TrialGP class on day one of the TrialGP of Andorra as his fellow Spaniard Arnau Farré (Sherco) came out on top in Trial2 and Britain’s George Hemingway kicked off the defence of his Trial3 title in style.

  • Bou makes it three wins from three starts after opening day in Andorra
  •  Farré finds his form to claim victory in Trial2
  • Hemingway begins Trial3 defence with commanding performance

With the event based nine-hundred metres above sea level in Sant Julià de Lòria with some sections plotted another five-hundred metres further up the severely steep and wooded mountain slopes, altitude was always going to be a factor, but if he was feeling the effects of the reduced oxygen at such lofty heights Bou did not show it.

As we have seen so many times before, the tougher the event the more the thirty-seven-year-old excels and he looked completely at home negotiating the huge natural rock steps – made slippery by early morning rain – that typically feature in Andorran sections and remains on course to claim his eighteenth consecutive TrialGP crown thanks to a comfortable win today to go with his double victories at last month’s opening round in Japan.

It’s been a great start to the season,” said Bou. “I had a great feeling today, I’m riding very well and I was very consistent over the two laps.

The writing was on the wall very early on and Bou’s total of eleven marks lost plus a time penalty on the opening lap put him sixteen clear of Jaime Busto (GASGAS) in second and eighteen ahead of third-placed Miquel Gelabert (Vertigo) at the halfway stage. Podium contenders Matteo Grattarola (Beta) and Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa) were also in touch with the leading trio, but it was close all the way down the order with just thirteen marks the difference between second and tenth following the first lap.

Bou put victory beyond doubt when he parted with a further eleven marks on his second lap, but the remaining podium positions were only decided in the closing stages of the Trial after a close and competitive concluding lap that saw riders’ fortunes fluctuate from section to section.

Marcelli, who recorded two-three finishes at the Taisei Rotec TrialGP of Japan, started the final lap in the Pyrenean principality playing catch-up and he quickly began to reel in his rivals, parting with just two single marks until he collected a maximum on section six where a massive rock step stopped everyone apart from Toby Martyn (Honda) on lap one and Gelabert on lap two.

Following a disappointing opening round when fuel problems caused him to struggle, Busto looked back on form and he held onto second before a run of three maximums in the final four sections allowed Marcelli to draw level with him and then snatch second on a tie-break with both riders a massive thirty-five marks adrift of Bou’s winning total of twenty-three.

Gelabert ended the day in fourth on sixty after winning a tie-break with veteran Italian Grattarola, but despite flashes of brilliance throughout the Trial, two-time champion Adam Raga (Sherco) ended the day in sixth on sixty-nine.

Boasting a very healthy entry of forty-one riders, the Trial2 class is always incredibly competitive and this trend continued today with a four-way tie for first place that eventually saw Farré emerge on top from the British pairing of defending champion Billy Green (Scorpa) and series leader Jack Peace (Sherco) with Spain’s Alex Canales (Sherco) missing out on the podium after all four recorded a total of twelve marks lost.

I am very happy because it is very hard to get a win in Trial2,” said Farré. “We have worked so hard to get this result and the feeling today was good from the first section until the end so I will try and do it all again tomorrow.

Time penalties came into play for all four riders, but ultimately it was the scores in the sections that decided the podium with  Farré dropping a total of seven on observation compared with Green who lost nine, Peace ten and Canales eleven.

Getting the defence of his Trial3 title off to a dominant start, sixteen-year-old Hemingway took control from the beginning and his total of two marks lost – comprising a single dab on each lap – saw him run out winner by ten marks ahead of French teenager Romeo Piquet (Beta) with series newcomer Euan Sim (Sherco) from Britain parting with twenty for third on a very impressive debut.

It’s been a great day and I’ve enjoyed pretty much every moment of it,” said Hemingway. “I worked hard during the off-season and I’m happy to pick up where I left off last year.”

With heavy overnight rain forecast, riders face a challenging second day. The action due is to get under way at 09:00 local time and LIVE streaming on FIM-MOTO-TV is scheduled to commence at 13:15 local time with a season pass – covering all seven rounds and the FIM Trial des Nations – is priced at €34.90.

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