TrialGP World Championship champion and current season leader Toni Bou headed off this afternoon for Japan, where he will take part this weekend in the second and third events of the competition’s highest category, looking poised, once again to break records.
The Repsol Honda Team rider flies out from Barcelona airport to the Motegi circuit, Japan for the second round of the TrialGP World Championship calendar. Toni Bou will arrive as current leader of the championship table, three months after suffering a three vertebrae-fracture at the world championship’s opening event in Camprodón. Bou’s goal in the Japanese GP will be to continue with the winning streak.
Takahisa Fujinami, Bou’s partner in the Repsol Honda Team, will tackle the second round of the World Championship somewhat better spirits than during the round in Spain where the rider, not fully recovered from a right shoulder injury, had an uphill battle. The veteran defended himself well in the race and now hopes – fifteen days later – to give the home Japanese fans something to cheer about with a top position finish.
Bou, ‘Emperor of Motegi’
Toni Bou, with 16 wins, is the rider who has won the most times in Motegi, ten more than his team-mate in the Repsol Honda Team, Takahisa Fujinami. However, ‘Fujigas’ has achieved a total of 26 podiums compared to the 23 of Toni. Without a doubt, both riders will arrive well motivated for the Asian race where they have always achieved great results. For Fujinami, racing at home is always an incentive, but this time represents a great milestone for Toni Bou who is on the verge of achieving the highest number of victories in the World Championship. With the Camprodón win, the Spanish rider accumulated 98 career wins just two shy of the 99 that Dougie Lampkin has held since June 2006.
Flashback to TrialGP Japan 2017
This will be the nineteenth time that the Trial World Championship is hosted in Motegi, the incomparable Japanese motorpark, which has hosted the sport’s top competition since 2000. In the most recent edition Toni Bou achieved a double win. After a spectacular victory on the difficult first day, with mud-drenched section, Takahisa Fujinami made it onto the podium alongside his team-mate. On the second day of competition, with drier terrain and less tricky sections, Bou won with a smaller margin and Fujinami posted fifth.
Friday sees the dispute of the qualification section that will determine the starting order of the two trails on Saturday and Sunday. The route is about four kilometres in the natural areas of the Motegi circuit and there will be fifteen sections to be played over two laps. The first rider will start at 09:00 and the races are scheduled to finish approximately 15:20.