After last week’s successes in the Pyrenees, Repsol Honda Team trio Bou, Fujinami and Busto are back in action this weekend, this time on the other side of the mountain range, eager to gain results in the crucial French GP.
The second half of the 2016 FIM Trial World Championship starts this weekend as Lourdes, France plays host to the competition on Saturday and Sunday. Repsol Honda Team’s Toni Bou, reigning champion and current championship leader, arrives at the town’s maiden trial with a significant points advantage over the rest of the field. Seventeen points separate Bou from Adam Raga, the nearest title contender. The Montesa Cota 4RT rider comes to Lourdes fresh off the back of a win in the Andorra GP, the fifth consecutive win of six triumphs in a season which also includes two runner-up spots.
Repsol Honda Team continues with one of their strongest starts in recent seasons. Bou heads the overall table and Takahisa Fujinami is in third position. This is great news for the team, not only for the Japanese rider’s podium potental, but also as an indication of the great physical recuperation of the paddock’s most veteran performer. Such a situation at the season’s halfway stage can be likened to that of 2011 (with Bou leader and ‘Fujigas’ third) although back then the team featured just two riders.
Jaime Busto’s overall fourth position, just one point adrift of Fujinami, is fruit of a solid all-round team effort. The young Basque rider’s progress is evident: last year the rookie nearly made it onto the podium on three occasions, but so far this year Repsol Honda Team’s prodigy has finished fourth in six of the eight events disputed. A foot on the rostrum is just a question of time.
All about the French Trial GP
- The French GP is a blue riband event in the world championship calendar, although this the first time that the trail has been staged in Lourdes.
- In France, Toni Bou has scooped seven wins in the races disputed in the neighbouring country, while Takahisa Fujinami has been on the top of the podium on three occasions.
- As far as the total number of podium finishes go, Bou has been on the rostrum 16 times in France and his teammate Fujigas one less.
- Last season in Andon, Toni Bou took victory on the first day of the French GP and Raga on the second. Fujinami made it onto the podium on Saturday and finished fourth on the Sunday. Jaime Busto’s best result was a sixth spot on the Sunday.
- The final rider to start will be Toni Bou at 11:00 hrs on Saturday. Sunday shares the same schedule. The course will be three laps of a twelve-section, six-kilometre route.