Toni Bou, Takahisa Fujinami and Jaime Busto, the Repsol Honda Team factory trio, this weekend face a crunch test in the British Isles. A result in the seventh grand prix of the series could help to expedite a tenth championship outdoor title for Bou.
Toni Bou of Repsol Honda Team, the overall leader in the championship table heads into a crucial GP in Great Britain firmly intent on holding the opposition at bay. The champ has grabbed top honours in eight to the eleven events disputed to date and is fending off adversaries with a 23-point advantage at the head of the leader board.
Japanese Repsol Honda Team companion Takahisa Fujinami – lying in third spot in the championship – will also be looking to consolidate his position. With four days of trials still to go, his advantage over fourth-placed apprentice Jaime Busto is 18 points and 20 points over the fifth-placed rival. A podium finish for Fujigas in the UK, where the rider usually scores well, would virtually rubber-stamp a bronze medal this season.
The rostrum is the clear goal of Jaime Busto too. The teenage Basque from the Repsol Honda Team has had a series of near misses with the podium both this season and last. He will be hoping to be celebrating alongside his teammates on the podium come Sunday evening. Busto, in spite of a weak result in Belgium, hangs on to overall fourth spot in the championship.
The British Grand Prix, making its maiden appearance at the location, is one of the shortest in the calendar at 4.5 kilometres. It will feature twelve hazards to be completed over three laps. Toni Bou heads out last at 11:00 hrs, local time.
All about the British GP
- This is the first time that the Trial World Championship has been held in Tong. The twelve sections of the course have been designed by former rider Graham Jarvis. The trial takes place in the Parkwood Off Road Centre in the tiny location in Yorkshire.
- Toni Bou has come away victorious in the four most recent British GPs in the world championship – the eight trials disputed in Nord Vue, England.
- Montesa has won 23 of the trials disputed in the British Isles. Honda has done it with Eddy Lejeune (1983) and Steve Saunders (1986).
- Montesa has notched up a tally of 199 wins in Trial World Championships over its 41 years in the discipline. It is the marque with the highest number of wins in the top flight.
- Toni Bou is the most-garlanded winner of the British GP with 12 triumphs and 14 podiums.
- In Belgium, Bou celebrated his 120th podium with Montesa in world championship competitions.
Although Takahisa Fujinami has won the British GP twice, the Japanese rider has been up on the rostrum on 11 occasions.
- Malcolm Rathmell achieved the first victory for Montesa in the British GP in 1976.
- Pateley Bridge was the most recent venue in Yorkshire to have staged a world championship trial back in 1993. Yorkshire has been home to some of the sport’s greatest champions such as the Lampkin family. Tong is situated 20 miles to the southeast of Silsden, where trials most-renowned family comes from and is some thirty miles south of Pateley Bridge.