This Palais Nikkaïa in Nice, France, will host the closing round of the FIM X-Trial World Championship this Friday, with Repsol Honda Team’s Toni Bou poised to boost his already legendary status with an eleventh indoor title.
The final day of March looks set to be chronicled in the sport’s history books with yet another entry for Toni Bou in an already lengthy list of honours. The Repsol Honda Team ace will dispute the fourth and final round of the FIM X-Trial and looks likely to seize an eleventh consecutive indoor title.
The last X-Trial outing this season will be battled out in Nice, France, where trial’s elite get to lock horns for the final time to decide the outcome of the 2017 campaign. Toni Bou and Takahisa Fujinami line up for Repsol Honda Team in what is expected to be a final as closely fought as the previous three events in Barcelona, Wiener Neustadt and Marseille, where a triumphant Toni Bou ruled the roost in each round.
To clinch the title Toni Bou will need five points – something expected to happen around ten o’clock in the evening. Making the cut for the final round will mathematically seal the championship title for the Repsol Honda Team rider.
Bou will have little time to prepare the event but can rely on the stamina acquired during a rigorous fitness programme started at the end of last season. The rider will be keen to pay close attention to the mechanical aspects of the Montesa Cota 4RT to maintain his decade-long domination in the discipline.
The world title remains the clear objective of Toni Bou who will be eager to round off the championship with a victory on the day too. Takahisa Fujinami’s mission will be a place on the rostrum that has remained elusive so far this season. Sharing the podium alongside his team-mate would be the perfect way to wrap up the indoor season.
FACTS AND FIGURES
- 1. There’s only one Toni Bou. Over the last ten years the rider has worn this number one so many times in both indoor and outdoor competitions and the desire for another ten titles is still there.
- 3 times the Palais Nikkaïa in Nice has hosted the X-Trial competition: 2003, 2004 and 2013, the most recent time with a win for Toni Bou. In the previous two Bou had yet to debut in the indoor competition.
- 3 TDN. Nice has also hosted the Trial de Nations Indoor, with the Spanish national team triumphant each time. Japan with Takahisa Fujinami has taken runner-up prize on two occasions.
- 4th is Takahisa Fujinami’s best finish to date in Nice.
- 5 sections with a head-to-head to decide the starting order and a tie-breaker to decide any drawn results.
- 8 riders are set to take part in Nice: Bou, Raga, Cabestany, Fajardo, Fujinami, Dabill, Kadlec and French wildcard entry Alex Ferrer.
- 10 X-Trial world titles to date is the tally of Bou.
- 74 X-Trials have been disputed by Toni Bou until now with a total of 51 victories achieved.
- 200 kilometres separate the Palais des Sports in Marseille from the Palais Nikkaïa in Nice, the hosts of the two final rounds of the X-Trial World Championship.
- 22:10 is the scheduled time of the final. The qualifying round begins at 20:45.
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