The Repsol Honda Trial Team rider evaluates 2023, tells us what his objectives are for this new year and explains how he has prepared for the start of the season.
Now you are coming off a month’s break, how are you preparing physically and mentally for the start of the new season?
“Mentally, something that helps me a lot is going to Galicia and being with my family and my lifelong friends. That helps me a lot to disconnect and recharge my batteries, in order to come back much stronger. Physically, I had to undergo surgery on my hand, so I have not been able to prepare as much for this January, but there is time until the season starts. Now I am going to follow a training plan similar to that of 2023, training on a motorcycle in the mornings and in the gym in the afternoons. Last year it worked for me, so I hope that this year, by fine tuning some details, it will go just as well.”
At the beginning of 2023 you had a knee injury that affected your first months of competition. How do you manage it mentally?
“The problem I had with my knee last year, and which I still have, affected me a lot last season. Mentally it is difficult, because your level drops both in terms of the zones and in training, basically in every sense. Knowing that months ago you were stronger and having to come back is not easy. I think it is more important to be strong mentally than physically.”
In the final races of 2023 you took several consecutive podiums and you have been third in X-Trial, TrialGP and CET, what is your assessment of the season?
“I am very happy with how the 2023 season ended: in the final races I was very close to a win. It was a very positive season, in which I competed at a very high level and, despite the injury, I managed to be consistent. Now that I am fitter, I think that in 2024 I can take one more step up.”
What do you think you can improve in 2024?
“One of the things we can improve for 2024 is my fitness. I am free from injuries and I can do better preparation with more hours on the bike. Last year I had races that I went to practically without training, so I made mistakes because I wasn’t strong enough. I’m aware that, if I had not suffered that injury, the overall position in the standings would have changed. So I hope I can be higher up in this new season.”
It’s your third year with the Repsol Honda Trial Team. What has changed compared to your first year with them? Do you feel more pressure after the results achieved in 2023?
“2022 was my first year and I hardly felt any pressure, but in 2023 some results were already required of me, and although the season went very well, we want more. For 2024 I sense that expectations are high… I know that being off the podium in any race is going to be considered a bad result. I would even say that third places are going to feel like not such a good result. We will have to do very well in all the races to try not to miss out on the podium and try to be as high up as possible.”
You also share a team with the most successful rider in history. What is it like working with Toni Bou?
“Working with Toni is easy because he never hesitates when it comes to giving advice. He is very humble and hardworking, he always wants to train, and if he does it with other riders, then all the better. We train a lot together and that helps me a lot to evolve and become a better rider, year after year. In the end, having him as a teammate and as your first target to catch makes you challenge yourself and make you aware that there are steps that are possible to take. Plus, the bike is the same, so I have no excuses not to do what he achieves. Obviously, it’s a source of motivation for me to be his teammate.”
After the great performance you had in Madrid and Vendée, where you came close to winning, I imagine that you arrive very motivated for the first X-Trial event, which also takes place at home.
“Without a doubt I am very motivated for Barcelona, I would have liked Barcelona to be just the week after Vendée because I think I was at a very good level. I don’t know if this break has helped me or not, but I arrive with my batteries recharged. There are still things to be outlined, which I believe can give me the victory -which in the end is my goal for the Barcelona event.”
Seeing what you achieved last season, what are your goals for 2024?
“The objectives for 2024 are to win both indoor and outdoor world championship races, win the Spanish Championship and at the end of the season, take the runner-up position in both disciplines. They are ambitious goals, but I think they are realistic. I have the talent to fight with Toni to win races, which will make me achieve the goal of runner-up and, why not, maybe World Champion.”
What would you like to be your best moment of 2024?
“I would like the happiest moment of 2024 to be lifting the medal on the overall podium. Because it is at the moment that the work done throughout the season is reflected, where you see everything you have achieved. That is the most satisfying moment of the year.”