The FIM Trial World Championship is back in action this weekend with the Belgian GP; the only single-day event to feature in the trial calendar this year. Toni Bou, Takahisa Fujinami and Jaime Busto all go into the event with high expectations.
The outdoor trial season – which entered its second half with the most recent GP in France – moves on to Comblain-au-Pont, Belgium, as trial’s top category get just one day to tackle the course. The date could prove to be a short, yet significant one for Repsol Honda Team with competitors readying themselves for the final assault and vying for positions as the season draws on.
Toni Bou continues to lead the overall rankings with a total of 189 points and a margin of twenty over the nearest rival. In terms of points, this is the equivalent of an entire trial. The Repsol Honda Team rider remains as win-hungry as ever and will look to increase the cushion at the head of the leader board as the championship heads into its final stretch.
Takahisa Fujinami, winner in the Lourdes trial three weeks ago, won’t need much convincing about his chances of snatching another victory. The Japanese evergreen is chasing a spot on final podium. With five races still to run, he holds a seventeen-point advantage over fourth place Jaime Busto. Repsol Honda Team’s young Basque rider still has his eyes on the prize: that still elusive podium finish. After finishing various recent trials in fourth place and narrowly missing the objective; one senses that the highly-motivated Busto might just sneak a result this time. It is only his second year in the top flight.
All about the Belgian Trial
- The Belgian trial has been held continually, as part of the world championship, from 1975 until 1997 in Bilstain. The three years of 1999-2000-2001 were held in Cuesmes and those of 2005 and 2006 were staged in Spa-Francorchamps.
- Comblain-au-Pont is located 25 kilometres south of Liege, in the Wallonia region of the country.
- Eddy Lejeune, three-time championship winner with Honda, is the rider who holds the highest number of victories in Belgium: 7 (from 1980 until 1986).
- Toni Bou has won on one occasion in Belgium – the last time the world championship stopped off in the country in 2014 – also in Comblain-au-Pont.
- Takahisa Fujinami is level with Toni Bou on victories in Belgium. Repsol Honda Team’s Japanese rider triumphed in 2001 in Cuesmes. Additionally, ‘Fujigas’ has made it on to the podium on three other occasions.
- Jaime Busto has yet to participate in Belgium in a Trial GP or in World Pro, but has competed in the Junior category, where he finished fifth in 2014; a year in which he later went on to take the title.
- Toni Bou will be the final rider to take the start-line in the Belgian GP. He will depart at 11:00 Sunday morning. The course is fifteen kilometres long and includes twelve sections to be completed over three laps.