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FIM WORLD TRIAL CHAMPIONSHIP Borås, SWEDEN (Round 3)

DAY 1 - Five star Bou conquers Sweden too

Despite having to come from behind once again, Toni Bou – Repsol Honda extended his unbeaten run in the 2015 FIM Trial World Championship to five wins from five starts as he won on the opening day in Borås, Sweden. This was Bou’s first ever win on Swedish soil and moves him twenty five points clear at the head of the general standings, even at this early stage in the 2015 campaign. Finding himself four marks back from Jeroni Fajardo – Beta, who ended the day as worthy runner-up, Bou once more delivered a killer performance during his second lap to move into a winning position that he would not then relinquish and from which he went on to record his fifth straight win in the series. There were even more smiles in Toni’s team as he was joined on the podium by Takahisa Fujinami – Repsol Honda after the Japanese rider claimed third position on the day and his second top three finish of the season to date.  Rain showers throughout most of the morning meant conditions out on the twelve mainly natural sections, scattered in and around the forest that surrounded the paddock area, became incredible slippery with the soil between the rocky outcrops already damp due to heavy rain in recent weeks. The added severity became apparent as early as the fourth hazard which had already been eased along with sections three and eight due to the wet conditions, but still stopped all the World Pro riders. In was the same story in section eight on the first lap although Bou came very close to conquering the rock infested hillside. As a result, these two impossible hazards were further modified for the remaining two laps. The best lap of the Trial was by Bou on his second visit when he dropped just ten marks and completed the lap without a single five. It was this display that was to ultimately seal him victory after a nervous start by his own high standards. On a day when Fajardo and Fujinami fought hard for the remaining rostrum positions, it proved to be a tough ordeal for both Adam Raga – Gas Gas and Albert Cabestany – Sherco who placed fifth and sixth respectively. Both Spanish riders had to overcome home hero Eddie Karlsson – Montesa, who was fourth at the end of lap one, to eventually demote the young Scandinavian protagonist to a career best sixth spot. James Dabill – Vertigo, Alexandre Ferrer – Sherco, Jamie Busto – Repsol Honda and Franz Kadlec – Beta rounded out today’s top ten in that order, as all four of them missed their opportunities to feature higher up the final results. Iwan Roberts – Beta became the third different winner in three rounds in the FIM World Cup division this season as he claimed his first ever victory at this level, his previous best result being fifth place on day two last weekend in the Czech Republic. Robert’s winning margin was a mere three marks over Oriol Noguera – Honda who was also the runner-up last Sunday. Arnau Farre – Gas Gas also continued his recent good form as he took the remaining podium spot as he also did in Sokolov six days ago. Miquel Gelabert – Sherco now heads the general standings in this category as he placed fourth today after last weekend’s double victor, Quentin Carles de Caudemberg – Beta slipped from the top spot in the series, managing only ninth position on this occasion. It was a dream debut for Norway’s Sondre Haga – Beta in the FIM 125 Cup as he took the win at the first time of asking to bring to an end Marco Fioletti – Beta’s unbeaten run. The young Norwegian rider produced an inspired opening lap when he dropped only six marks to open up a lead that he was to increase come the end of the day. Whilst unable to stretch his winning run Fioletti finished the day in a clear second place and twenty two marks the better of Maxime Varin – Scorpa who finished in third spot. Despite his slight setback, Fioletti still tops the general standings by twenty points from Varin heading into tomorrow’s second and final day of the Swedish Trial GP.

DAY 1 - REPSOL HONDA TEAM

Victory for Toni Bou in Sweden. Takahisa Fujinami back on the podium The opening day of the Swedish Trial GP produced some excellent results for Repsol Honda Team with Toni Bou grabbing the fifth triumph in the season’s fifth race. Takahisa Fujinami was back on the rostrum while Jaime Busto’s apprenticeship with the squad continues. Borås, Sweden today bore witness as the ‘Bou Show’ stormed on to five consecutive wins out of five so far this season in the FIM Trial World Championship. It proved to be a tricky first day in Scandinavia in conditions hampered by rain this morning, making the sections more complicated than they had previously appeared. In a repeat of what had occurred in last week’s Czech Republic GP, several mistakes on the first lap saw Bou momentarily dropping the race leadership, before making amends and retaking top-spot on the second lap. Once more the Repsol Honda Team rider used the twelve-hazard third lap to keep adversaries in check and secure the top-step of the podium. Honda side-kick Takahisa Fujinami, likewise, had a good day in the office. Bou’s Japanese team-mate at Repsol Honda Team rode an intelligent, technical race that saw him on course for a podium finish throughout. The rider scored a great final lap, improving considerably on the previous two, but fell two points shy of equalling his Japanese GP result and was forced to accept third place on the rostrum. After a series of excellent recent results, Jaime Busto today came up against some troublesome sections ill- suited to his riding style. The rookie picked up more penalties than usual, which proved costly and resulted in a ninth final position. Until today, the Basque rider had marked the best ever start for a debutant in the highest category. Tomorrow the second and final day of the Swedish Trial GP is set to repeat the route of today: twelve sections to be tackled over three laps of three kilometres. Toni Bou - Race: 1st: “I didn’t start off badly, but I did pick up an early fault in the fifth section, which it was hard to come back from and I finished the first lap collecting another fault at the eleventh. On the second lap, which was another good one, I improved and pulled back and on the third lap I was able to assert myself in spite of another fault in one of the sections. Despite this, I’m really happy with the result and for the fifth consecutive win. I want to thank my minder Didac Cercós, who is back in the world championship and I want to send best wishes to Joan Cordón for a quick recovery.”   Takahisa Fujinami - Race: 3rd: “I’m very pleased today. Right from the start I was doing well and was very focused. The sections were very slippery and I tried to make it through the hazard before making any faults. I felt good on the bike. Everything was going well until I hit my toe which set me off once again. The last lap was amazing; I was trying for second place but Jeroni Fajardo was really strong and I didn’t manage to make it. But I’m very happy all the same to be back on the podium and to be keeping up a great pace.” Jaime Busto - Race: 9th: “Today was the day that had been coming to me. The trial was complicated and slippery – I don’t get on with this type of sections. I tried to figure out how to do it properly but I couldn’t get it. I’m not happy with the way I was riding. I know that I have to improve in these conditions, because today hardly anything worked out right.” Miquel Cirera - Team Manager: “Today we got a really great team result. Toni did it as he always does - really well - and Fujinami had an excellent trial too. It was a pity for Jaime Busto who never really felt comfortable in this very complicated trial, but that’s the price that he has to pay this year. The team is doing really well in the championship with Toni in command and Fujinami in a good position. Tomorrow we’ll try to continue this way.”

DAY 2 - Sweden sees six of the best for Bou

Six starts, six wins but today the story was not straightforward for Toni Bou – Repsol Honda despite him continuing his incredible unbeaten run on the second and closing day in Borås, Sweden that marked round three of the 2015 FIM Trial World Championship. Bou was pushed every inch of the way by Adam Raga – Gas Gas with the eventual runner-up finishing just three marks shy of what would have been a famous victory. This leading duo, who locked horns for the full duration of the Trial, ended the day well clear of the final podium finisher Albert Cabestany – Sherco, with this being only his second top three result so far this season.  Only minor tweaks were made to the sections overnight with day two again beginning with intermittent rain before giving way to brighter skies later in the afternoon. A poor five at the seventh hazard on the opening lap had the effect of doubling Toni’s intermediate total, but despite this error he still took the early lead. It was Takahisa Fujinami – Repsol Honda who was to slot into second place at the end of lap one, two marks behind his team-mate and one in front of Raga. A terrible second lap was to cost the Japanese rider dearly tough and demoted him to fifth position come the finish. Raga produced the best second lap tally, his seven mark loss seeing him draw level with Bou for a share of the lead as the familiar rivals went into the closing twelve hazards both on twenty marks apiece. Alongside the headline story, Cabestany was making quiet progress up the leader board and was to ride himself into a hard earned third come the end of play thanks to an excellent closing lap. Consistency was the name of the game for Jeroni Fajardo – Beta, his three very similar lap scores netting him fourth spot by a single mark over Fujinami. Out front Bou and Raga were still trading blows right until the death. Section seven that had been Toni’s downfall on lap one cruelly became Adam’s victory wrecking moment as he failed where he had only lost one mark previously. Both riders produced some amazing riding during the last lap despite them being under pressure, much to the delight of a sizeable Swedish crowd. Bou’s three mark win puts him thirty eight points ahead of Raga in the general standings after what has been an unblemished start to the season for the reigning champion. Jack Price – Gas Gas added his name to the list of different winners in the FIM World Cup as he became the latest victor in a class that has now seen four different names on the top trophy in the opening three rounds. Price was dominant throughout day two leading from the first to last lap and putting twelve marks between himself and Saturday’s winner Iwan Roberts – Beta. The scrap behind Price for the remaining podium positions was as fierce and intense as ever with Roberts edging out Arnau Farre – Gas Gas by a mere three marks come the end of lap three leaving the Spanish rider in third spot for the second day running. Continued series leader Miquel Gelabert – Sherco and Quentin Carles de Caudemberg – Beta who remains second in the general standings, finished fourth and fifth respectively today. Just ten points separates the top five riders in this class going into round four. Marco Fioletti – Beta returned to his winning ways in the FIM 125 Cup as he stormed to a clear and emphatic victory on the second day of the Swedish GP after he had tasted defeat for the first time this season just twenty four hours earlier. With a total of just thirteen marks for the entire Trial, Fioletti ended the day twenty marks ahead of today’s runner up Jarmo Robrahn – Beta. This was the third occasion that the German rider has taken second spot since joining the series at the last round in the Czech Republic. Yesterday’s victor Sondre Haga – Beta fought his way back onto the podium come the finish follow a poor first lap. Fioletti continues to head the general rankings and is now twenty seven points clear of Maxime Varin – Scorpa who took fourth spot today. The 2015 FIM Trial World Championship now moves swiftly on with Great Britain playing host to the fourth round of the series next weekend.

DAY 2 - REPSOL HONDA TEAM

Third double for Toni Bou in the Trial World Championship Toni Bou continues to stamp his authority on the FIM Trial World Championship. The Repsol Honda Team rider remains unbeaten so far in 2015 at the highest level of competition after recording another double-win in Sweden. Team-mate Fujinami came close to another podium; Busto improved slightly. A triumph on Saturday and another on Sunday for Toni Bou as the Repsol Honda Team rider makes another firm step in the direction of a ninth world outdoor title. With this, the third double-win this season, the Spaniard widens the advantage to 28 points over the tournament’s nearest rival. It was a tough day out in a slippery, mud-filled trial where staying vertical was a feat in itself and where it was hard work to recuperate from any mistakes made. Toni Bou took command right off the bat in the first of three laps. He was, however, equal on points with Adam Raga in the second lap. The third and final twelve-section lap proved definitive for the Repsol Honda Team champion, finishing with a three-point advantage to take the day’s victory and the sixth win so far this season. Takahisa Fujinami, after yesterday’s third place, went in search of a repetition and finishing the first lap tucked in behind team-mate Bou in second spot. Fujigas picked up a five-point penalty on the second lap, where once again he struck the little toe of his left foot against a rock. The Japanese ace continued but struggled to ride, dropping marks and finishing just one point off fourth place. Fujinami, does however, hold on to fifth place in the general standings. Jaime Busto reacted well after a tricky day out yesterday, with a seventh place finish after improving on a not-so-exceptional first lap. Busto lies in sixth overall in his first year in top-flight trial. The Trial World Championship barely stops for breath as it heads for the fourth date in the calendar with the two-day British GP in Nord Vue (Penrith) in the north of England next week. Toni Bou #1 - RACE: 1st  CHAMPIONSHIP: 1st: “It ain’t been a bad start to the season! But today we had to fight really hard to win the race because Adam had got himself ahead and we were neck and neck on the second lap. The last lap was a tough one but I was able to take the victory, which I’m very satisfied with because we worked very hard. “The difference in the championship is really important because it’s not possible to win all the races, but as my rivals have changed around I’ve got an eighteen point advantage. I will keep battling on because anything can happen in the two-day races and there’s still a lot of championship to run.” Takahisa Fujinami #5 - RACE: 5th  CHAMPIONSHIP: 4th: “I started really well on the first lap. Everything was going perfectly and I didn’t know anything about the points. I was going quickly, ahead of the other riders and I had picked up very few points. Really, I thought that I was doing worse, which I tried to recover from, but I made several faults. In section nine I injured the toe on my left foot again, which caused me a lot of pain. The last lap went terribly in sections three, four and five. I tried to pull it back but I finished just short of fourth place which wasn't so bad. The knee is holding up well. Now my main worry is the toe.” Jaime Busto #15 - RACE: 7th  CHAMPIONSHIP: 6th: “Today, the trial went much better than yesterday and I felt more comfortable and less clumsy than yesterday, in spite of slipping around much more than before. The first lap didn’t turn out too well, but I made up for it in the second. But I picked up five marks in an easy section and I was unable to finish in a better position as a consequence. In general, I’m pretty happy as the most important thing is to keep gaining experience.” Miquel Cirera - Team Manager: “There isn’t much to say, well, at least one thing: six out of six! Today, though, it was more difficult to win, but the line that we’ve taken is a good one. Things didn’t really work out right for Fuji, but Jaime did it better today. The weekend has been a very positive one and that makes the team happy. We’ve got to keep this up and try to continue to improve on it. I would like to thank all the team, the mechanics and everyone else behind the riders who work day in and day out for this. More to come next week.”

VERTIGO

SOLID RESULTS FOR DABILL AND VERTIGO IN SWEDEN Again it was a solid weekend of results for Vertigo factory rider James Dabill as he took seventh and sixth spots respectively on the two days of the Swedish Grand Prix which marked round three of the 2015 FIM Trial World Championship. With the series having not visited Scandinavia since 2008, this weekend's event close to the city of Borås marked an important moment with many of the riders pleased to be tested by a different type of terrain. Intermittent rain on both days added to the already soaked ground, caused by heavy rain in recent weeks, to provide a course that was both slippery and traditional in the main. Various modifications were made to the twelve sections spread around the neighbouring forest at the motocross track facility as the organisers responded to both the changes in the weather and the ground conditions. Unlike the previous weekend in the Czech Republic where James had started so strongly on board the prototype Combat and literally put himself on top of the World, this Saturday saw the reigning British champion struggle in places on terrain that was much like that found in his home country. Dabill was not the only one who was adjusting to the muddy conditions and as a result still found himself in the hunt for a top five placing with two laps remaining. James' second lap was his best of the day as he continued to threaten to match the fifth place he had claimed just seven days earlier. However, despite Dabill fighting hard in the now heavily rutted hazards, his closing lap was not quite good enough for him to equal his best GP result of the season so far and he had to settle for seventh position, just two marks off sixth spot. Sunday saw similar weather with several rain showers in the morning ensuring that the sections were equally greasy on day two. Having gained valuable experience during Saturday's trial Dabill looked much more comfortable on the prototype Combat in the mud on Sunday’s opening lap. His initial tour for the loss of twenty marks put him in the running for another potential top five placing. The nature of the hazards allowed no room for error and punished any small mistake severely throughout the weekend and James was again to learn this on his second lap on day two. Without doing too much different from his previous tour, Dabill score was eight marks more this time round and left him with work to do on the last lap of the GP. James responded well and finished the Swedish Grand Prix strongly to claim sixth place just two marks off fifth placed Takahisa Fujinami. Dabill remains seventh in the general standings after three GPs. Speaking after the event Vertigo Sports Team Manager Dougie Lampkin said, "It's been a very different type of trial this weekend and although it has been a good event it has been the first time that James has really had the chance to ride the Vertigo in these type of conditions. A bit like last weekend he has had some amazing rides and really shown what the prototype Combat can do, even in the mud, but again he has cost himself places with some small mistakes. "No one should be mistaken, the competition for the places behind Bou at the moment is very strong. You don't have to do a lot wrong and you can find yourself way down the results. On both days James has lost out by a couple of marks on an extra placing. With a bit more luck and a few less mistakes he could have easily been sixth and fifth, which we would have been well pleased with. As it is he has ended up seventh and sixth, which is still good in terms of consistency. Each GP we have seen improvement, so it would be nice to continue that in Great Britain next weekend." Adding his own comment Dabill said, "One place higher each day would have been great, but a few silly mistakes spoiled that. Having not ridden the bike in this type of going before means I was learning on the job on Saturday. On Sunday I felt much more confident, I started and ended well but my second lap spoiled the day a bit as it would have been great to have been top five again. Anyway I can now look forward to my home GP next and I hope I can do something there to make it a special weekend for the British fans." Next weekend sees James and the Vertigo team travel to Great Britain for round four of the 2015 FIM Trial World Championship, and the third GP on the bounce.
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