THE Fourth round of the 2020 X-Trail World Championship came down to the wire at the Palau Sant Jordi Stadium in Barcelona last night as Honda rider Toni Bou held off title rival Adam Raga to claim his 66th indoor victory.
Seeking redemption after narrowly losing out in last year’s event, in front of 10,000 excited spectators, Bou made a strong start, however lost out on the preliminary qualifying to arch rival Raga by two penalty points.
A change of bikes allowed Bou to become visibly more at ease with the six-stage course and with both riders through to the finals, Bou picked up only six points to cruise through to the Grand Final against an on form Raga.
Bou got off to a shaky start on the first obstacle of the head-to-head, losing a point to Raga before both riders cleaned the second section, along with a zero score on the third.
The fourth section was where it fell apart for Raga.
A spectacular concrete prism structure proved no issue for Bou, who lost only a single point for a dab towards the end of the section, however Raga quickly became off balance and dropped both feet, earning five points and increasing the deficit to Bou by five points.
Raga composed himself and completed stage six clean, with Bou losing two points on the slippery painted concrete structures bringing to total to 3-6 in favour of Bou.
With victory in his sights and redemption within his grasp, Bou put on a master class in the final stage and cruised through the section with one point, and with Raga dropping a further five points, Bou clinched his 13th victory in Barcelona and his fourth straight victory this season.
“We are very happy. It was a really special night here in Barcelona. Being able to reclaim the victory in front of all the fans was incredible” said an elated Bou after his victory.
The result extends the Repsol Honda Team rider’s lead in the overall standings further to a 20-point advantage, with three trials still to run before the indoor season wraps up.
The next outing will be held in Bilbao’s Bizkaia Arena on February 15.