Factory Montesa rider Toni Bou explains why Christmas fooling around tricked the enduro world, why his plan to compete in the Erzberg…
Factory Montesa rider Toni Bou explains why Christmas fooling around tricked the enduro world, why his plan to compete in the Erzberg Rodeo will have to wait and how he stays motivated despite a remarkable 20 world trials championships [#21 is pending].
With pre-season training all but done and dusted the 30 year old Spaniard Toni Bou was in chipper mood ahead of the start of 2017 X-Trial World Championship. Speaking backstage at the Martin Lampkin Memorial event at Sheffield, UK, the factory Montesa rider was philosophical about his lengthy career and what options might come next (watch out extreme enduro riders).
What was this business of riding Extreme Enduros about over Christmas?!
[laughs] Yes, I don’t know in English but December 28th in Spain is national ‘fools’ day, only a joke! I like extreme enduro a lot and I do some training on the CRF; some enduro, some extreme, some motocross and some indoor kind of training but for the moment my life and training is only for trial. The joke works well though, some people take the story seriously!
Do you have any plan to compete in Extreme or Super Enduro in the future?
No, my plan is only for the next two years. I have two years more with Honda and that is my plan to continue with Honda and trial. My contract is very strict with Honda because I am a very aggressive rider it is not possible to race motocross or enduro because I push a lot. I only do it for a little training for now but nothing serious.
Do you watch or follow the sport, especially Super Enduro?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, for sure. I follow a lot on social media and tv because I like a lot. In super enduro I like it a lot because there are a lot of ex-trial riders so I follow what they do. I also watch the motocross riders a lot and it is incredible. It is possible to watch many riders and many racers and it is incredible what they can do.
How about the outdoor events like Erzberg or Romaniacs?
Yeah, I like the Rodeo because it’s the most popular event with racers and spectators. I would like to try this event but at the moment it is impossible because Honda is cancelled that!
I actually tried one time to go but the position in my calendar makes it difficult and always it is a danger for injury and I understand the situation for Honda. I don’t know in the future, maybe it is possible.
If you look at Graham Jarvis you can say you have many more years yet?
[laughs] Yes, I look to Graham and see it is possible to stay in the top class of the riders for many more years. For this it is incredible what he does for so many years.
Even though you win for so many years in trials now (over a decade of joint indoor and outdoor titles – 21 in total) your motivation is still strong?
For sure I am still 100% motivated and I enjoy every day with this sport. Every day still feels lucky with training and this sport and this is how I think.
What keeps it exciting for you, especially over the winter period. How do you keep motivated?
Over the winter it is always the new rules and some changes in the sport to adapt to. It is a little difficult for me because I start each year with the same objective as last year to be perfect and if you have everything perfect it is difficult to do the same.
But I train and arrive to the races without thinking about the future but only thinking in the day of the race ahead and this is how you have to see it. My mentality is day after day like this.
So what can you change to improve then if you make everything perfect what do you make better?
[laughs again] Yes, it is difficult but I always push with the bike, push Honda because they are the best team but always we try to improve the bike. Changing the components is difficult always because they are world champion and what do you change. Every year the level is improving so the motivation is there.
Also I go training in the same place as last year and improve there so this is very important to see where you improve and make a step forward. I can measure myself in this way and keep motivation.
How about training off the bike, do you only ever ride or do you train in other ways?
For sure up to around 25 (years old) it is always the bike for training. But after I have a little problem with my leg and it is necessary to make the training in the gym.
I think after this it is better because I have many years training with the motorbike. I think it is important to understand better in this way, it is difficult because I love the bike but for my movement the gym is better also to make the complete package.
All the social media posts you do are very popular, of course, are they part of training or is it just fun and entertainment?
No, it is part of training. With Facebook, with Instagram it is more easy to keep in touch with the people. It is important for me and for the fans to be able to look at me riding but it is for sure part of my training.
Sometimes we are trying new tricks in training which will help in the world championship but also you have to understand when we are riding in the world championship we are always riding trying not to make any mistakes so it is important to push more in training to know where is the safe place.
In 2017 there is a new promoter, a promoter for the first time in Trial GP in fact. How do you see that change?
There are still some things to sort out with the FIM, always there are some things to change, but I think with Jake (new Trial GP promoter behind Sport7) he understands trials very good and loves this sport. I think it is a very important change for the riders, sport and a step forward. It is always for the start a few things which need to adjust but it is for sure a step forward and better.
The work he is doing is to arrive with the others, with MXGP, EnduroGP and others to arrive in the same way to be a professional sport. I think it is very difficult to arrive but step by step it is possible to arrive. More professional, sections more close to the public, the public understand the rules more, the race more and make it more easy. I think it will be more clear and more easy for the people.