2005 Indoor World Trial Championship Round 4

30/1/2005 - Stadium Palacio de los Deportes, Spain

Finished on the podium with "The best ride in the season so far"

Just 2 days after the battle in France, competitors gather for the round 4 in Spain. Technically speaking, it was less than 2 days, for the round 3 took place in the evening just like regular Indoor event, but the round 4 was held in the afternoon, so there were only 36 hours between the rounds.

It was especially tough for team Repsol Montesa-HRC. Because they are still developing the 2005 bike, they did not have enough bikes to send them to both France and Spain. Riders were lucky to fly in to Spain, but the team had to travel 1,200km by land. And when they arrived, bike adjustment and works were waiting for them, so there was no time for team staff to rest.

Raga picked the first starting order for the qualification lap following the wild card rider Bethune. Raga showed what made him the reigning world champion, and he showed an excellent ride with only 5 penalty points. Fuji was impressed by Raga's performance. However, there were some advantages for the Spanish riders at Granada, for they use the same sections for Spanish Indoor championship too.

Fuji was again the fourth rider to start the lap as the previous round. As later he evaluated himself that it was his best ride of the season, he was satisfied with his performance. He was able to control the bike rightly, and he was very confident to attack the sections. It showed in his results, and he finished second with 8 points following Raga. Fuji was classified for the final lap after 2 rounds of no-show.

Three past champions were classified for the final lap: Raga, Fuji and Cabestany. It started with all three riders fived at the section one. But Raga kept his penalty point lowest with 7 prior to the double-lane. Both Fuji and Cabestany fived at the section 5 again, and they let Raga stretch his lead. Raga won both double-lanes, Cabestany had 1 win and 1 loss, and Fuji lost both times. Fuji suffered another five at the section 7, and he could not turn over the point gap and finished 3rd.

It seems like Fuji hasn't been able to show his maximum performance so far this year. Fuji agrees that too, and he says that, under the circumstances, he doesn't think he can win even if it were the Outdoor championship. Part of the reasons is that the bike is still under development, and he is trying to figure out the way to bring out the bike's best. However, it is also a good sign that despite of Fuji having some difficulties he has finished on the podium. The factory is constantly pursuing the bike's development, things can only get better.

Fuji learned a lesson in Toulouse, that prior to the competition, he did not have enough time to ride the bike, which featured the new frame and the engine. In Granada, he intensively used a warm up session to accustomed to the bike. So, realistically speaking, Fuji is not in a position to beat the champion Raga in the Indoor championship at the moment. However, he still has a chance for the 2nd place, as well as fighting for the 3rd overall.

Fuji will continue his Indoor championship challenge with the bike development going forward at the same time.

Quote from Fujigas:

It was busy and non-stop 2 rounds. It wasn't all bad, because I could apply what I learned at the previous round effectively, because my memory was still fresh. The biggest thing that helped was that I wasn't so tired because I missed the final lap in Toulouse! I feel bad that I cannot say that I will fight for the victory in this championship. But things are improving both for rider and for machine side, and I am very excited about it. Next round will be our home ground Barcelona. We expect to see a lot of fans will come to see us. I look forward to the round, and I will do my best.

Indoor Trial World Championship 2005
Round 4
Final Lap
1. Adam Raga Gas Gas 18
2. Albert Cabestany Sherco 22
3. Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa-HRC 28
Qualificarion Lap
1. Adam Raga Gas Gas 5
2. Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa-HRC 8
3. Albert Cabestany Sherco 10
4. Marc Freixa Repsol Montesa-HRC 17
5. Jeroni Fajardo Gas Gas 17
6. Dougie Lampkin Repsol Montesa-HRC 23
7. Jerome Bethune Gas Gas 44
Point Standings
1. Adam Raga 40
2. Albert Cabestany 30
3. Dougie Lampkin 22
4. Takahisa Fujinami 21
5. Marc Freixa 15
6. Jeroni Fajardo 13
7. Toni Bou 5
8. Jerome Bethune 5
9. Tadeusz Blazusiak 2
10. Fumitaka Nozaki 1

Pix: Esedos Octagon
< http://www.worldtrials.info/>
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