2005 Indoor World Trial Championship Round 9

5/3/2005 - Stadium: Palalgida Stadium, Livorno Italy

Podium finish for Fuji, since round 4 in Granada

Coming back from Portugal to the base in Barcelona, the team Montesa exercised an intensive testing of the engine with a new set up. It was one of the biggest test sessions of the year with the HRC engineers joined them from Japan. The new engine produced more horsepower, which the riders had been asking for. At the moment, tests are mainly focused onto the engine department, because their standard frames are showing solid performances. It was another busy time before the competition for Fuji, but he had time to ride the bike to be prepared with the new setting for the round 9 in Livorno Italy.

Toni Bou and Dougie Lampkin started ahead of Fuji in the qualification lap, but they didn't seem to perform so well. Fuji thought before his ride that it would be difficult to survive for the final lap if he dab more than 5 penalty points.

Fuji marked 3 consecutive cleans at the beginning of the lap; the only rider who was able to do so. The big challenge of the lap was the section 4, where only Raga and Cabestany managed to mark cleans eventually. Fuji fived there, but he also suffered some damages to the bike. Fuji went on to mark 2 more cleans at the section 5 and 6, then he noticed that 5 to 6 spokes were broken on his rear wheel. Having no time to change the wheel during qualification, only the option he had was switching to the spare bike. Unfortunately, the spare bike the team brought in Italy was an out of the box standard bike. The modified standard bikes, which Fuji and the rest of the team riders rode in UK and Russia, were on the way to Argentina for the following round. Fuji chose to stay on the 'works' engine equipped bike with unstable and shaking rear wheel, for the rest of the lap, because he figured it would be too difficult to compete with a pure standard bike. The picture sh!
own on the page is taken at his final lap. Notice the color of the rear wheel is not in Repsol orange, because the team changed it before the final lap.

Fuji dabbed 10 penalty points before the double-lane; twice the points he aimed. However, the rest of the riders didn't perform so well either: Fajardo's 19 points and Freixa's 15 points, so Fuji secured the position for the final lap.

According to Fuji, the reverse direction for the final lap weren't so difficult. Still, he seemed to be somehow out of the rhythm at the lap, and he kept making mistakes to five at the first 3 sections. In fact, all three competitors fived at the first two sections. Raga marked clean at the section 3, and he managed to break away from the rest. Fuji and Cabestani shared the same failure before the double-lane with Fuji added another point for time penalty. Fuji beat both riders on the DL, and he equalize the score with Cabestany.

Fuji and Cabestany were still equal in point as they went to the section 8. Fuji figured it was difficult to mark clean, so he planned to play safe to foot to minimize his penalty. He knew Cabestany would do the same to finish with the same point, so Fuji looked forward to the play-off to beat Cabestany to take the second place. Fuji finished the section with 1 point as he planned, but he received another point for time penalty. That was the end of it. Cabestany watched his rival taking 2 penalty points, so he carefully rode the section with a single point to secure the second place.

Fuji missed the 2nd place with a small margin, but he was glad to be up on the podium in front of HRC staff who came a long way from Japan. It was Fuji's way to appreciate all the effort his staff putting into. Fuji hasn't shown the performance he deserves yet, but anticipation for the coming Outdoor season becomes bigger and bigger as the season goes on.

The podium finish in Italy put Fuji 3 points closer to Lampkin for the 3rd place, and 2 points away from Fajardo, who once stood at the same position with Fuji in point.

The round 10 will be held in Argentina on March 12th.

Quote from Fujigas:

It was nice to go to the final lap after a long time. The test we had before the round went very well, and the bike became better. The results came along I think. I know the bike will continue to get better, and I can't wait to the progress. At the moment, I don't care about the championship battle against Dougie. I am not even aware of the point difference. The number one priority for me is to concentrate in making a good bike.

Indoor Trial World Championship 2005
Round 9
Final Lap
1. Adam Raga Gas Gas 21
2. Albert Cabestany Sherco 27
3. Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa-HRC 28
Qualificarion Lap
1. Adam Raga Gas Gas 6
2. Albert Cabestany Sherco 9
3. Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa-HRC 11
4. Marc Freixa Repsol Montesa-HRC 15
5. Jeroni Fajardo Gas Gas 19
6. Toni Bou Beta 20
7. Dougie Lampkin Repsol Montesa-HRC 21
8. Michele Orizio Scorpa 33
Point Standings
1. Adam Raga 88
2. Albert Cabestany 69
3. Dougie Lampkin 45
4. Takahisa Fujinami 42
5. Jeroni Fajardo 40
6. Marc Freixa 31
7. Toni Bou 14
8. Tadeusz Blazusiak 8
9. Jerome Bethune 5
10. Michele Orizio 1
11. Fumitaka Nozaki 1

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