2005 Indoor World Trial Championship Round 11

19/3/2005 - Stadium: Odyssey Arena, Belfast Northern Ireland

Bitter result for the penultimate round

A week after the competition in South America, IWTC traveled to Belfast in Northern Ireland for the penultimate round of 2005 season. Fujinami and Freixa again entered the event with the standard bike. They kept their 'works' bike at the base in Barcelona not to lose any time by transporting the bike, so that they would have more time to work with the bike for the Outdoor season. Lampkin however took different option, and he had a practice session with the 'works' bike in his home in UK. Thus he entered the Northern Ireland round with his factory bike.

Atmosphere at Odyssey Arena was a lot more gentle and quiet than the previous round. In Argentina a week ago, there was an enthusiastic cheer at the stadium from the fans enjoying their first Indoor trial event in the country, and their hot and huge support energized the competitors too. But in Belfast, competitors needed to bring up their motivation solely by themselves.

Sections in Argentina were technically demanding, and it helped Fuji on the standard bike, where horsepower alone wasn't a big factor. However for Belfast, section materials were shipped from Spain, and number of gigantic materials being used to create spectacular scene for the audience. It was then inevitable that Fuji and Freixa on the standard bike would have disadvantages against the opponents who had superior horsepower.

Fuji was the sixth rider to start the qualification lap following two guest riders: Steve Colley and Shaun Morris, Cabestany, Raga and Lampkin. Three regular riders rode before Fuji completed the observed section with single digit penalty points. Fuji thought before his ride that it was too difficult for Fuji on a standard bike to avoid taking five at the section 5. That meant Fuji had to score clean for the rest of the section to proceed to the final. Section 5 indeed was a tough one for every rider, and all the riders except Raga and Cabestany ended up being five. Who could blame Fuji and Freixa taking five aboard the standard bike?

Fuji started the lap with 2 points at the section 1, and went on to take five at the section 2. He showed some unusual errors in the lap, such as slipping his foot as he tried to save by footing, or falling down as he stalled the motor. There are limited number of sections at the Indoor event, and it is very hard to turn over the point gap. Especially when starting from the back, it is hard to keep concentration knowing the opponents' scores are better than his, and hoping that the rivals would make huge mistakes at the double-lane. Fuji knew he had a small chance for the final lap, but he showed powerful ride in front of fans in Belfast to entertain them. When the lap was over, Fuji finished at sixth, the last regular rider to qualify.

Fuji was in a middle of battle for the 3rd place in the championship at Argentina, but after Belfast he dropped back a little. Fuji has to win the final round in Spain, and both Lampkin and Fajardo need to finish 5th or worse than 5th position, in order for Fuji to secure the 3rd place. He knows he has a slim chance, but that is what he aims at the final round.

So, the final round of the season will be held on March 26th, in Eivissa Spain. The Spanish championship follows after the Indoor season, and finally the Outdoor championship will start in April.

Quote from Fujigas:

Before I started the lap, I knew I would have 6 points no matter what, but I made more mistakes than I expected. I should have finished 10 points less. Lack of ability of the bike makes thing difficult, but not having our own bike makes thing a lot tougher at the competition. I may have a chance to ride my my 'works' bike in Spain, so I hope I will finish the season strong to carry the momentum for the Outdoor season.

Indoor Trial World Championship 2005
Round 11
Final Lap
1. Adam Raga Gas Gas 4
2. Albert Cabestany Sherco 8
3. Dougie Lampkin Repsol Montesa-HRC 28
Qualificarion Lap
1. Adam Raga Gas Gas 1
2. Albert Cabestany Sherco 3
3. Dougie Lampkin Repsol Montesa-HRC 6
4. Jeroni Fajardo Gas Gas 7
5. Marc Freixa Repsol Montesa-HRC 14
6. Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa-HRC 19
7. Steve Colley Gas Gas 22
8. Shaun Morris Gas Gas 27
Point Standings
1. Adam Raga 106
2. Albert Cabestany 80
3. Jeroni Fajardo 55
4. Dougie Lampkin 55
5. Takahisa Fujinami 51
6. Marc Freixa 40
7. Toni Bou 14
8. Tadeusz Blazusiak 8
9. Jerome Bethune 5
10. Steve Colley 2
11. Shaun Morris 1
12. Michele Orizio 1
13. Fumitaka Nozaki 1

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