2005 World Trial Championship Round 2

24/4/2005 Tarragona, Spain

Finished the round with question marks

After a week from the Portugal round where Fuji faced a bitter result by finishing 5th, round 2 of the WTC took place in Tarragona Spain. It was the home city of Albert Cabestany, and he and fellow Spanish riders attained supremacy to dominate the podium. Although Fuji wasn't happy with the way the event was handled, he admitted his defeat against Spanish riders to finish 4th with 11 points away from the third placed Marc Freixa.

Competition area was located at the seacoast nearby the city providing friendly access for the spectators. However, there was a big question mark if the venue was a adequate place to hold the world-class competition. Many of the sections were very close to the ocean forcing the riders to get soaked; in fact, they had to take their time before entering the sections not to be washed away by the lapping waves. After two sections, Dougie Lampkin's motor refused to work with an electric problem, with a probable cause of being washed by the salty water.

After having considerable degree of delay, the organizer extended a time-allowance for ten minutes, but there was no official announcement or clear notice of such alteration, at least the news did not reach Fuji and his crews. Not aware of having ten more extra minutes, Fuji found himself running out of time at the end of the lap1, and he had to rush to complete the lap.

The section 13 became the biggest blow for Fuji with another question mark. Everybody put a marking stone as a reference at the section. Just about Fuji making his attack for the section, an official pointed out that putting a marking stone at the section was an illegal and could not be allowed. Fuji wondered why the official suddenly changed his mind after some of the riders already completed the section with a marking stone, but he had no way but obeying his order. The section wasn't particularly difficult, but having no reference mark, nor had enough time for careful inspection, Fuji couldn't find the best line ending up taking five points.

As the first lap was over, Cabestany led the field with 6 penalty points from Freixa with 10 points and Raga with 13 points. Fuji had 18 points to follow in the 4th place. Sections were pretty wet, but it had a good traction. Together with indoor style of the sections, Spanish riders were performing very well.

The biggest surprise of the day came at the middle of the lap2 when Fuji found out that Lampkin was competing within the time limit. Fuji knew Lampkin was losing time by fixing his bike. On the other hand, Fuji tried his best to complete the lap1 within time, he couldn't believe his ears. Fuji then found out about the extension of the time allowance, but it was too late.

Lap two turned to be fairy well for Fuji, but he never had a chance to recover the point difference he suffered on lap 1 to finish 4th with a big point gap.

One of the reasons Fuji allowed Spanish riders big advantages, apart from some misfortunes, was that he doesn't have so much practice session with indoor style section - tricky sections with a good traction. Fuji knows he needs to work on such areas, but time being, he is more focused on practicing with outdoor style section with slippery surface.

So the day was over with another tough results for Fuji, but he was at least happy that the event was held with a day format. It could have been very dangerous to let Spanish riders gaining too much confidence. The next round will be Fuji's home round in Motegi Japan. Hopefully, he will get his momentum going there and for the rest of the season.

Quote from Fujigas:

I never thought I will be going back home being 5th in the championship, the worst ranking in my career to go home with. I know I have weakness with my game plan, so I will work hard on such field to be stronger at Mogegi round. I did well at both Motegi and US rounds in the past, so I am already excited about coming two rounds My strategy is catching them up in Motegi and getting ahead of them at the US round, as I can recover a lot with two days competiton.

World Championship 2005
Pampilhosa da Serra
  rider   L1 L2 TO Pts CL
1 Adam Raga Gas Gas 13 8 0 21 21
2 Albert Cabestany Sherco 6 16 0 22 23
3 Marc Freixa Montesa 10 14 0 24 18
4 Takahisa Fujinami Honda 18 15 0 33 16
5 Dougie Lampkin Montesa 21 16 0 37 18
6 Toni Bou Beta 26 15 0 41 14
7 Kenichi Kuroyama Beta 25 25 0 50 13
8 Graham Jarvis Sherco 41 26 0 67 9
9 Jeroni Fajardo Gas Gas 52 32 0 84 6
10 Tadeusz Blazusiak Gas Gas 46 43 0 89 1
11 Sam Connor Sherco 53 44 0 97 5
12 Jordi Pascuet Gas Gas 53 51 0 104 0
13 Jerome Bethune Gas Gas 53 53 2 108 3
14 Fumitaka Nozaki Scorpa 53 55 0 108 1
15 Shaun Morris Gas Gas 60 56 0 116 3
L1: Lap1 L2: Lap2 TO: Time Over Pts: Penalty Point CL:Clean

Pix: Hiroshi Nishimaki Click for the Official Results PDF
In order to use a PDF file, Adobe Reader (no charge) is required.
Please click the banner.
Get Acrobat Reader