2005 World Trial Championship Round 7

9-10/7/2005 Valbondione, Italy

Back in pursuit with Victory on Sunday

As the season turned into the closing stage, the championship hope became subtle for Fujinami after 2 days of nightmarish results in France. Still, he believes that he has the odds in his favor, and he went to Italy with a positive attitude. Round 7 took place in Italy - once again in northern part of the country, and Valbondione hosted its first WTC event.

Saturday, July 9th

"Natural sections"; as Fuji described the sections in Italy, there were outdoor style hazards along the river using natural obstacles. It was quite a contrast to the previous round, where majority were man-made indoor style sections. There were about 5 water hazards and the rest were set up near the river using slope and rocks. Very slippery surface of rocks gave tough time for the riders, but they loved the way sections were arranged. It was rain and shine mixed weather on Saturday, but the competition took place basically in all wet condition.

After the French round, Fuji had intensive meetings with team boss, and they agreed that it was best to forget about negative aspects to go forward. Preparing for the Italian round, Fuji felt great and had some good practice sessions. There was no problem with the bike too, so he arrived at Italy with refreshed mind and ready for the fight.

Being cautious with slippery surface, Fuji played safe on lap 1. He footed early to avoid getting maximum penalties. His plan worked out, and he finished first with 3 points advantage against Raga. Fuji stuck with the game plan on the following lap, but he decided to go more aggressively to score cleans when he heard the news that Raga was showing excellent ride. However, things went backwards, and Fuji dabbed 1 point more than he had on the lap 1 to finish 2nd on Sunday. Raga was 11 points lesser than Fuji, and won the day with 9 points advantage. It was frustrating to give away the victory, but Fuji was at least happy to finish better than Cabestany; one of two Spaniards standing in front of Fuji in the championship, with one point advantage.

Sunday, July 10th

Rain continued to fall in the morning, but it began to clear off by the time the competitors starting their ride. It was interesting to see how change in condition would contribute to the battle. When Fuji arrived at the section 4, the sun showed up and rocks began to dry out. It was the section he marked clean on the lap 2 on Saturday, but he slid the rear tire a lot and he ended up taking five. Raga learned the condition by watching Fuji's mistake, and he rode the section with 3 points.

When the lap was over, Fuji dabbed 23 penalty points with a total of three fives. He knew Raga made a record lap on Saturday with 5 points, and it brought him back a bad memory in France. Then he had a report telling that it was Fajardo who was leading the lap with 21 points. Freixa was 2nd with 22 points, and Fuji was 3rd. He couldn't believe to be up there after having so many fives.

At one point it looked to be hopeless but the news lightened him up. He re-concentrated and started the lap 2. Fuji had a clear goal for the lap, which was to be ahead of Raga for taking the day's victory. Fuji knew he had 5 points advantage over the rival, so he tried to keep it till the end.

At the final section of the day, team boss approached Fuji for a word. "You are 1st now, but it is possible dropping down to 3rd if you five here". Fuji knew adding three points wouldn't hurt him too much, but he braced up one last time to ride with single penalty point to capture the victory on Sunday.

Quote from Fujigas:

I am glad I could keep the good image throughout the event in Italy. Still, if you look at the series standing, there are big 17 more points to catch up. I think I rode well on the lap 2 on Sunday with 10 points. If I can continue to win like that and Raga would finish 4th or 5th, it is possible to cut down the gap for 7 to 9 points instantly. There are 4 more rounds to go, so I will try hard to fight back. The biggest rival of the season now shifted from Lampkin to Raga. It was hard to keep the rhythm for me because I am used to mark Lampkin for so many years, but now my focus is clear. Raga rode well on the slippery sections too, so he is very dangerous this year. I will do my best for the rest of the season.

World Championship 2005
Valbondione, Italy
  Rider Make L1 L2 TO Pts CL
1 Adam Raga GasGas 19 5 0 24 18
2 Takahisa Fujinami Honda 16 17 0 33 16
3 Albert Cabestany Sherco 20 14 0 34 15
4 Dougie Lampkin Montesa 29 15 0 44 15
5 Toni Bou Beta 24 26 0 50 13
6 Marc Freixa Montesa 24 29 0 53 12
7 Kenichi Kuroyama Beta 40 25 0 65 8
8 Graham Jarvis Sherco 41 27 0 68 7
9 Jeroni Fajardo GasGas 42 31 0 73 13
10 Tadeusz Blazusiak GasGas 49 39 0 88 7
11 Jordi Pascuet GasGas 45 45 0 90 7
12 Shaun Morris GasGas 52 39 0 91 7
13 Daniele Maurino GasGas 57 36 0 93 5
14 Fumitaka Nozaki Scorpa 51 43 0 94 5
15 Isao Shibuya Scorpa 54 41 0 95 7
L1: Lap1 L2: Lap2 TO: Time Over Pts: Penalty Point CL:Clean
  Rider Make L1 L2 TO Pts CL
1 Takahisa Fujinami Honda 23 10 0 33 18
2 Jeroni Fajardo GasGas 21 15 0 36 15
3 Dougie Lampkin Montesa 26 11 0 37 17
4 Adam Raga GasGas 28 13 0 41 15
5 Antonio Bou Beta 27 18 0 45 14
6 Marc Freixa Montesa 22 27 0 49 12
7 Kenichi Kuroyama Beta 33 28 0 61 11
8 Graham Jarvis Sherco 31 33 0 64 11
9 Albert Cabestany Sherco 29 36 0 65 8
10 Tadeusz Blazusiak GasGas 52 41 0 93 4
11 Jordi Pascuet GasGas 49 48 0 97 6
12 Isao Shibuya Scorpa 55 42 0 97 4
13 Shaun Morris GasGas 48 51 0 99 6
14 Fumitaka Nozaki Scorpa 49 51 0 100 8
15 Dario Delle Re Gandine GasGas 47 56 0 103 6
L1: Lap1 L2: Lap2 TO: Time Over Pts: Penalty Point CL:Clean
1 Adam Raga 182
2 Takahisa Fujinami 165
3 Albert Cabestany 163
4 Dougie Lampkin?@ 153
5 Antonio Bou 125
6 Marc Freixa 121

Pix : Mario Candellone Official Results PDF- Saturday
Official Results PDF- Sunday
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