2005 World Trial Championship Round 9

3-4/9/2005 Gefrees, Germany

8th and 3rd - Title slipped away from Fujinami

WTC returned in action after the summer break, and the penultimate round of the season took place at Gefrees in Germany. Lots of natural obstacles were used for section set up creating the classic stage for Outdoor competition. Having only 3 games to go before the season is up, Fujinami needed nothing but winning both days, and hoping his rival would struggle.

Fuji had nice practice sessions during holiday, and he looked very strong at the training area in Germany too. Watching the way he practicing, many felt that Fuji had a good chance to defend his title.

Saturday, September 3rd

Raga was lucky at the ballot to pick the final starting order. Tony Bow picked the 2nd best, and the 3rd from the last went to Fuji. While both Raga and Fuji having a pressure for the title battle, it was Freixa who showed a strong ride on the lap 1. By the half way mark at the section 7, Freixa had 13 points, while Fuji building up 23 points. Raga too having a tough time and he had 20 points by then.

Apart from the pressure for winning, Fuji had a small problem with his bike on Saturday. He wasn't sure what was wrong, but the problem must have affected his riding as he fived the sections, in which having a tendency to go either clean or five and required precise control.

Freixa maintained his rhythm to finish 1st on the lap with 18 points. Raga rode better at the later sections to finish 2nd with 22 points. Fuji continued to struggle, and he finished down in 8th with 37 points.

Fuji couldn't turn things around so much on the lap 2, and he finished 8th for the day. Raga meanwhile bounced back on the lap to finish 5 points better than Freixa, and he won the day by one point advantage. As a result, the championship point gap between Fuji and Raga became 25 points - the biggest gap ever reached in this season. Mathematically, Fuji had a chance to stop Raga, but he needed to win while Raga finishing with zero point at one of two games remaining. That was very unlikely to be happened.

Sunday, September 4th

Finishing 8th on the previous day, Fuji started early on Sunday - around 20 minutes earlier than Raga's starting time. There were Kuroyama, Pascuet and Blazusiak with Fuji when the day got underway, but Kuroyama had problem at the section 1 so as Blazusiak getting injured after crashing at the early stage. Fuji soon found himself competing along with James Dabill, who recently became the new Junior class champion. It was somewhat awkward to see the man who was fighting for the series title riding at such position.

Fuji rode better on Sunday, and on the lap 1 he avoided taking five except at the section 9. It was the section, where Fuji fived on both laps on Saturday. He chose the line he believed the only way to mark clean, but he failed and suffered maximum points. Later the top riders tried the different line than Fuji, and they safely marked cleans.

Fuji had to ride patiently to recover from early mistakes on the lap 2. His effort paid off and he rode faultlessly after the section 8 to mark 8 consecutive cleans. It wasn't enough to bring his position better than the lap 1, and he finished the day 3rd with 31 points. It was Raga who won the day 2 after showing brilliant ride with a total of 17 penalty points.

Although Fuji rode much better on Sunday, there was no smile on Fuji's face at the podium. As the day 2 was over, the point gap became 30 points with one round remaining, thus Raga clinched 2005 WTC championship. For Fuji, it was already painful to see the title taken away from his hands, but it was frustrating to stand along side to celebrate his rival who just made a perfect style to clinch the title with the day's victory.

Quote from Fujigas:

I was under big pressure that I had to win this weekend, but I also had some problems too. Although I didn't give up, considering the situation I was at, I think it was the best I could do on Saturday. I am glad to be upon the podium, not only because finishing 3rd but also having a chance to get really frustrated by watching Raga being so excited to clinch the title. I am not going to forget the feeling I felt on that podium, and I think it kicked my motivation even higher. I have to say that I am sorry for my fans that I could not fight for the title all the way till the end. I think I was too eager to win this time and I failed. I have one more round to go, and I will be real eager to win, and I will win next time.

World Championship 2005
  Rider Make L1 L2 TO Pts CL
1 Adam Raga GasGas 22 15 0 37 13
2 Marc Freixa Montesa 18 20 0 38 12
3 Dougie Lampkin Montesa 29 22 0 51 14
4 Jeroni Fajardo GasGas 28 26 0 54 12
5 Albert Cabestany Sherco 28 30 0 58 12
6 Graham Jarvis Sherco 32 31 3 66 6
7 Antonio Bou Beta 37 31 0 68 10
8 Takahisa Fujinami Honda 37 31 0 68 9
9 Kenichi Kuroyama Beta 49 33 0 82 5
10 Tadeusz Blazusiak GasGas 50 45 0 95 0
11 Jordi Pascuet GasGas 56 45 0 101 1
12 Fumitaka Nozaki Scorpa 61 42 0 103 7
13 Shaun Morris GasGas 54 50 0 104 3
14 James Dabill Beta 55 52 0 107 4
15 Sam connor Sherco 59 52 0 112 1
L1: Lap1 L2: Lap2 TO: Time Over Pts: Penalty Point CL:Clean
  Rider Make L1 L2 TO Pts CL
1 Adam Raga GasGas 8 9 0 17 21
2 Antonio Bou Beta 15 11 0 26 19
3 Takahisa Fujinami Honda 14 17 0 31 17
4 Dougie Lampkin Montesa 27 10 0 37 16
5 Graham Jarvis Sherco 24 13 0 37 15
6 Albert Cabestany Sherco 11 26 0 37 13
7 Marc Freixa 26 20 0 46 14
8 Kenichi Kuroyama Beta 24 25 0 49 10
9 Jeroni Fajardo GasGas 18 36 0 54 16
10 Fumitaka Nozaki Scorpa 39 33 0 72 7
11 Jordi Pascuet GasGas 35 39 0 74 7
12 James Dabill Beta 37 40 0 77 6
13 Shaun Morris GasGas 39 46 0 85 7
14 Tadeusz Blazusiak GasGas 48 41 0 89 2
15 Martin Kroustek Beta 55 54 0 109 3
L1: Lap1 L2: Lap2 TO: Time Over Pts: Penalty Point CL:Clean
1 Adam Raga 235
2 Takahisa Fujinami 205
3 Dougie Lampkin 201
4 Albert Cabestany 199
5 Antonio Bou 162
6 Marc Freixa 157

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