2006 Indoor World Trial Championship Round 4

Milan, Italy - 29/1/2006 - Attendance: 3,500

First Podium in 2006 for Fujinami

Fujinami stood on the podium for the first time in 2006 season at the fourth round of IWTC. A week before in Granada, Fuji commented that he needed a decent result to boost his motivation. He carried out his words at the very next round in Milan, Italy.

The sections in Milan were very tricky, forcing the riders either cleans or complete failures. It looked to be another tough round considering the way the team Montesa fought in the season so far. Furthermore, most of the sections in Milan were again brought from Spain, so there was no good news for the riders who were to chase Spanish leaders.

It was Bou who picked the first starting order ahead of Maurino. Fuji was the fourth starting rider among the permanent riders following Fajardo, Cabestany and Raga.

Trickyindeed, and even Bou and Fajardo, two of three previous winners of the season, couldn't avoid adding multiple five points penalties. Cabestany and Raga on the other hand showed their strength andfinished the observed sections with six points and two points, respectively. Raga in particular had one point at the section four with one point time penalty, showing almost perfect ride.

Fujicompleted his observed sections with fourteen points including two fives. Ironically, having two fives saved Fuji in Milan, where in the past three rounds, those two fives costed his final lap appearance. Lampkin meanwhile started last, and he rode with fifteen points including three fives. So both Montesa riders managed to move up their positions in the qualification lap.

Thelast spot for the final lap was decided between two Montesa riders. Lampkin won the Double-Lane against Fuji, so they finished the lap in a tie. However, Fuji finished his seven observed sections six seconds quicker than the team-mate, and Fuji secured the third spot for the final lap.

As expected, Fuji spent a tough time at his first final lap of the season. Lampkin and Cirera carefully watched Fuji riding. They noticed that Fuji successfully climbing up the step, having almost equal performance to the other two. But the shape of the under-guard plate on Montesa was too smooth, so Fuji had problem hooking the bike on to the surface, often slipping off from the sections. The opponents had much jaggy plates - too jaggy for Montesa's standard, but certainly hooking better than Montesa's. Having one of their riders competing at the higher level unveiled a problem, which wasn't noticed before. Montesa will have some modifications before going to their home round in Barcelona.

Thepoint gap became bigger as the battle progressed, and when it reached at the half way, there was nothing Fuji could do. Having nothing left to lose, Fuji tried to ride in a style to entertain Milan fans. He lived up to the expectations, winning the DL against Cabestany and almost beat Raga later too. Fuji was in a good pace riding against Raga, and he made a sharp jack-knife turn in attempt to extend his lead. However, he did a bit too much to drop the rear wheel from the box to fall off. Fuji rode final three sections flamboyantly having one five and two cleans. Milan fans mush have enjoyed Fuji's ride as much as the rider did.

There is still long and tough way to go, but 2006 season truly started for Fuji with the first podium of the season.

Quote from Fujigas:

I think I finally see the light out of a long tunnel. I am now closer to fourth in the championship having Fajardo finished sixth this time. But important thing for me is to go to the final lap and finish on the podium every round. Round five will in Barcelona, so it is going to be a tough one again. But please stand by because I am sure we are going to pull it through. We are not going to finish the season being struggled.

Indoor Trial World Championship 2006
Final Lap
1. Adam Raga Gas Gas 5
2. Albert Cabestany Sherco 14
3. Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa HRC 26
Qualificarion Lap
1. Adam Raga Gas Gas 2
2. Albert Cabestany Sherco 7
3. Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa HRC 15
4. Dougie Lampkin Repsol Montesa HRC 15
5. Toni Bou Beta 21
6. Jeroni Fajardo Gas Gas 21
7. Daniele Maurino Gas Gas 34
Point Standings
1. Adam Raga 36
2. Albert Cabestany 29
3. Toni Bou 25
4. Jeroni Fajardo 22
5. Takahisa Fujinami 18
6. Dougie Lampkin 14
7. Daniele maurino 4
8. James Dabill 3
9. Jerome Bethune 2
10. Tadeusz Blazusiak 1
11. Shaun Morris 1

Pix: Indoortrial.com Click for the Official Results PDF
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