2006 Trial World Championship Round 5-6

Twin Ring Motegi, Japan 3-4/6/2006 - Attendance: 16,500

No Podium for Fuji in Motegi

Fujinami started the 2006 Outdoor season having a major physical drawback; a broken left index finger. He fought against the big pains, and more importantly, not being able to control the clutch well, but he finished sixth at the opening round in Spain. A week later, he surprised many people in Portugal when he grabbed the first victory of the season. Broken bone didn't heal much in a week, but he had a strong mental strength and the physically very fit other than the broken bone to make up for the problem.

Just thought things began to go upward - taking the first victory and his favorite US rounds were to follow - Fuji got sick and the condition got worse. He participated in the Spanish championship round before the US rounds, but he felt so sick that he had to withdraw from the event. It was the first time to retire from the trial event in Fuji's career.

He rested up for the US rounds, but the condition didn't improve so much. It was another touch fight as the opening round, and he said he almost collapse at some stages. Although results weren't so good, it was a fine achievement for Fuji to complete those laps alone. Sixth and fifth finishes were great results considering the condition at the time.

He then flew back to Japan for the very important rounds of the season, Japan GP in Motegi. For the past six seasons, Fuji never missed the podium in Japan. Including some victories, he has been the man to beat at his home ground. For this year, although his physical condition got better than it was at the previous rounds, it was still very far from what he wished it be for his home coming rounds.

The broken bone hadn't made a full recovery by the time of Motegi either. His finger slightly bent after being used before healing up. The team Montesa prepared a special attachment on Fuji's clutch lever to ease the burden on the injured finger. There were also rapid and big improvements of the clutch system taken place in order to give Fuji less stressful riding too. Even though he had some problems, he determined to have good battles for the team and staff giving him a big support, as well as his loyal Japanese fans.


It was Fuji's turn to pick the first starting order among the top riders in Japan. As most of the riders starting before Fuji unable to conquer many of the difficult Motegi sections, there were a lot of soft, slippery and trackless sections waiting for him. Fuji showed some fine rides at the beginning of the Lap1, dabbing a single point at the section two, and he stood on top when he marked beautiful clean at the section four. It was Cabestany who made an early charge too, and he took the first spot at the section six. The surface of the sections was still young, and it was difficult for everybody staying away from errors. Another word, everybody had a chance to move up at the stage. And of course, Fuji was one of the riders very close for taking the victory at the moment. Three sections later, Cabestany fived to give away the top spot to Fuji again.

At the section eleven, it was Fuji who made a five points error, and Bou in turn took the first spot. Fuji continued to be within a reach of the top spot until at the end of the lap, but at the section fifteen Fuji lost his concentration to step into junior and youth section. It was a dicisive mistake for Fuji, and he finished the lap at fourth place with five points gap to the leader.

Bou was strong and continued leading on the Lap2. Fuji, on the other hand, was under the big pressure from Cagestany, Raga and Lampkin on the lap. It seemed that Fuji was competing good old battles against his rivals, but truth was, he was so busy fighting his own battle against the sections. He didn't have any room to think about the evolution of the game at the time.

At the section twelve, Fuji was still lying at second with five points gap behind Bou. The following section, both Bou and Fuji added five, and the gap remained the same. It was a small mistake for Fuji failing to climb the small step at the section, but in fact, he was almost riding beyond his limit by then. The mistake at the end of the lap also allowed Raga and Cabestany moving up in front of Fuji. When the two laps of competition were over, it was Bou who took the victory on Saturday. Fuji finished with 28 points - 5 points down from Bou - but he had to settle for fourth for the day.


Severity of the sections eased off on Sunday, as there was no more virgin surface lying for the riders. Fujinami unusually looked tired before the competition, as if he used all the energy on the previous day. Still, after twelve sections of Lap1 were over, he was first sharing the same points with Cabestany.

Fuji had two more fives before the end of Lap1 to finish fourth with twenty points - eight points behind the leader Cabestany. He rode well on Sunday, but rest of his rivals brought the bar higher too.

After two laps of the competition were over, Fuji was fourth again missing the podium spot. The winner of the Day1, Bou couldn't repeat his performance on Sunday to finish seventh behind Kuroyama and Ogawa. The championship leader Raga finished second on both days, building more gap against the rivals, who all having ups and downs season so far.

U.S.A. and Japan - the rounds which had been good for Fuji in the past - turned to be very disappointing rounds for him this year. Championship leader Raga now stands with one hundred and eight points - thirty one points ahead of Fuji - and the battle for the 2006 title looks to be very difficult for Fuji. Still the season just reached the half way point, and there are six more rounds to go before the season is over. Fuji returned to his home in Spain hoping to make a full recovery for his fight back for the coming French round.

Quote from Fujigas:

There are so many reasons why I couldn't finish well, but it was a shame to score such results at my home rounds in Japan. As far as the game on Saturday, losing my rhythm on the Lap2 hurt me a lot. I know I had a chance to catch up as I was only five points away, but that was all I could do. Sunday was worse, because I wasn't ready for the competition. My physical condition is getting better, much better than when I was at US rounds, so I will go back to Europe to have some adjustments for the revenge at the rounds to come. I just want to say thank you very much to my fans in Japan for the big support. I am so disappointed to myself not being able to please them by showing what they deserved to see..

World Championship 2006
Pos. rider Make L1+L2+TO Pts CL
1. Toni Bou Beta 23+21+0 44 16
2. Adam Raga Gas Gas 30+15+0 45 13
3. Albert Cabestany Sherco 27+20+0 47 14
4. Takahisa Fujinami Montesa 28+21+0 49 14
5. Dougie Lampkin Montesa 27+25+0 52 14
6. Kenichi Kuroyama Scorpa 43+32+1 76 9
7. Marc Freixa Beta 42+38+0 80 8
8. Tadeusz Blazusiak Scorpa 47+40+0 87 7
L1: Lap1 L2: Lap2 TO: Time Over Pts: Penalty Point CL:Clean
Pos. rider Make L1+L2+TO Pts CL
1. Albert Cabestany Sherco 12+2+0 14 23
2. Adam Raga Gas Gas 13+5+0 18 22
3. Dougie Lampkin Montesa 16+10+0 26 17
4. Takahisa Fujinami Montesa 20+13+0 33 17
5. Kenichi Kuroyama Scorpa 28+14+0 42 15
6. Tomoyuki Ogawa Honda 21+24+0 45 10
7. Toni Bou Beta 26+23+0 49 16
8. Jeroni Fajardo Gas Gas 31+20+0 51 14
L1: Lap1 L2: Lap2 TO: Time Over Pts: Penalty Point CL:Clean
Point Standing
1. Adam Raga Gas Gas 108
2. Dougie Lampkin Montesa 90
3. Toni Bou Beta 87
4. Albert Cabestany Sherco 82
5. Takahisa Fujinami Montesa 77
6. Jeroni Fajardo Gas Gas 65

Pix: Makoto Sugitani & Hiroshi Nishimaki Official Results PDF- Saturday
Official Results PDF- Sunday
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