2006 Trial World Championship Round 8

Darfo Boario Terme, Italy 2/7/2006 - Attendance: 9,000

Victory No.2 - Fujinami Back on Form

The round eight of TWC took place at the beautiful city of Terme in Northern Italy. Locating near the foot of the Alps, the venue provides the optimum fields for trial competition.

The weather was fine prior to the event, and it was very hot and dry. Although there were sections consisting of natural objects unlike the previous round in France, Fujinami thought it could be a favor of Spanish riders because the sections were dry and very dusty. He knew that heavy rain fall before the event changed the ingredient of competition in France, which helped the Montesa riders to finish 1-2 on the podium. But in Italy, there was no sign of rain for the weekend. Fuji was still fighting off his illness, and he didn't know how much heat he could sustain on Sunday either.

The competition got underway in the condition similar to Saturday's; very hot and dusty. Fuji felt well at the beginning of the lap, but he made three single point errors by the end of the section seven. He was sure all the other riders would ride better, possibly marking all-cleans. But the news came to Fuji that they were having more problems; Raga, Bou and Lampkin dropping nine, thirteen, and sixteen, respectively. Fuji found him standing at the top of the score board with Fajardo who also had three points, and Cabestany followed them at third with seven points.

"I wondered what was wrong with them, but certainly I began to think I might have a chance," but the truth was, Fuji was riding a lot better than he felt he was.

Fuji built further point gap at the section nine—one of the biggest challenge for the day. Fuji thought the section was impenetrable when he inspected it earlier. It was tough indeed, and all the riders except Fuji and Bou failed to finish, dropping five points in the section. Fuji and Bou managed to ride with one point penalty point, which gave Fuji more breathing room against the rivals.

Fuji completed the Lap1 with fifteen points ahead of Cabestany who had twenty points. "I knew then I had a big chance for winning." He knew if he could stay away from the big mistakes at the later lap, the victory should come to him at the end of the day.

Unfortunately, Fuji didn't know he had five points over time penalty at the end of the lap. He had a time warning from the staff, saying "You are less than two minutes," but he thought he had two more minutes. He went on to challenge against another very difficult section fifteen, and he ended with five points penalty with the time penalty. If he had known about the time situation, he could escape the section to, at least, avoid the additional penalty points.

Fuji went on to the Lap2, and he dropped more points than the Lap1. It was mainly due to the failure at the section nine. All the riders fived at the section on the Lap2, so it didn't hurt him a lot. The problem on the lap was the hot weather draining Fuji's stamina. He began to worry because he remembered he lost concentration when his stamina got expired at the later part of the day in Japan. But then he found that the rest of the riders were struggling in the condition too.

"It was good to know it wasn't only me being tired." It gave him a relief, and gave him physical strength too.

At end of the Lap2, he was running out of time. Being afraid not to finish within total time allowance—five and a half hours, he rushed his way at the final two sections. At the section fourteen in particular, he didn't wait for his minder to arrive to start his ride, and he ended up dropping five points.

Two laps completed, and according to Fuji calculation, he was winning by five points against Cabestany. He returned to the pit to celebrate his victory with his staff, but everybody at the pit was in a middle of the confusion—sort of in panic. Fuji didn't know what was going on. Then he finally found out about the time over penalty at the Lap1, that meant Fuji's advantage was reduced to none against Cabestany.

Two rounds in a row, the victory was decided by the number of cleans. In Italy, Fuji had eighteen cleans while Cabestany had seventeen, thus it was Fuji who grabbed the victory to stand at the top of the podium.

Quote from Fujigas:

It was close at the end, but I am very happy to win. It is also good to see both Adam and Dougie finishing outside of the podium at fifth and sixth, so I could reduce the point gap against them. But I am not going to worry too much about the championship, and I will try to win at the rounds to come. My physical condition is getting a lot better, but it is not as good as I hoped it to be. Still, winning today in the condition so tough means a lot to me, and it boosts my confidence. Mr.Cirera stays with me in the competition for a couple of rounds now. I feel strong when he is with me, and he also gives me valuable advise too. He certainly helped me this time to take the victory. I am going to go for another good battle at the next round in Poland!

World Championship 2006
Pos. rider Make L1+L2+TO Pts CL
1. Takahisa Fujinami Montesa 15+19+5 39 18
2. Albert Cabestany Sherco 20+19+0 39 17
3. Jeroni Fajardo Gas Gas 23+24+0 47 15
4. Toni Bou Beta 23+19+6 48 16
5. Adam Raga Gas Gas 31+21+0 52 16
6. Dougie Lampkin Montesa 40+27+3 70 11
7. Marc Freixa Beta 39+32+0 71 10
8. James Dabill Beta 49+43+0 92 7
L1: Lap1 L2: Lap2 TO: Time Over Pts: Penalty Point CL:Clean
Point Standing
1. Adam Raga Gas Gas 132
2. Dougie Lampkin Montesa 120
3. Toni Bou Beta 115
4. Takahisa Fujinami Montesa 114
5. Albert Cabestany Sherco 110
6. Jeroni Fajardo Gas Gas 90

Pix: Chili JC Vazquez Official Results PDF
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