2006 Trial World Championship Round 9

Polski Zwiazek Motorowy, Myslenice, Poland 9/7/2006 - Attendance: 3,000

Two in a Row - Fujinami Back in Style

Fujinami stood on top of the podium again to cerebrate the victory at the ninth round of TWC taken place in Poland. After disappointing home rounds in Japan, Fujinami never missed the podium as the series returned to Europe for three rounds in three consecutive weeks. By winning third time in the season, Fuji made a big step to move up second in the championship.

It was welcome return of the championship for Poland, where the country had been absent from the GP calendar for ten years. For Fuji, who started his championship challenge in 1996, it was the first trial round in Poland. In fact, it was new to every rider except Lampkin, who has been competing long enough to visit the country back in 1995.

All the sections except the final man-made section were located alongside the river. The riders found many of the sections too difficult; too dangerous and risky, when they observed them on Friday. They requested the organizer to make the sections safe and ridable, so that there would be a reasonable competition. When they observed the sections again on Saturday after the European championship taken place, they found no alternation. The riders insisted the organizer to take action, and the modifications finally took place on Sunday morning.

Fuji said he was nervous at the warm-up lap being aware of winning and catching up Raga for the championship, and his riding was stiff. Then Mr. Cirera gave him a clear advice, and it helped Fuji improve his concentration for riding and the competition itself. Although it is hard not to think about the championship at this time of the season, Fuji has been able to keep his concentration well during the competition lately. Fuji pointed out that Mr.Cirera's support had been a great help for him and contributing to the good results in the past three rounds.

Fuji started first among the leading riders in Poland. He rode well at the first five sections, marking all cleans except dropping five points at the section three. The section three was a tough one, and the majority of the riders fived too. Fuji heard the reports that Cabestany and Raga were two showing good ride at the beginning of the lap. Indeed, Cabestany was the only rider, who marked clean at the difficult section three.

Then the accident struck Fuji at the section six. He fell down when jumping off to the river from the muddy rock, and he hit the body hard and went completely underwater. He climbed out of the river but crouched on the ground groaning with the huge pain for some time. Everybody saw the accident thought Fuji's day was over. He got bruised all over his body, but the biggest problem was the wrist being damaged in the crash. Apart from brutal pain, he couldn't twist it freely after the crash. There were twenty four more sections to go, and he had to ride with the wrist with limited motion. While sitting on the ground beaten up, Fuji saw Raga and Lampkin making errors at the next section. Later, although Fuji didn't see, Cabestany also fived at the section. He was relieved to realize that there weren't so many clean-able sections. His motivation kicked in again, and he could raise the level of concentration again.

Fuji re-started and hurried his way. He was first to start the lap and lost time considerably because of the accident, so he didn't have time to stay with the other riders. He was riding mostly alone, barely saw the other riders. That also helped him keep his own pace too. Fuji finished first at the Lap1, and continued steady riding at the Lap2. At the end of the Lap2, it was Fuji, Raga and Cabestany who were fighting for the lead, and the gap was very small. Fuji came back first to complete two laps of tough riding, and the only thing he could do was waiting for the rest to finish. First Raga and then Cabestany came to finish the laps, and Fuji was one point better than two, who finished with same penalty points. It was a big relief for Fuji, and he waited for the final standing to be announced.

Fuji didn't know then, but there was a protest posted by Raga against Fuji's score at the section nine on the Lap2. Fuji dropped two points at the section so the card was punched. But Raga claimed that Fuji's score should have been three instead of two. It was natural to puzzle Raga's camp, because there was a small confusion at the section when Fuji rode. Initially, the observer called three points for Fuji. It was a mistake, and he soon corrected it as two points penalty. The man at the exit of the section, who was in charge for the scoreboard for spectators didn't realize the correction, so he wrote '3' for Fuji.

Raga's camp calculated the point according to the scoreboard, and it didn't add up. It was a crucial one point for Raga, because if Fuji had forty five points, the top three riders would have finished in tie, and Raga would be the winner by the number of cleans. FIM officers talked with the observer to sort out the situation, and they understood the overall picture. It took a while till the official announcement was made, but finally and officially Fuji's victory in Poland was declared.

What a tough and another close battle for Fuji. But as he won the Polish round, he moved up to second in the championship. However, having Raga finished second in the round, Fuji could reduce the gap against the championship leader for three points only. Three more rounds to go before the season is up, and there are fifteen points still stand as the gap. Which means, Fuji has to reduce at least five points per round. The mission is clear for Fuji for the rest of the season, that is trying to go for victory. He still needs Raga finishing out of the podium, but there is out of Fuji's control.

As nine rounds of the season have completed, Fuji now holds the most wins record in 2006: three for Fuji, two for Raga and Bou, and one for Cabestany and Lampkin. The round ten in the Great Britain will be held in two weeks time. But before anything, Fuji needs to have a treatment for his wrist started to hurt a lot after the event, though he believed it isn't too serious. Everything seems to be going back to normal for Fuji, and we should be able to see more of Fuji at his best in the rounds to come.

Quote from Fujigas:

Three rounds in Europe have turned out great for me. My body doesn't stiffen up because of being nervous anymore, so I am having good trial riding lately. I still go to see the doctor, but I don't feel any discomfort, so I think I can tell you that illness is not a factor anymore. We have only three rounds to go, and it is hard not to think about the points and the title. But only thing I can do is trying to do well at each round, so I will try to keep my concentration toward the competition itself. Mr. Cirera has been very supportive, and I am very happy too. After the event, people asked me how I could manage to ride again, and even taking the victory. They thought I was finished at the section. It was indeed a very bad accident, but I didn't give up in Poland. For sure I am not giving up for the title in 2006, because it is not finished yet.

World Championship 2006
Pos. rider Make L1+L2+TO Pts CL
1. Takahisa Fujinami Montesa 27+16+1 44 14
2. Adam Raga Gas Gas 31+14+0 45 16
3. Albert Cabestany Sherco 27+18+0 45 15
4. Dougie Lampkin Montesa 36+23+0 59 13
5. Marc Freixa Beta 38+28+2 68 11
6. Jeroni Fajardo Gas Gas 43+25+1 69 10
7. Toni Bou Beta 38+32+0 70 9
8. Tadeusz Blazusiak Scorpa 38+36+0 74 5
L1: Lap1 L2: Lap2 TO: Time Over Pts: Penalty Point CL:Clean
Point Standing
1. Adam Raga Gas Gas 149
2. Takahisa Fujinami Montesa 134
3. Dougie Lampkin Montesa 133
4. Albert Cabestany Sherco 125
5. Toni Bou Beta 124
6. Jeroni Fajardo Gas Gas 100

Pix: Mario Candellone Official Results PDF
In order to use a PDF file, Adobe Reader (no charge) is required.
Please click the banner.
Get Acrobat Reader