2007 Indoor World Trial Championship Round 1

Palacio Deportes Granada, Spain - 14/1/2007 - Attendance:***

Fujinami starts the Season with Fifth Place

Before 2007 IWTC gets underway, Fujinami felt the it would turn out differently compare to past two seasons. He thought that Toni Bou, who has joined the team Montesa this year would give them fresh point of view for their 4RTs, which have had some weaknesses in the Indoor championship. Also, although there are two ex-trial world champions, the team has been struggling in the series, where Spanish riders are far familiar with the competition and their home-made sections. Having the Spanish rider in the team would be beneficial to both British and Japanese riders.

photoBou has adapted to Montesa 4RT well in a very short time. It was a tough job for ex-champions when the bike was first introduced and then developing it while competing. But thanks to their effort and dedication, the bike has improved a lot since. It was the perfect timing for Bou to join the team in a way, and indeed, the combination of Bou and 4RT showed instant success. Bou says 4RT is much better than his ex-bike in many areas. Fuji also saw Bou going up some of the big steps, which believed to be 4RT's weak area. Cerebrating 4RT's first victory in Indoor event, there maybe no doubt about four stroke bikes' potential at the Indoor competition anymore.

Fuji also changed the way to set up the bike for this year. Although he had the set up the way he felt good about, he tried the things he hasn't done so far to push the envelope. He changed the suspension setting, which was the setting believed to weaken the traction in turn. The new setting though worked great without sacrificing traction too much.

There were two indoor events prior to the championship; Sheffield and Toulouse - two rounds used to be in the championship calendar. At the both prelude rounds where all the top riders participated, Fuji managed to finish on the podium. He had his spirit high for the coming series, but when the actual championship has started, he missed the podium to finished fifth at Granada. He almost could have finished sixth, if Cabestany didn't retire. The Spaniard was strong as he had two consecutive cleans before struck by a trouble.

photoStill, it was a close battle as Fuji was only two points away from Fajardo, who finished third on the podium, and a point away from fourth placed Lampkin. Fuji says he was too much concerned about trying to ride 'indoor style' at Granada, and he couldn't ride the way he normally does. He inspected the sections earlier with his new team-mate discussing the way to ride. When Fuji saw Fajardo riding and clearing the section in the way they talked about, Fuji decided to copy the rival's riding. "I should have gone for my own riding. I tried to imitate and messed up. It makes me more frustrated with the results." Fuji said after the event. He also regrets to have five point error right after entering the section four, because if he managed to ride there with, to say three points, he might have a chance to be on the podium.

Bou by the way, says he didn't remember how he rode at the first lap because he was very nervous. Though at the final lap, he showed calm and strong ride against the reigning indoor champ, and won the event by ten points margin.

Concerning about getting finger injury last year, the team told Fuji not to push too much in the Indoor series. It is the Outdoor championship that really matter for Fuji, so leave the Indoor series to Bou. Fuji understands it. He will try maximum not to get any injury, but he wants to get the best results possible when compete. It's also nice to go on to the coming championship with the momentum from the Indoor series. Although Fuji missed the podium, he knew he had a good chance. He is very much looking forward to the next round in Russia.

Quote from Fujigas:

I am happy to have Toni with us this year, because he gives us some valuable feedbacks. It changed the whole thing, as some of the weaknesses we thought we had aren't there anymore. I also change the way to set up my bike, and I was able to ride the sections, which seemed to be impossible to ride for me before. I feel bad to finish fifth today because I knew I could do better today. It is funny getting lessens from the guy who just started to ride our 4-stroke, but definitely it is a step to go forward. I am also happy to see Toni doing well today to prove the potential of our bike. At the next round in Russia, things will be more equal for everybody, because there will be non-spanish sections there. I will have a better chance there, and I know I have to do better next time.

Indoor Trial WorldChampionship 2007
Final Lap
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa HRC 5
2 Adam Raga Gas Gas 15
3 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 28
Qualificarion Lap
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa HRC 12
2 Adam Raga Gas Gas 12
3 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 19
4 Dougie Lampkin Repsol Montesa HRC 20
5 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa HRC 21
6 Albert Cabestany Sherco 30?25+5*?
7 Blazusiak Tadeusz Beta 36
1 Toni Bou 10
2 Adam Raga 8
3 Jeroni Fajardo 6
4 Dougie Lampkin 5
5 Takahisa Fujinami 4
6 Albert Cabestany 3
7 Blazusiak Tadeusz 2

*: Five points penalty for not riding the Double-Lane