2007 Indoor World Trial Championship Round 4

Palau Sant Jordi, Barcelona Spain - 4/2/2007 - Attendance: 12,000

Fuji on the first Podium of the Season

photoIWTC returned to Spain as the fourth round of the season took place in Barcelona. The city is the special place for Indoor trials for many reasons. Generally, the popularity of the sport is very high in Spain, and there are many enthusiastic trial fans in Catalan area. It is the home town for many of the world class trial riders, and the number of the trial teams including the team Montesa have their bases in the area too. Big media coverages with many VIPs from the sponsors coming over to watch the event, the Barcelona round is the round that the riders want to have the good results, and sure is one of the most important events in the series calendar.

This year's event was even more special, because it was the 30th anniversary for Barcelona hosting the Indoor Trial events. A big ceremony and relating events took place before the Sunday's event, and it kept the participants busy prior to the competition. It was such a nice atmosphere that the whole city was cerebrating its anniversary and giving a full support for the sport.

Sections in Barcelona were typical Spanish Indoor style with difficult straight-forward huge stair cases. Montesa 4-stokes have not been able to score the good results in Barcelona, and it triggered a reputation of weakness in huge stair cases. Fuji had a bitter smile when he saw the past results in the 30th anniversary brochure, as he found his name at the bottom for a half of the time he participated. The only time he stood on the podium was in 2004, which of course was the year he became the Outdoor world champion later the year.

Bou was the early starter in Barcelona following Morris and Fajardo. He was on a mission to regain the number one spot in the point standing, which was the position he gave away to Raga in Marseilles. He needed every help from the team-mates to let his rivals out of the podium finishes.

There was confusion during the qualification lap. When Bou marked clean to exit one of the section, lumbers started to fall and the whole section collapsed. Bou was OK, but the section was cancelled.

Fuji had a luck this year to start at the last for such a tough challenge and important round for him and the team. He started the warm-up run when he saw Bou completed his observed sections with eight points. When Fuji returned to pit, he heard that both Raga and Cabestany weren't so good dropping many fives. The Spaniards might have been very anxious to make the good results at their home for the special occasion, and it affected their riding. Mr. Sirera came up to Fuji to tell him not to let the chance slipping away. Fuji also had some valuable advices from Bou before the start.

Fuji was out of the podium for the previous three rounds, but he has been riding well this season. He didn't have the one little more at the end to miss the final appearances. Apart from dropping five at the section four - the second section of the day by the way, Fuji showed near perfect ride. He finished his observed sections with nine points, just one point more than Bou. Fajardo followed with 13 points, but the rests were more than ten points away, so Fuji secured the Final Lap appearance.

Following Double-Lane, Fuji lined up with Bou. It was an unique DL with a High-Jump in the middle. It required speed and a delicate adjustment before the jump. Fuji lost the battle but the massive crowd loved the serious, head to head battle between two the team-mates.

Although Lampkin missed the Final Lap, he beat Raga at the Double-Lane to finish fourth ahead of the Spaniard. Again, there was no team-order, but Lampkin's final attempt helped Bou extending the point gap over Raga.

Severity became much higher at the Final Lap, which was a ride in an opposite direction with new sections. Fuji knew it was difficult to challenge Bou in the condition. He made mistakes here and there, but was able to build the healthy margin against Fajardo by the half way, to finish second following the team-mate.

It was a great day for the team Montesa, two riders on the podium, Bou retaining the series lead, and the first podium of the season for Fuji. Bou especially was very happy, and showing his appreciation to the team-mates many times after the event.

So, it was the second time to stand on the Barcelona podium for Fuji since 2004. His was one step higher this year to finish second place. Is it going to be the way it would progress at the late year as in 2004, or what?

Quote from Fujigas:

Barcelona round is important for all of us, and I am happy to make it at last. It is our team's home town, publicity is high, and the sponsors are watching closely too. It is the special round that you want to do very well. I am happy to finish second this year, especially I haven't been able to make the good results at the previous rounds. I am also very happy for Bou and the team to go back up to the top at the standing with some margin. It took a little bit too long till going to the Final for me, but I really enjoyed today's ride and was the great game. I think I got the good rhythm going now, so I will keep it going from now on.

Indoor Trial WorldChampionship 2007
Round 4 - Palau Sant Jordi, Barcelona Spain
Final Lap
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa HRC 12
2 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa HRC 36
3 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 59
Qualificarion Lap
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa HRC 8
2 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa HRC 10
3 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 13
4 Dougie Lampkin Repsol Montesa HRC 22
5 Albert Cabestany Sherco 22
6 Adam Raga Gas Gas 23
7 Shaun Morris Gas Gas 35
1 Toni Bou 33
2 Adam Raga 27
3 Albert Cabestany 23
4 Takahisa Fujinami 22
5 Dougie Lampkin 20
6 Jeroni Fajardo 19
7 Blazusiak Tadeusz 4