2007 Indoor World Trial Championship Round 8

Palacio de Deportes, Madrid Spain - 17/3/2007 - Attendance: 10,000

Fujinami finished the Season at 4th

Due to the cancellation of the Argentina round, the final round of the 2007 ITWC took place in Madrid three weeks after the Menorca round. Fuji felt very strong during the warm up session and psyched up for the battle for his second podium of the season, and even for the victory. But the event turned out a very frustrating for Fuji, missing the final lap to finish fifth.

His foot injury hasn't made a full recovery, though it didn't bother his riding in Madrid. There was no pain, but the part swelled with the fluids building up after riding and training at the gym. The team prepared the special feature on the bike - the sponge protection on the frame, just like he had on the clutch lever for the broken finger last year, to help the rider competing more comfortably.

Starting order for the round was again decided by a ballot, and Cabestany picked the first spot after two wild card riders of Freixa and Blazusiak. Fuji was second in the fixed riders followed by Bou, Raga, Lampkin. Having Freixa and Cabestany riding ahead of him, Fuji thought the early start would not be any problem.

Fuji however started the qualification lap with a five point error. There was a hop-on after a big stair-case at the entry of the section one. Blazusiak showed a very brave ride to finish the section with one mark, but Fuji thought it was too risky for him. Both Freixa and Cabestany failed at the stair-case at the beginning and didn't show any example for the Montesa rider. Fuji swung too much in the air-turn and dropped the bike to finish with five points.

At the section two, Fuji heard a crushing sound of the metal as he landed. He did not know what happened at the time, but the impact pushed the rear axle out of alignment on the chain side. He thought he had a puncture, because the bike tended to drift to the right. As soon as he finished the section with three points, his mechanic yelled him to go back to the pit for a quick repair. Changing the bike is no longer allowed in the ITWC, and three minutes maintenance time was introduced. Fuji saw Bou, Raga and Cabestany using the new rule at the previous rounds, but it was the first experience for Fuji. The job took 20 seconds, and Fuji went back out to continue his ride.

Marking two cleans at the following two sections, Fuji went on to the section five and six, the biggest challenge of the lap with the severity was very high. Fuji thought upon inspection that dropping two fives would be inevitable at the sections, and the boarder line for the final lap would be ten points more or less. Fuji fived at the both sections - so as all the riders except Raga, who was stayed away from five points at the both sections - and his penalty points accumulated 18, eight points more than he originally aimed for.

Fuji dropped another five at the section seven, when there was a misunderstanding with the minder for the position of the rear tire. He built up further penalty points, but suffering needless points frustrated Fuji in particular. He was still distracted when he proceeded to the next and the final section of the lap, so dropping one mark to finish it up was all he could do.

Fuji completed the observed section with 24 points at sixth, four points more than Freixa. The Spaniard has started to compete the ITWC for the first time this year, and he was happy to stand ahead of his ex-teammate. However, his position was short lived because at the following High-Jump, he dropped all the bars to suffer maximum penalty points. Fuji cleared the bars and won the following Double-Lane against Freixa to finish fifth, two points ahead of the Spaniard in the end.

So, the day and the ITWC season were over for Fuji, and he got exceptionally discouraged with the day's result. He was very confident before the competition, but couldn't produce the performance as he wished. Fuji's fifth place at the final round was enough for him to finish fourth in the 2007 ITWC season. The next and the most important battle for Fuji, the Outdoor championship will start in two weeks time.

Quote from Fujigas:

I feel so bad. I missed the final lap and the podium when my foot injury didn't bother me at all and my condition was great. Although my disappointing result, I don't think my riding itself was awful today. So, I am going to keep it up for the Outdoor championship.

Indoor Trial WorldChampionship 2007
Round 8 - Palacio de Deportes, Madrid Spain
Final Lap
1 Adam Raga Gas Gas 3
2 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa HRC 9
3 Dougie Lampkin Repsol Montesa HRC 26
Qualificarion Lap
1 Adam Raga Gas Gas 4
2 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa HRC 6
3 Dougie Lampkin Repsol Montesa HRC 13
4 Albert Cabestany Sherco 16
5 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa HRC 24
6 Marc Freixa Scorpa 26
7 Tadeusz Blazusiak Beta 39
1 Toni Bou 67
2 Adam Raga 57
3 Albert Cabestany 54
4 Takahisa Fujinami 41
5 Dougie Lampkin 36
6 Jeroni Fajardo 30
7 Tadeusz Blazusiak 10