2007 Trial World Championship Round 4

Boade, France 27/5/2007 - Attendance: 8,000

Fourth with a Staggering Performance

photoHaving the home Grand Prix awaits in a week time, Fujinami arrived in France with a will to take the victory to write off the point lag at the opening round and boosting up his rhythm. He also wanted to stop Bou's winning streak, as well as closing the gap against Raga. However, Fuji's plan went completely backwards, and he missed the podium to finish fourth.

Because of busy schedule of the season, which will be the two rounds of Japanese GP in a week interval, the team Montesa went ahead to ship 2007 Works-bikes to Japan and brought 2006 Works-bikes to France. There is only one 2007 bike for each team riders, so they didn't want to take a risk of having no bike in Japan, if anything goes wrong, when they wait to ship them after the French round. There have been many modifications and improvements with the 2007 bikes, but they are basically the same bike. Although the team riders would have some initial difficulties when switching the bike, they were expected to get used to it soon. It was the bike that the team used during 2007 Indoor championship, and Bou took the title onboard too. Fuji had some practice sessions with the 2006 bike after the team shipped the 2007 bike to Guatemala, and he felt good riding it. He found that switching the bikes wouldn't cause a big trouble then. It was the same situation for
everybody in the team, but strangely Fuji had a lot of problems setting the bike in France. The team and Fuji worked hard setting the suspension and the injection mapping and so forth, but it didn't help so much. He did not know how the bike would react for most of the day.

photoThe sections in Boade were tough having 2/3 were river sections and the rests were dry, and Fuji loved some of them. Though, he showed unstable riding, making easy mistakes here and there, and marking cleans at some of the tough sections. He knew Bou was doing well, so it was one of the toughest and the worst experiences Fuji spent for long. Fuji's bad luck continued and he found a puncture as he finished the section 12. After changing the wheel, he skipped the section 13 and 14 to speed things up, but he had the one point time penalty as he finished the final section of the lap. Fuji dropped twice the points than Bou did, but surprisingly he found himself lying second as the Lap1 was over. He was one clean ahead of Cabestany, two points ahead of Raga and Dabill, and three points ahead of Lampkin. Still, Fuji was certain that the rivals would come up strong at the second lap, and he wasn't so sure if he could show a strong ride against them after having
awkward riding at the Lap1.

Before going into the Lap2, Fuji returned to the pit to have a considerable change in bike setting, hoping to turn the things around and to refresh his mind. However, their attempt did not work either, and the bike still didn't act the way the rider wanted. Fuji finally started to ride 'normally' on the bike at the end of the Lap2, but it was all too late. He finished one point behind Lampkin to miss the podium, and he saw the other team-mate extending the winning streak.

The heartbreaking French round was over, and Fuji rushed to leave the country to travel to Japan. It will be no time to for Fuji to return home to relax. Hopefully it will be sweet home coming rounds for the Japanese rider.

Quote from Fujigas:

What a day. I kept thinking while riding that it wasn't the way supposed to happen. We tried many things to set up the bike, but none worked. I had no idea. Toni showed another good ride, so it is not fluke as some thought at the beginning of the season, in fact he is doing excellent in the Outdoor series too. I definitely need to show the big one at the next rounds to stop him. I have had some good rounds in Japan in the past, so I think I am lucky to have Motegi rounds at this time of the season to shift the way as far as the championship battle goes. I have a sort of pressure for the home GP, but I will give the big shot there, for sure.

2007 Trial World Championship Round 4
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa HRC 16+21+1 38 18
2 Adam Raga Gas Gas 35+19+1 55 13
3 Dougie Lampkin Repsol Montesa HRC 36+27+1 64 12
4 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa HRC 33+31+1 65 12
5 Albert Cabestany Sherco 33+39+4 76 9
6 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 45+44+4 93 8
7 James Dabill Montesa 35+55+4 94 7
8 Marc Freixa Scorpa 49+51+0 100 5
L1: Lap1 L2: Lap2 TO: Time Over Pts: Penalty Point CL:Clean
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa HRC 80
2 Adam Raga Gas Gas 66
3 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa HRC 58
4 Dougie Lampkin Repsol Montesa HR 56
5 Albert Cabestany Sherco 42
6 James Dabill Montesa 36