2007 Trial World Championship Round 9

Kramolin, Czech Rep. 15/7/2007 - Attendance: 1,500

Lost Concentration to miss the Podium

photoTWC returned to Kramolin, Czech Rep. after five years of absence, and the sections found to be very easy. Fujinami remembered that they had much better, the world class sections back in 2002. He chatted with Bou who had visited Czech when participating the European championship in 2003, and the teammate said some of the sections were exact same as ones that he rode four years ago. The European championship is open for the riders who finished worse than 16th in the world championship, so that showed how low the severity was for the ninth round.

It had been raining in Kramolin before the event; until Thursday noon, and it might have contributed in altering the severity. The condition became better and better and the traction was excellent on Sunday. Competition could be much more difficult and interesting if rain continued. All the top boys thought and voiced the sections were too easy, but modifications did not take place before the Sunday's event. So the question was who would ride without any mistake; if any would show 'all-clean'.

Fuji arrived at the section six without any penalty point so as Lampkin, Fajardo and Cabestany, while Raga and Bou dropped one mark at the section five. The section six was the tough section with huge rock climbing. Though Fuji was confident to mark clean, he also felt the high risk of dropping five point if something went wrong to erase the early point lead over the regular podium finishers. So, when Lampkin found the unique way to go around the rock, without hopping on the rock, to clear the section with three points, Fuji thought it was a better idea than taking a risk. He followed the 'Lampkin's way' to clear it with two points. Raga and Bou chose the hard way, the original way, and both succeeded to mark clean.

Both Raga and Bou dropped another point at the section eight, and they finished the lap with two points. Fuji dabbed a point at the section eight and 11 to finish the lap with four points. He was third with two points gap against the leading duo, but it wasn't typically the bad way to start the second lap. Fuji thought riding closely and carefully would give him a chance when leading two made some mistakes. However, it was the Japanese rider who made a mistake before two Spaniards.

At the triple steps at the section three, where previously Fuji made a nice clean, the engine's under guard got tangled at the edge of the top rock. It wasn't a big problem for Fuji, so he moved the bike to unhook it to clear the section believing that he marked clean. However, the observer fived him for going backwards. Fuji did shake the bike at the top of the rock to break free from it, but he could not believe such a call. Fuji claimed that he never went backwards, but the observer did not listen, and he punched out five points for the record. Remember it was the competition with easy sections, so dropping five point would be very much decisive. He later admitted that it ruined his chance for the victory, and getting an unacceptable call also ruined his concentration. By the time, Raga started to rush his way to finish quicker than the rival, because the finishing time could be the big part in deciding the winner if finishing in a tie in points. Bou
responded, and top two riders started to leave the rest of the riders behind.

An urgent modification took place at the section six for Lap2 so the detour route was no longer available. Fuji thought it was OK, because he was ready to attack the rock anyway. But there he saw some impossible judgements, which shook him more to sort of terminated his concentration. Cabestany rode before Fuji did, and he could not climb all the way. Then his minder grabbed the front fork to help the rider climbing to the top of the section. The main observer must have missed the action, and he called one point while the secondary observer called the Spaniard was fived. Confused by the two complete different calls, the main observer asked the audience if it were five or one. Supportive and friendly audience responded shouting it was an one point mistake, so the score was decided. Fuji could not believe what was happening, and Cabestany wasn't the only rider who had a judgement from the audience. Fuji climbed up - without a help from the minder - to mark
clean at the section, so the observer didn't have to ask the audience to decide his call. Three sections earlier Fuji experienced an unforgiving call only to see the irresponsible judgements, where virtually the spectators were deciding the score.

Fuji dropped second five at two sections later, which he knew he could avoid if his mind were clearer, but he was too irritated to keep his concentration. Dropping another point at the section 13, and Fuji' frustrating lap and the day was over.

Bou made an error in the fast race between Raga and himself, dropping five points at the section seven. Raga meanwhile showed 'all-clean' at Lap2, the only rider to be able to accomplish for the day, and he finished with two points for total to take the victory. Second was Bou with seven points, and Cabestany followed as third with eight points total after riding Lap2 with three one point penalties. Fuji dropped 11 points at Lap2 alone, finishing fourth with 15 points total.

After the competition, Fuji could have appealed for the impossible judgements at the section six. There was a good chance that it would be granted, because there were many eyewitnesses at the scene. But, he decided to leave it and accept fourth with seven points separation, because changes in Cabestany's score -dropping four more points- would not make any difference in the overall results.

Fuji thinks his riding wasn't too bad, as he has been showing in the previous rounds, but he ended with another disappointing result. There would be three rounds left in the championship -UK, Andorra and Belgium- and Fuji can gain 60 points if he win them all. But, he knows his chance for capturing the title is very slim if not none. The point gap stands as 17 between Bou and Raga, 45 between Bou and Fuji, and 28 between Raga and Fuji as seven of ten GPs have been completed this year.

Quote from Fujigas:

I really don't know what to say. I lost my concentration a bit when I had a very severe, unsatisfying judgement, and I lost it all when I watched some tolerant calls for my rivals shortly after. Honestly, my chance for taking this year's title becomes very close to none. So, from now on, I will not worry about the point standing too much, and I will aim for the first victory of the season. I need to join the battle for the victory with Toni and Adam to grab it. We have three more rounds to go, so at least I need to get a win in my bag.

2007 Trial World Championship Round 9
Kramolin, Czech Rep.
1 Adam Raga Gas Gas 2+0+0 2 28
2 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa HRC 2+5+0 7 27
3 Albert Cabestany Sherco 5+3+0 8 26
4 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa HRC 4+11+0 15 24
5 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 7+10+0 17 25
6 James Dabill Montesa 15+10+0 25 21
7 Dougie Lampkin Repsol Montesa HRC 16+19+0 35 19
8 Marc Freixa Scorpa 21+20+0 41 14
L1: Lap1 L2: Lap2 TO: Time Over Pts: Penalty Point CL:Clean
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa HRC 174
2 Adam Raga Gas Gas 157
3 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa HRC 129
4 Albert Cabestany Sherco 109
5 Dougie Lampkin Repsol Montesa HRC 108
6 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 84