2007 Trial World Championship Round 11

La Rabassa, Andorra 2/9/2007 - Attendance: 7,000

Fujinami finished off the Season at 5th in Andorra

photoDue to the cancellation of the Belgian round -which was previously the wrapping up round- the Andorra round took place as the final round in 2007. One less round changed the mathematics in the championship, and Toni Bou captured the championship with ten rounds completing as well as Adam Raga for the runner-up position. Fujinami also secured the third spot after much of struggles the season. That left the Andorra round the throwaway match for some of the riders, but it was an important round for the Japanese rider, for it was the final chance to take a victory in 2007 season.

Fuji marked clean at the opening section followed by three point error at the section three, and he lay third with six points as the first seven sections completed. Having no pressure for the fight for the championship, Fuji pushed hard to fulfill the desire for the victory.

Deep in the mountain of the Pyrenees, the Andorra event took place at high altitude, as the paddock already locating at 1,000 meter ASL with the highest section reaching 1,500 meter ASL. Fuji arrived at the section eight, and it was about 1,400 meters ASL. Although the fuel injection with Montesa 4RT computes the ideal setting at given circumstances, Fuji made some additional and manual adjustments hoping the bike would cope with his maximum riding. It didn't turn out as he planned, and he had a hard time putting the front wheel on the ground at some of the sections. Fuji later said he was a bit too greedy for the power and it made the things more difficult. Many times he rode well till the end of the sections, only to fail at the rock sitting at the end, dropping five points. He started to pile up the penalty points.

Also, time allowance was another headache in Andorra. It took about 20 minutes from the section ten to 11, but many of the competitors did not take it seriously at the first. It was also unfortunate for Fuji along with Bou and Raga that they figured it was worth riding at the difficult section five. They all did not walk away with penalty points, and they spent time there in return. The rest of the riders thought the section was too difficult to try, so they simply skipped it and saved time.

Fuji also made a huge crash at the section ten. He bent the handle bars and levers, and smashed the accelerator bracket. While he was spending more time fixing the bike at the section 11, Raga went ahead of the Montesa rider. It costed him later, because not being aware of the overnight modifications at the section 12, nor had a chance to watch other's riding - obviously he did not have time to inspect the section carefully - he rode the way he knew based on Saturday's inspection to struggle a lot to drop three points. The organizer has changed the section easier than the previous day, and all the competitors except Fuji rode beneficially.

Fuji changed the mapping power lower before the Lap2, but it did not change the situation fundamentally. The time cruelly ticking away, and he had only five minutes left at the section 11. He then rushed his way at the sections and the course in between, just like riding an endure race. Still, he finished the two laps with a total of 11 time penalties. Fuji finished fifth, the worst position of the year with massive 11 points gap behind Cabestany.

photoFuji returned to the pit to receive a bitter welcome from the team-mate Lampkin. The UK rider just finished a fierce battle for fourth in the championship against Cabestany in Andorra. He took the third podium spot but lost the battle after having the Cabestany finishing fourth for the day. If Fuji could have finished ahead of the Spaniard, it would help the team-mate to finish a position better in the season. Sorry Dougie, but it was all Fuji could do for the day.

It was good at least to know that the bike, which Fuji and Dougie have developed in the past two years, proved its potential once again. Both Fuji and Dougie aren't too happy about the fact that they aren't the rider to celebrate the victory, however. Fuji sounds very disappointed the way season went, but he should be pumping up for the season to come.

Quote from Fujigas:

As I look back, I think I was in a slamp in this season. I tried to go up, only to found myself struggling at the lower positions. It was a disappointing season, and I am very fortunate to finish third in the final standing. I don't believe how I could manage to do that. But right now, I am more frustrated with my shamless riding in Andorra. I can't get it off my mind!

2007 Trial World Championship Round 11
La Rabassa, Andorra
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa HRC 8+6+5 19 25
2 Adam Raga Gas Gas 12+12+1 25 20
3 Dougie Lampkin Repsol Montesa HRC 21+21+0 42 19
4 Albert Cabestany Sherco 23+23+2 48 15
5 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa HRC 35+14+10 59 14
6 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 24+22+14 60 16
7 Marc Freixa Scorpa 43+40+5 88 5
8 Daniel Gibert Montesa 53+47+4 104 4
L1: Lap1 L2: Lap2 TO: Time Over Pts: Penalty Point CL:Clean
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa HRC 214
2 Adam Raga Gas Gas 191
3 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa HRC 155
4 Albert Cabestany Sherco 135
5 Dougie Lampkin Repsol Montesa HRC 134
6 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 104