2008 FIM SPEA Trial WorldChampionship Round 12

Spain GP - 21/9/2008 Attendance: --

Fourth to Finish Up the Season

photoA week after the Portuguese round, the final round of the Trial World Championship 2008 took place at ParcMotor, the racing course under development, about 60km from Barcelona. The venue was close from the home of Bou and Laia Sanz, and since the Montesa bases in Barcelona, the round was a kind of home GP for Fujinami too.

Fujinami and the crew work hard to fix the bike problem that occurred in Portugal. They tried to find the best combination of clutch parts to meet Fujinami's delicate clutch work. They finally came up with the setting that he was comfortable with in the afternoon on Friday. Another concern from Portugal; the result alteration, stayed that way. It seemed that the result would not turn back again once it turned over. Fujinami didn't need the second position for the championship, but he was not satisfied with the process. Still, the competition in Spain was a different story from whatever happened in Portugal and whatever would be, so Fujinami was to put his best effort for it.

Actually, Fujinami's third position in the championship was fixed in Portugal. First and second were not fixed yet between Bou and Raga, mathematically, however, it was not realistic that Bou would lose the position with a very comfortable advantage. So, basically it was the round for the top riders if they could conclude the season on a high note.

The condition of Bou was great and he marked cleans at the opening four sections. His rivals struggled already at the section two, in which Raga fived, Fujinami dropped a mark and Fajardo dropped two points.

Sections were located along the runoff in the woods surrounding the circuit. There were many huge rocks being jammed in the area, and the severity was high. Fujinami had seven penalty points as he finished first seven sections. A little bit too many mistakes than he should have dropped, but it wasn't too bad compared to the other riders, as Raga had nine, 11 for Fajardo, 18 for Lampkin, and 20 for Cabestany. Bou had one point only to stand out from the rest of the riders.

photoFujinami finished Lap1 with 15 points, and it appeared to be difficult for him to catch the teammate. Bou continued his fine riding dropping two more points to finish the lap with three points. Standings behind the leader were, Fujinami second followed by Raga and Fajardo; one point separating for each riders. Fifth was Cabestany with 32 points, two points ahead of Lampkin. So, there were some groups of battles for Lap2 with Bou leaving the rest, three riders fighting for second, and the battle for fifth between two riders.

Fujinami made an early set back at Lap2 when he fived at the section two. Bou too made an error at the section with two points, but Raga and Fajardo both rode with a single mark. Fujinami dropped from second to fourth at the point. He marked three cleans, but fived again at the section six. That was a tough section where Bou dropped three points, but again, Fujinami's close rivals for the day Raga marked a clean and Fajardo rode out with two points - that didn't help the Japanese rider at all. Fujinami rode the section 14 with one mark, where the section he fived at the previous lap. Raga fived that time, but it wasn't enough for Fujinami to make a catch up.

photoThe man-made final section was designed by Jordi Tarres, the Spanish seven time world champion, and was a very tough challenge. There were two ways to ride; jumping across the rocks, or going down to the ground and then climb up the rock again. At first, Fujinami opted to jump across the rocks, but he found the timing wasn't good enough. So he changed the plan. He was preparing to go for the last rock to climb, and heard the last five second call. Didn't have enough time to put the rear wheel at the position he wanted, he hopped. Fujinami failed to climb the rock. He shouted and tearing up the bib to show his burst of frustration. The minder and people around appeased him, and he had his card punched to finish. Suppose Fujinami marked clean at the final section, he could only be in a tie with Fajardo in point, but losing third by the number of cleans. So, that was a frustration showed by Fujinami that he had to conclude the season with a tactical mistake.

Fujinami finished outside of the podium two times in a row, and he completed his 2008 season at third. A victory in U.S.A, and being close to take victories at some rounds, but in the end, he took seconds and thirds a little too many and two fourths at the end didn't help him improving his standing. 2008 season was more frustrating season for Fujinami than 2007's, in which he said was in a slump. Fujinami's feeling was good this year, but he could not project it into riding and to his results effectively.

Quote from Fujigas:

The final section of Lap2 showed everything. I was to jump and spent time figuring out the way to do it. Then I changed the plan but the time ran out. I dropped some fives today, but every time, I tried to re-groove, concentrate again to brace myself only to end up with a full mark error in a miserable way. Have I been doing for the last five and a half hour to end like this? I was so disappointed, and I could not stop from shouting when I fell down from the rock.
I won once and I fought for the victories at some rounds this year. Where last season, I did not feel like I was close to the victory. I think 2008 was much better year for me than 2007. In the end I finish third in the championship, same as last year, so I don't know if it sounds convincing to people though. I give some high marks for my 2008. Regret what needs to be regretted, but not to take it too negatively, and I will come back next year to fight hard again. Finally, I like to thank you very much all for your warm support.

FIM SPEA Trial WorldChampionship
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa HRC 3+7+0 10 23
2 Adam Raga Gas Gas 16+10+0 26 19
3 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 17+10+0 27 19
4 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa HRC 15+17+0 32 17
5 Albert Cabestany Sherco 32+11+0 43 17
6 Dougie Lampkin Beta 35+25+0 60 9
7 Marc Freixa GasGas 56+25+0 81 11
8 James Dabill Montesa 47+44+0 91 9
L1: Lap1, L2: Lap2, TO: Time Over, Pts: Penalty Point, CL:Clean
Final Standings 2008
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa HRC 225
2 Adam Raga Gas Gas 208
3 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa HRC 183
4 Albert Cabestany Sherco 142
5 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 133
6 Dougie Lampkin Beta 130