2009 Indoor World Trial Championship Round2

Palais du Sport, Marseilles, France - 24/1/2009

4th after being too Greedy?

photoThe round two of the World Indoor Championship took place in Marseilles after a short interval. Fujinami arrived the venue with high spirit after the second place at the opening round. He thinks that this year he needs to prove himself at the Indoor championship after not being able to achieve convincing results for some years now.

The procedure of the Qualification Lap in Marseilles was back to the conventional style. Although the way how to handle the lap is up to the decision of each organizer, it looks like now that the remaining rounds will stick with the conventional style too. The conventional style meant the starting order came into play. Fujinami first thought he would start second from the last based on the results at the opening round, and it would give him a good chance to watch his rivals' riding. But the order was based on last year's ranking; fourth for Fujinami, so he had to draw the lot in a group of himself, Fajardo and Brown. He picked the worst lot to be the second rider to start the lap following the guest rider Gubian. Being the first rider among the regular riders to start was a completely opposite scenario for him.

Fujinami finished fourth at the Qualification Lap with five points lead over Fajardo. Cabestany was two points away, Raga was three, and the top qualifier Bou was five points better than Fujinami. It was the beauty of this year's rule that six riders would proceed to the Final Lap, otherwise Fujinami's day in Marseilles was over at that point. Fujinami once again pumped up to make a fight back at the Final Lap.

One of the unique features for this year's event is that the speed race - Double-Lane - takes place at the beginning of the Final Lap, where previously it was the stage for the final action. Fujinami has been known to be strong at the race, but two rounds in a row this year he was unable to beat the opponent, that time against Cabestany. Because of the rule change, penalty points for this year are two instead of one in the previous seasons.

The severity of the observed sections followed was high as they were in Sheffield, but they were tolerance - not all or nothing style we often see in the Spanish rounds. Still there were many chances to drop points here and there.

Fujinami wanted to repeat his second place finish or even the better one, so he needed to cancel the early disadvantage with some aggressive riding. And such thought indeed made him a bit nervous. At the section two - the first observed section - Brown dropped three with two over time points, Fajardo dropped one point with one over time point, and Raga marked clean but dropped one over time point. Both Cabestany and Bou dropped zero point. Fujinami rode with one point but the gap against the top duo extended. Then Fujinami thought he really needed some aggressiveness rather than going for the safe "PAR" riding.

At the section three, Fujinami was going for a clean but footing once. He also lost the balance in the section and unable to finish in time to drop one over time point too. The gap against Bou and Cabestany extended once again, but Fujinami caught Raga as the Spaniard dropped two points at the section. At the section four, Fujinami dropped one point with two over time points to complete the first half of the Final Lap with eight penalty points. He was one point behind Raga then, and also being caught up by Fajardo.

The starting order then switched for the second half, but there was not much of the difference as only Cabestany and Raga switching the order. Fujinami was number four again as he started the lap. For the rest of the three sections, Fujinami could not show any strong recovery to shorten the point gap to the leaders. He marked first clean of the lap at the section five but dropped one over time point. He then dropped three marks with one point over time at the section six, and another point at the section seven. As the lap was over, Fujinami dropped over time penalty at four occasions - five points in total - in six observed sections. Fujinami finished fourth with nine points gap against Fajardo, but three points down from Raga, nine from Bou, and ten points from the event winner Cabestany.

For the past two rounds, a smooth riding without dropping any over time penalty was crucial for a good result rather than a big challenge for the tall objects. Gathering information by watching the other riders' riding was still very important to get an idea of how long it takes to ride and to know where the tricky parts are.

photoThere was an announcement for the cancellation of one of two French rounds. Therefore there are three rounds more scheduled to be held in this year's championship; Barcelona in Spain, Milan in Italy and Madrid in Spain. It is going to be a short championship, and the chance for taking a victory for Fujinami is also getting slimmer.

Meanwhile, Fujinami is now mastering the new bike setting and the riding technics to go with. The neck he hurt in Sheffield is getting healed up too thank to the treatments with a regular hospital visit during the interval.

Fujinami says he had a chance to finish ahead of Raga if he wasn't so greedy for the good result. We think that his words underline the competitiveness in the Indoor championship is getting stronger. He needs to work on how to control his feeling in order to set up winning strategy.

Quote from Fujigas:

The result and the way I competed can't be worse for me, and I feel terrible after such a good result at the first round. I wanted to win and get a good result so bad, and things just ran round in circles. Then I have to take a gamble, only to end up spending more time by losing my balance. I need to work on the Double-Lane too as I lost twice. I already watch the video and analyzing the reason I lost. I won't get beaten next time.

2009 Indoor World Trial Championship
Round2 - Marseilles, France
Final Lap
1 Albert Cabestany Sherco 4
2 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa HRC 5
3 Adam Raga Gas Gas 11
4 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa HRC 14
5 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 23
6 Michael Brown Sherco 26
Qualificarion Lap
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa HRC 5
2 Adam Raga Gas Gas 7
3 Albert Cabestany Sherco 8
4 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa HRC 10
5 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 15
6 Michael Brown Sherco 21
7 Loris Gubian Gas Gas 27
1 Toni Bou 14
2 Albert Cabestany 11
3 Takahisa Fujinami 10
4 Adam Raga 10
5 Jeroni Fajardo 5
6 Dougie Lampkin 4
7 Michael Brown 3
8 Loris Gubian 1