2009 Indoor World Trial Championship Round3

Palau Sant Jordi, Barcelona, Spain - 8/2/2009

One Step Further in 5th

photoThe classic event in the Indoor Trial series, the Barcelona round took place. The stadium is far bigger than ones that being used in the other rounds, and let alone the city is often called as the sacred place for the trial. It is the special round for everybody, especially for those being based in the city, including the Montesa Team.

There were six nominated riders to participate in the event and no guest rider. Thus the Qualification Lap, selecting the top six rider, did not take place, and the event started with the Double-Lane. The number of sections for the Final Lap was larger than usual, so the event was unique and special by many meanings.

Fujinami took the first win at the Double-Lane for this year. The lane was risky and very technical, unlike the typical speed race, where smooth riding is an effective way to win. Losing the battle will be two points penalty, and making mistake to drop five points would be a big disappointment at the beginning of the lap. The biggest challenge at the lane was continuous liers of the Hume pipes, and there were two choices. One was the safer way to ride along the pipes one by one, but it was slow. Another way, more risky one, which was to go over the pipes using the Daniel technic, and it was a fast way. Raga led the battle early. But while the Spaniard chose the safer way, Fujinami went passed him by hopping over the pipes. Raga noticed that Japanese was taking a risky way to beat him, and he changed his plan to speed up in the middle of the lane. But Fujinami won the battle, though he too couldn't ride without damage, dropping one point by a footing.
Raga finished later and dropped two points.

The section two was hard from the entry with a tall wall. What made the section very difficult was that the run up area was slippery because there were not enough wooden platform, and riders had to start from the very slippery surface if they needed a longer run up. Since there was no Qualification Lap in Barcelona, the starting order was based on the world standing at the second round. Fujinami was third from the last to start. He did not like the slippery surface to start at, so burning out the rear tire to heat it up before his ride. Sure the grip level went up thanks to the treatment but a little too much. When he started the challenge the bike stood up more than the rider needed, and he could not conquer the wall. First rider Brown failed, the second rider Fajardo succeeded, Raga failed, Cabestany marked clean, and the final starter Bou dropped five points there.

photoAt the section three, everybody except Bou failed. Fujinami noticed a tension within the riders, probably because they were nervous with the Barcelona event. It was a good chance to build the advantage over the rivals for him, because he didn't feel so much tension. But his plan didn't pay off as he dropped five at the very next section too.

At the section four Cabestany, fived. Fujinami and Fajardo marked clean but one point time penalty, respectively. Both Bou and Raga marked clean. So, as the first four sections were over, Bou and Fajardo led the fields with six points, and Cabestany, Raga and Fujinami followed the duo with 12 points in a tie.

Then the starting order was altered, as usual in this year, and Fujinami assigned fifth from the last; two position going backwards to be the second rider following Brown.

From the section five to seven, Bou was the only rider who made three consecutive cleans, so as Brown but with three fives for him. Fujinami fived at the section six and seven. He recalls his riding at the section six as a very disappointing one. He thought things were looking very good as he cleared the hardest challenge of the section, but then the engine under guard stuck at a small point and he fell off. Top three marked clean at the section, so Fujinami went five more points going backwards.

photoTotal of ten sections of the competition was over, it was Bou made a convincing victory with seven points lead over Raga. Third was Cabestany with further four points gap, and Fajardo followed with a single point gap to finish fourth. Fujinami was fifth, ten points down from Raga, but six points down from the third finisher.

Fujinami finished second in Barcelona two years ago. There were many all-or-nothing sections then too, and he was able to conquer some of them. As the result shows a big difference, a small mistake easily ends to a full mark error in the Spanish style and the Barcelona way. The injury Fujinami suffered in Sheffield is no longer affect, and his condition is good. Fujinami needs to ride strong at the two remaining rounds of the Indoor series to have a good momentum for the Outdoor series too.

Quote from Fujigas:

All or nothing, that is the way you ride in the Spanish Indoor style. If I ride like the year before last, I would finish second, and if I don't the result would be the one like today. Although Fajardo surprised me with some good riding today, I say I completely lost today. Apart from Bou, who rode so good, I should have had a good fight at least against Cabestany today. But you know and I know it didn't happen. Losing in Barcelona hurt me a lot in psychologically too.

2009 Indoor World Trial Championship
Round3 - Barcelona, Spain
Final Lap
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa HRC 12
2 Adam Raga Gas Gas 21
3 Albert Cabestany Sherco 25
4 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 26
5 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa HRC 31
6 Michael Brown Sherco 44
1 Toni Bou 22
2 Albert Cabestany 16
3 Adam Raga 16
4 Takahisa Fujinami 13
5 Jeroni Fajardo 9
6 Michael Brown 5
7 Dougie Lampkin 4
8 Loris Gubian 1