2009 FIM SPEA Trial World Championship Round8 - Italy GP

Barzio, Italy - 21/6/2009

Up to 3rd with 2nd Place

photoFujinami returned to the Europe with the mixed feeling of relief and disappointment after showing strong fight back in Japan yet missing the victory for both days. Still two second place finishes were confident boost, so he arrived at Barzio for the Italian Grand Prix with a feeling to have re-opening of the European rounds to start all over again.

Fujinami says he wasn't particularly in a good condition in Japan. He always says, riding strongly when you are in a good condition is the matter of course, but how far you can push to have the good results when the condition isn't good makes the difference and make you real. Previous 5th and 6th finishes did not seem to be real for Fujinami, but he managed to pull it through in Japan.

Bou led the field in Italy for the first six sections, business as usual for the Spaniard. He dropped one point at the section six, and that was his only penalty point at that time. Fujinami dropped three one points; section three, six and seven. Raga dropped four points with two point mistake at the section three and one point mistake at the section six and seven. The day was still early, but many expected at the time to see another three men battle with Bou leading the two till the end.

However, Bou suddenly lost the advantage when he made a five point failure at the section eight. It was an unlucky mistake as he let the gate maker fell down when he touched it slightly. That incident must have shook him up and he rapidly moved down. Fujinami kept receiving the information about the other riders. He knew Bou was not doing so great, but he was surprised to know that his team-mate unusually dropped so many points, when they finished Lap1. Raga and Fujinami though somehow realized by the half way of Lap1 that it was going to be between two of them to fight the victory in Italy.

As in the past seasons, severity was high in Italy. Sections were difficult being set up in the rough landscape, and having hard rain around the area before the weekend made them more challenging. Raga and Fujinami continued their strong ride keeping away from the penalty point as less as possible at Lap1.

Then at the end of the lap, riders in the world championship category started to have a problem being bunched up with junior and youth riders. The difference in the starting time usually separate the riders in the different categories even they use the same sections. In Italy, there were two factors made the situation more difficult than usual. First, there were many participants mainly with local Italian riders. Secondary, the pace of the competition of junior and youth categories riders was fast. The majority of them participated in the European championship took place on Saturday which was held at the same venue with almost identical section set up, so they did not take so much time if not none to examine the sections again. Traffic jam to be happened was already a concern in the middle of the lap, and it started to be a real problem for the world championship riders at the end of the lap as they had to wait in line spending valuable time. Fujinami started
the event after Raga based on the result in the previous round. In the normal circumstance, He could follow the direct rival and it would be favorable to him. Fujinami then chose to went ahead of Raga trying to finish in time. In the end, he too could not finish in time to get four minutes over-time, but Raga took longer to finish, getting eight minutes over-time penalty. Raga finished the lap two points less than Fujinami, but the time penalty combined, Fujinami was first with two points advantage.

photoRaga and Fujinami went into Lap2 and continued their strong ride with many cleans. One of rides at the lap which stood out the rest for Fujinami was at the section ten. In fact, he was the only rider to mark clean at the section for both laps. The sections from nine to 11 were hard, but Raga was strong through there managed to ride with a single point only. Fujinami followed Raga, and he dropped two points with the mistake at the section 11.

Two sections later, Fujinami dropped three more points, which he described later as a very regrettable failure. At the previous lap, he dropped five points there when he had a pressure to finish within one and half minute time, and he jammed the engine under guard with the final rock at the section. Lesson learned, and he rode carefully at the following lap, but he made some mistakes at the beginning to drop three points. The section 14 was the hardest in the lap. There were some steep climbs from the river. Bou was the only rider to ride out of it with three points for both laps. Fujinami almost made it, but he fived both times like everybody else.

Raga managed to keep the point low to complete the lap with seven points to finish the day with 34 points. Fujinami finished the lap with eight points more to finish the with 40 points, so he had to settle for the second place behind the Spaniard. "I had a strong chance to win" as Fujinami reviews the Italian GP. He was first going into Lap2, but things went a bit backwards especially at the end of the lap. Fujinami knew the point situation between him and Raga, and knew exactly how to turn over the order. That gave him the tension before riding. Trying to do some good riding but he ended with failures and he lost the pace. In the end, Fujinami lost the chance to catch the Spaniard, but he was satisfied with the battle knowing he fought hard and rightly competed.

There is no time to relax, as the next round in Andorra awaits only a week away.

Quote from Fujigas:

When I made three point error at the section 13 of Lap2, I thought that was it. It was a very disappointing mistake, as most of the top riders marked clean at the lap. Anyway, I enjoyed the competition as I did in Motegi. Italian fans were great and gave us a huge and warm support. I might have enjoyed more than Motegi, if I tell you the truth. I like to keep this good feeling onto the next round in Andorra to ride strongly. The result today pushed me up to 3rd in the championship, which once I was 20 points down from Cabestany. I have a solid feeling for the second half of the season, and I am going for more good battles.

FIM SPEA Trial WorldChampionship
1 Adam Raga Gas Gas 34
2 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa HRC 40
3 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa HRC 48
4 Dougie Lampkin Beta 50
5 Albert Cabestany Sherco 51
6 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 55
7 James Dabill Gas Gas 72
8 Marc Freixa Gas Gas 76
L1: Lap1 L2: Lap2 TO: Time Over Pts: Penalty Point CL:Clean
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa HRC 152
2 Adam Raga Gas Gas 138
3 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa HRC 100
4 Albert Cabestany Sherco 97
5 Dougie Lampkin Beta 93
6 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 86
7 James Dabill Gas Gas 76
8 Marc Freixa Gas Gas 68