2009 FIM SPEA Trial World Championship Round 11 - France GP

ISOLA 200, France - 13/9/2009

Finished off the Season with 2nd Place

photoThe final round of 2009 season took place at the famous ski resort in France, ISOLA 2000. After another confident boost finish in Spain, Fujinami arrived there with a high hope for taking the first victory of the season.

The venue situated at altitude above 2,000 meters with the highest section reaching about 2,300 meters. High altitude did not bother Fujinami's bike from the experience the team had such as at Andorra round. Repsol fuel helped them producing strong output as well.

There were four river sections but the rests were rocky and dry. Severity was high, but all-cleans were expected for the top riders when the event got underway. Starting order for Fujinami was second from the last, two minutes before Bou. Fajardo was starting two minutes earlier than Fujinami, and Raga was further two minutes earlier to start.

Fujinami though started Lap1 to have three single point mistakes by the section five. Lampkin, who was still suffering the broke bone on his wrist was first for the first five sections dropping only a single mark, followed by Raga and Bou with two points. Then Fujinami, Freixa and Gubian followed at third with three points.

Fujinami then shifted up and rode solidly from the section six to 13 marking eight consecutive cleans. He concluded the lap with a single point at the section 14 and another clean at the section 15 to finish with four points. Raga also rode strong, and he completed the lap with five points after dropping a single point at the section ten and two points at the section 14.

Counting the point alone, Fujinami was first but the over-time penalty put him into 2nd. At the end of Lap1, Fujinami stuck in the youth riders, who were competing Lap2 by then. In a normal circumstance, they would give way when asked by the riders who are in a rush, but there was a reason for many of them not willing to do so in France. The weather was clear in the morning but intermittent rain started to fall as the competition progressed. The mountain weather was hard to predict, so all wanted to ride while the surface was still dry. As a result, Fujinami dropped three points over-time penalty, so as Fajardo and Bou did two points. Raga started early and he was good at going through the traffic jam, so he stayed away from the over-time penalty. Fujinami rode strong at Lap1 with some footings, but over-time penalty combined, he was second with two points behind Raga going into Lap2.

Raga continued to move through the youth riders at Lap2, so he was long gone and out of sight for Fujinami when the Montesa rider was starting the second lap. Raga was taking a gamble, trying to ride as many sections as possible before the weather turning to undesirable.


Event Victory Ceremony

Rain started to fall steadily when Fujinami arrived at the section nine. The surface was wet and slippery, but it was not a big problem yet, and he managed to mark clean. But then the rain got heavier, and the surface at the section ten was very wet and slippery like ice. Fujinami challenged the section only to have his first and only five of the day there. Bou learned from the mistake by his team-mate, and he marked clean instead. Fujinami said later that he thought Bou might have taken the second spot away from him at the moment. But the fact was Fujinami was still two points ahead of the Spaniard when they finished the section 10.


2009 Championship Ceremony

Fujinami decided to wait about 20 minutes before moving on to the rest of the sections until rain washed all the mud and dirt away from the surface. Dry surface is preferable. But when it is wet, total wet is a lot better to ride on than the surface in a mixed condition. He restarted, and his plan paid off as he marked clean at the section 11. He though dropped six points in following three sections, so the point gap against Raga became bigger. Fujinami's eventual direct rival of the day, Bou meanwhile marked all cleans until the section 10, but he suddenly lost the rhythm dropping 14 points from the section 11 to 14. He then not only lost a chance to catch the team-mate, but also lost a chance to standing on the podium for his last appearance in the championship.


Montesa won 2009 Manufacturer's Championship

Raga took the victory, after dropping only two points at Lap2 to finish with seven points total. Although Fujinami was challenging for the victory, he needed to ride all-clean at Lap2 to match his rival's score. If he was able to do so, he would take the victory with number of cleans.

Fujinami's season ended without winning. He experienced the toughest trial season in 2009 as he struggled a lot at the beginning of the season and he also had his first retirement at UK round after severe fall. But he bounced back at the last half of the season to finish 2nd every rounds except in Andorra, where he had a machine problem. There were many disappointments but a lot to learn for Fujinami in 2009 campaign. We believe that experience in this season will make Fujigas even stronger in the championship next year.

Quote from Fujigas:

I really wanted to win at the final round of the season, but I couldn't, and the season ended with no victory for me this year. I know there are some areas that I need to improve, as I was so close for taking the victory at many occasions. I had a tough time trying to find a good combination between myself and the bike at one point, and I had my first retire from the event in my career too. But it wasn't all bad as I still finished 3rd in the championship. I think the second half of the season went positive, as I finished 2nd on the podium every rounds except one when I had a machine trouble. I will carry it on to the next season to be strong throughout the season.

FIM SPEA Trial WorldChampionship
1 Adam Raga Gas Gas 7
2 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa HRC 18
3 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 22
4 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa HRC 24
5 Albert Cabestany Sherco 24
6 Marc Freixa Gas Gas 31
7 Dougie Lampkin Beta 34
8 LORIS Gubian Gas Gas 45
L1: Lap1 L2: Lap2 TO: Time Over Pts: Penalty Point CL:Clean
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa HRC 200
2 Adam Raga Gas Gas 188
3 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa HRC 147
4 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 136
5 Albert Cabestany Sherco 128
6 Dougie Lampkin Beta 118
7 James Dabill Gas Gas 101
8 Marc Freixa Gas Gas 96