2010 Indoor World Trial Championship Round3

Palau Sant Jordi, Barcelona, Spain - 31/1/2010

Finally a Ride in the Final

photoAs the South American round expected to be cancelled, 2010 Indoor Championship looks to finish up with three consecutive rounds in Spain, Barcelona, Madrid and Majorca. The city, where many riders reside in, the majority of the Spanish trial manufacturers base at, and of course the birthplace of many trial riders, Barcelona is the special place for the trial competition, and to participate in the event for all the trial riders. The arena happens to be the biggest one in the championship calendar too.

Being eliminated at the early stage for the two previous rounds, Fujinami had a strong will to stay competing the whole event to have a revival in Barcelona. Sections were typical Spanish Indoor trial style, tall and 'all or nothing' style, but in a contrast they were not very difficult as trial technic point of view. Fujinami has finished second in Barcelona before, so he had a good reason to expect some fine results.

There were five sections in the Qualification, and the top four riders would proceed to the Semi Final as of the previous round. Gubian and Wigg fived all five sections, and Dabill fived all but the section1 to finish with 20 points. Bou was on his own marking all clean, followed by Cabestany with five points. Fujinami was third with ten points including a five at the section4. Fajardo took the last express ticket for the Semi Final as he was fourth with 15 points. Raga could not find the rhythm in the Qualification dropping 17 points including three fives, and it was his turn to go through the Last Chance.

photoIt was fair for many people to expect that Raga would sneak through the Last Chance against Dabill, Wigg and Gubian considering the Spaniard's superior skill. Surprisingly though, he failed. Raga won the Double Lane, but the machine trouble struck him at the section2 and he dropped five points. As Dabill and Gubian finished their ride with one and two points, respectively, the ex-champion and the hero of Barcelona was thus eliminated. Once again it showed an interesting and tricky feature of 2010 rules, Raga lost the fight against the riders, who have fives all the sections in the Qualification.

In Barcelona, the Indoor Enduro World Championship also took place, and two events were held alternatevely. There were trial's familiar riders like Lampkin and Blazusiak took part in the event. Blazusiak, by the way, became the eventural over-all winner. The Enduro course was located around the trial area, and the trial sections became very dusty and severity became higher after the Enduro bikes kicking the dirt up in the air. Sections for the Semi Final were basically the same as they rode in the Qualification, but the riders made a lot more mistakes in the later challenge. There were three section in the Semi Final, and Bou continued to stay ahead of the rest with his ride without any mistake. Fujinami, Cabestany, Fajardo and Gubian fived at the all three sections to finish with 15 points. Dabill fived at the first two sections but managed to ride with two points at the third section to follow the leader.

There was the Double-Lane to complete the Semi Final, where Fajardo, Cabestany and Fujinami were the winners. Fujinami told us a small episode at the DL with his team-mate. "Toni said, 'I will win the DL and give you a breathing room.'" But the team-mate seemed cautious at the DL and lost the race against Fajardo, who was desperate to stay in the competition. Fujinami laughed as he continued, "He came back after the DL, and said, 'I am sorry I couldn't win.'" Still, Bou finished the Semi Final first with a single penalty point only. Second was Dabill with 13 points, and Cabestany, Fujinami and Fajardo were the joint-third with 15 points tie. Based on the classification of the qualification, Fajardo was then eliminated. Gubian was third in tie when three sections of trial riding was over, but together with his defeat and three more penalty points in the DL to finish with19 points, thus he too was eliminated.

photoThe Final results are decided by the sum total of the point in the Semi Final and the Final. Being fourth in the Semi Final with 15 points, Fujinami had to pray for a miracle to finish at the top. Bou, on the other hand, had healthy 12 points lead over Dabill to start the Final.
There were four trial sections, and everybody marked clean at the secton6: the first section of the Final. Then a bad luck struck Fujinami as he suffered a problem the rear brake. There were three minutes interval between the sections, but it wasn't enough time for the team to fix it. Fujinami had the two options; to switch to his 2008 spare bike - he doesn't have 2009 spare bike, or to borrow Bou's 2009 spare bike. Fujinami decided to take Bou's spare bike, although there was a big difference in the setting, such as riding style and engine mappings between his and the team-mate's.

Fujinami made a decision as he knew the 2009 bike was far superior to a year old bike. It was still a difficult switch for him, and he fived at the secton7. He switched back to his bike for the section8, but he dropped another five points. Dabill was making an identical progress at the time, so Fujinami was two points behind the UK rider before the final section. If Dabill dropped two more points Fujinami would finish in tie, then Montesa rider would take third on the podium based on the classification of the qualification. Fujinami marked clean but Dabill failed to copy the performance at the final section. Yet he dropped one point only, thus Fujinami was one point short to finish fourth in Barcelona.

Cabestany rode very strong at the Final, marking all clean with a single time penalty point, but he had no chance to catch the leader. Bou too rode strong at the Final, but he made a huge crash at the final section. It didn't jeopardize Bou's convincing lead, and he took the victory with ten points advantage over Cabestany.

Quote from Fujigas:

I suppose, I finally I broke out of the slump. I cannot be so happy with my fourth finish, because I was so close to finish on the podium. I was third in the Qualification, so I am frustrated . Looking at the way how people finish in the Qualification and the fact that such a good rider like Raga was out at the early stage, being skillful doesn't seem to be a key to have a good result. Don't get me wrong that I am not trying to underestimate the rider like Dabill, who shows a big improvement in Indoor trial. But I am not the only one who still disapprove the rules, that one mistake can knock you out. Me, Jeroni and this Adam became the victim of the system to finish the day early. Speaking of Bou's five point mistake at the final section, I think he had something in his mind to cheer up the crowd. It was a difficult wooden section that required a delicate riding, but since he had a big lead, I suppose he wanted to do something flamboyant. He failed and ended with a huge
crash though.

2010 Indoor World Trial Championship
Round3 - Barcelona, Spain
Final Lap
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa HRC 6
2 Albert Cabestany Sherco 16
3 James Dabill Gas Gas 24
4 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa HRC 25
Semi Final
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa HRC 1
2 James Dabill Gas Gas 13
3 Albert Cabestany Sherco 15
4 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa HRC 15
5 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 15
6 Loris Gubian Gas Gas 19
7 Adam Raga Gas Gas 5
8 Alexz Wigg Beta 11
Qualificarion Lap
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa HRC 0
2 Albert Cabestany Sherco 5
3 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa HRC 10
4 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 15
5 Adam Raga Gas Gas 17
6 James Dabill Gas Gas 20
7 Alexz Wigg Beta 25
8 Loris Gubian Gas Gas 25
1 Toni Bou 55
2 Albert Cabestany 50
3 James Dabill 30
4 Adam Raga 25
5 Jeroni Fajardo 21
6 Takahisa Fujinami 17