2010 Indoor World Trial Championship Round5

Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca, Spain - 27/3/2010

Painful Ending - Bad Time Ends Here

photoThe third round in the three consecutive rounds in Spain, the final round of the Indoor World Trial Championship took place in the Mediterranean resort island Mallorca. There were eight regular riders participating in the event. Fujinami started the day steadily advancing to the Semi Final with the fourth finish in the Qualification, but he had to miss the Final to end the day early. Carles, the second minder for Fujinami in the Outdoor championship replaced Josep, who has damaged the elbow ligament during the mishap at the last round.

For three rounds in a row Bou mark all clean to finish first in the Qualification. Cabestany was second with one point, and Raga followed with two points. Fujinami finished joint fourth with Dabill, and the Montesa rider took the fourth place after winning the tie break, where he marked clean and the Gas Gas rider dropped five points.

photoThere was a long two hours interval between the Qualification and the Semi Final, but Fujinami did not have time to relax at all. When he crashed at the section2 of the Qualification, he wedged the left middle finger between the lever and the handle bar. He has been hurting the finger at the recent crashes, and it seemed that the finger could not take it anymore. He tried to cool it with ice, but it kept swelling up and became more and more painful. Fujinami, although he knew he could ride with the injured finger, it was going to be a tough and patient ride for the rest of the day.

There were three trial sections and one Double Lane for the Semi Final. Jajardo and Dabill came up through the Last Chace to join the top four riders. At the section3, the first section of the Semi Final, Fujinami, Raga and Cabestany dropped one point. At the following section, every rider except Cabestany and Bou dropped five points. At the section5, all the riders marked clean except Raga footing to drop one point and Fajardo dropped one time penalty point. So, as the trial sections were over, Bou was first, continuing his no penalty point riding. Cabestany was second with a single point followed by Dabill with five points. Fajardo and Fujinami were joint fourth with six points, and Raga was sixth with seven penalty points.

photoAs four riders proceeding to the Final, Bou and Cabestany looked very safe before the Double Lane. It was then four men battle for the two tickets to the Final. Pairing for the Double Lane were: Bou vs. Fujinami, Cabestany vs. Dabill, and Raga vs. Fajardo.

It was an intriguing situation for Fujinami for the Double Lane. Toni Bou was on the verge of taking the Indoor title, but Fujinami had to beat the team mate to proceed to the Final. Bou, by the way, was to take the title if he would finish top four. That meant advancing to the Final was good enough. He did not need to win the speed race, and did not seem to care about dropping his first point at the race either. He surely did not want to take a risk racing hard to end up with a full mark error.

photoBut before the Double Lane, Fujinami received the order to let Bou go first from the team. It was the first time for Fujinami receiving such order, though there was a talk before the final round with the team that they would handle priorities when there was the time. Fujinami understood the importance of taking the title, and he was happy to help. But he was puzzled as giving away one point at the speed race did not seem to make any difference to Bou's title hunt, and the order would take away Fujinami's chance for advancing to the Final. He has a chat with Bou, and he responded, "Let's ride like usual." That was what the two riders had in their mind before the start of the race.

Speed race got going for two Montesa riders. When Fujinami reached at the end of the lane to make a U-turn, Bou was still at the half way point of the lane. It was not Fujinami who was going fast, but it was Bou that riding slowly and very carefully not to make any mistake. Fujinami did not know what to do. He asked the team on the radio, and again he had the order to let Toni win. Fujinami was getting closer and closer to the finish-line, but Bou was a long way behind. Fujinami could do nothing but stopping the bike to let the team-mate goes by. Bou glanced at the team mate looking wondered, and finished the race first. Fujinami finished second, dropping one more penalty point to complete the Semi Final with seven points, and his hope for the Final was gone.

photoBou made one five point error with one point time penalty to finish the Final with six points; four points ahead of Cabestany. Results of the Semi Final combined, Bou was six points better than Cabestany to take a victory at Mallorca round, and of course clinched his fourth Indoor World Trial title. Fujinami finished fifth overall, placing himself sixth in the championship. It turned out a confusing end of the event for Fujinami, and a physical pain of the finger did not bother him as he left the stadium.

Quote from Fujigas:

It was a frustrating and upsetting end for me. Bou taking the world title was the absolute object, and the team worried if losing at the Double Lane would stand in a way. According to my calculation, dropping one point should have given any trouble for Bou though. They said they made a mistake, but it was too late. I have struggled a lot in this Indoor season and faced bad luck many times. I hope I used up all the bad things and I can leave then behind as I tear off March from the calendar on the wall to look forward to the Outdoor championship.

2010 Indoor World Trial Championship
Round5 - Mallorca, Spain
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa HRC 6
2 Albert Cabestany Sherco 12
3 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 15
4 James Dabill Gas Gas 20
Semi Final
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa HRC 0
2 Albert Cabestany Sherco 2
3 James Dabill Gas Gas 5
4 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 6
5 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa HRC 7
6 Adam Raga Gas Gas
Qualificarion Lap
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa HRC 0
2 Albert Cabestany Sherco 1
3 Adam Raga Gas Gas 2
4 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa HRC 5
5 James Dabill Gas Gas 5
6 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 10
7 Alexz Wigg Beta 11
8 Loris Gubian Gas Gas 15
Point Standings
1 Toni Bou 95
2 Albert Cabestany 77
3 Adam Raga 45
4 James Dabill 44
5 Jeroni Fajardo 42
6 Takahisa Fujinami 29