2010 Trial World Championship Round10

Foppolo, Italy - 25/7/2010

Podium Finish before the Summer Break

photoTrial World Championship made the last stop in Italy for round10 before the summer break. The event took place in Foppolo, a ski resort situated about one hour drive toward the Alps from the city of Bergamo in North Italy. There were three water sections at the section1 to 3, dirt hill with rocks being scattered about from the section4 to 9. Then the water sections again at the section10 to 14 before the indoor style section15 in the paddock.

Fujinami could not ride at his will due to his injury and the consequences at round9 in San Marino. After two weeks, it was interesting to see how much his foot recovered and to see what would happen to the battle of standing, in which he and Raga were even second going into the Italian round. Fujinami though arrived in Foppolo with mixed feelings of expectation and anxiety. His foot was getting better, but he knew it was not in its top form yet. He was able to practice before the round, it was at least a positive aspect toward the competition unlike no riding at all before the San Marino round.

As in the previous round, Fujinami spent time to figure out the best way for his taping treatment for his foot for Sunday. Since there were some water sections, he rode in the water and the tape tended to come off after getting wet. He tested to ride without taping but by tightening the buckles of the boot, and found the way was not so bad. He felt some pain when trying to balance on the bike and when jumping down, but he decided to compete without taping on his foot on Sunday.

In retrospect, the injury did not bother Fujinami so much in Italy. He still struggled especially at the beginning of the laps because he could not sort out the setting of the engine to suit with high elevation of the venue. He and the team tried to find it but they ran out of time.

Fujinami started Lap1, and he dropped a single point at the section1 then marked clean at the next section. At the section3, however, he ended with a full mark due to a misunderstanding between he and the minder. It was a hard section, where Fajardo and Cabestany fived, but Bou, Raga and Dabil managed to mark clean. Fujinami started his try dropping one point at the first stage of climbing up the section. He then needed to go down before climb up again for the second stage. Because he was running out of his time, he started the climb quickly when he hit the bottom of the section. He was accelerating but he saw the minder standing at his line. Fujinami collided with him and dropped five points.

He dabbed a single point at the section5 and marked clean at the section6. He tried to get his rhythm going again, but the double fives at the section7 and 8 spoiled his momentum. At the section8, there were two lines to chose from. One was riding closely to the marker, sort of going around the obstacles with a high risk of at least one footing. Another line was going straight toward the obstacles. Because of the previous five, Fujinami chose the straight line to aim a clean. He failed to drop five points though.

Fujinami dropped a single point at the section9, but for the rest of the sections, he seemed to relax more as stiffness was gone from his body. He marked five cleans from the section10 to 15 to finish his lap. It showed how strong he was at the end of the lap, as Bou and Raga both dropped six points at those sections, while Fajardo dropped huge 20 points.

Apart from Fujinami, section14 was the big challenge for the competitors at Lap1. There was a huge stone and it seemed to be the problem for many of them. When the Japanese arrived at the section, no previous rider conquered it. Fujinami remembered the stone from the event in 2001, and he did not think it was tough. Looking full of confidence, he made a big jump on the rock and marked a strong clean for the first time at the section of the day.

Fujinami had an odd feeling with the engine output at Lap1 because of the insufficient engine setting for high elevation. The engine seemed to be producing too much power. Before going into the second lap, Fujinami requested to have the engine mapping changed to decrease the power output. The team-boss however, had a different opinion. He told Fujinami that because of the amount of riding time with the setting at Lap1 and Fujinami was getting used to it, change of the setting in a middle of the day might not be a good idea and might confuse the rider. He agreed the setting was not right, but he did not want to ruin a strong performance Fujinami showed at the end of the lap. Fujinami saw Boss' point and resumed with the setting he started the day with.

Fujinami made a full mark at Lap2 and it again came at the section7. It was a difficult section to reach to the top with rocks and the roots of the trees everywhere on the surface. He thought he went through at his second attempt, but stuck at the end to drop five points.

photoBefore starting the day, Fujinami decided to keep his pace and to ride slowly. Fajardo left the Japanese behind at Lap1, then Lampkin passed the Japanese at Lap2. Fujinami said that the last time he could see the first starter Bou was as early as at the section3, but he never saw him again. Going slow meant Fujinami could see the rivals' results on the score board. Like always he did not try to know the point situation, nor the team bothered him with a report. He though glanced at the board and had a rough idea that finishing better than Fajardo could give him third. Result turned out the way as he thought, but he was surprised to find there was huge 17 points separation between them in the end.

As Raga finished second, Fujinami became third in the standing with two points disadvantage. Although he thinks he had some unsatisfactory riding, third was a reasonable result for him to hang on to the championship battle before going into the summer break. There was also a happy news among the team Montesa in Italy. The winner of the event, Toni Bou has accumulated 185 points to capture 2010 Outdoor World title.

The championship will have one month of the summer break before come back to Czech Republic for the final round. One more round for Fujinami to see if he can finish second in the championship after four years.

Quote from Fujigas:

I was not in a good form all day, but I think I achieved my minimum goal. I said after the last round that I wanted to have a good result in Italy to enjoy my summer break. I think I deserve to have a good break, although it was a least result. There are two points between Raga and myself, so it is going to be a head to head battle at the final round for second in the championship. Toni said he would be supportive at the final round to me. I think we will compete closely, and he will give me some advice too. It will be a great help for me. I will have a good rest and to prepare so I will come back strong at the final round. But! before anything, I want to go back to Japan to see my baby girl for the first time!

FIM SPEA Trial WorldChampionship
Round10 - Foppolo, Italy
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa HRC 12
2 Adam Raga Gas Gas 18
3 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa HRC 26
4 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 43
5 James Dabill Gas Gas 43
6 Dougie Lampkin Beta 44
7 Albert Cabestany Sherco 49
8 Matteo Grattarola Sherco 53
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa HRC 185
2 Adam Raga Gas Gas 152
3 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa HRC 150
4 Albert Cabestany Sherco 129
5 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 126
6 James Dabill Gas Gas 99
7 Dougie Lampkin Beta 88
8 Loris Gubian Sherco 60