2011 X-Trial World Trial Championship Round1

Palasport Fiera de Genova, Genova, Italy - 27/11/2010

5th at the Season Opener

photoThe 2011 trial season kicked off as early as a month before the 2010 year is up. The Indoor Trial Championship now called X-Trial with the rules basically the same as the last season's. There will be eight regular participants for the X-Trial this season; the Spanish quartette of Bou, Cabestany, Raga and Fajardo; the UK trio of Brown , Dabil and Challoner, the new junior class world champion, and Fujinami from Japan.

The opening round took place in Genova, Italy, where many natural materials were used to set up the sections contrary to man-made objects at usual rounds. The Italian local Iolitta took part in the event as a wild-card rider, so there were total of nine riders lined up for the battle. As usual, Qualification took place first, where Brown, Challoner and Iolitta were eliminated before the TV coverage got started. There was a close fight among the top five finishers with matched score of all-cleans, and their order was decided by the riding time at the final section. The order was Bou, Cabestany, Raga, Fajardo, Fujinami, and Dabil, who were selected for the Semi-Final.

Likewise in Barcelona round last season, the Indoor Enduro event also took place at the evening. Fans could enjoy both aggressiveness of Enduro with its speed with many riders, and the art of technic by X-Trial. In Barcelona last season, there was a problem for the trial riders that the sections became very dusty and slippery after the Enduro event. In Genova however, because of natural materials at the sections, it did not seem to affect so much. Lampkin, Blazusiak, Jarvis, and Gomez, familiar faces for trial participated in the Enduro event, and they fought strongly as Blazusiak finished third, fifth for Jarvis and Gomez finished sixth. Lampkin had a machine trouble in the qualification, and went on to the last chance. Lampkin rode hard in the night race, but night ended early in Italy for him. Fujinami did not have time to relax and watch their race to cheer them on, but he grabbed his Cota to have a little entertainment after the Qualifications. Fans went crazy watching
a trial rider on a trial machine to successfully jump the triple, where some of the Enduro riders struggled.

There were speed races at the beginning of Semi-Final with a new rule; the losers would drop one point. Six riders meant three races; Bou vs Dabil, Raga vs Fajardo, and Fujinami vs Cabestany. Bou, Raga and Cabestany won, and Fujinami along with Dabil and Fajardo dropped one point, respectively.

There were four observation sections to follow, where severity brought higher after having some advices from competitors. Modifications included shortening the run-up area, taken away some cue markers. Thanks for the modifications, all failed at the section1. Fujinami felt strong at the section2 but dropped another five so as Raga, Fajardo, Cabestany and Dabil. Bou stayed away from mistake to mark clean at the section. As the all six riders marked clean at the section3, before they going for the final section, Bou was first with five points, Cabestay and Fajardo shared the second position with ten points. Fujinami and Raga were joint fourth with 11, and Dabil was next with 12 points.

With only four riders to proceed to the Final, Fujinami needed to mark clean at the final section and some mistakes by Raga. In case they would finish tie in point with both riders marking clean, the Japanese would lose by the riding time in the Qualification.

Dabil finished with a footing with a time penalty point, then Fajardo followed with a clean. Fujinami was next and he rode faultlessly until about a few meters to go. He fractionally thought his mission was accomplished. Then suddenly, the handle bars rolled away toward the front, and the bike became completely unridable. He was lucky he did not crash, but he had no way but putting his foot to push the bike to finish with two points. Raga meanwhile did not waste his chance, marking clean and he aptured the fourth spot.

So, Fujinami's day was over. He was frustrated as he thought he suddenly became fourth to dead last, as he did now know the proper results at the time. It was about a hour later for him to find out he was fifth ahead of Dabil.

There were six speed races in the Final with the round-robin formula. It was competitors mutual thought that there were too many speed races with a few observations sections at each round. During the off-season, the competitors appealed FIM for a change, but nothing was happened and the format stayed. Competitors had to get live with it.

Quote from Fujigas:

When the Semi-Final was over, I was frustrated a lot because I thought I was sixth. Later I found out I was fifth, but there is only one point difference between fifth and sixth anyway. This season again, there are too many speed races with a small number of observed sections, which the format I am struggling with. I have a year of experience with the rule, so I need to find the way to be strong in it though.

This event concludes the trial competition in 2010 for me. The next will be the Indoor trial in Sheffield at the beginning of 2011. I am looking forward to the event, because some of the riders will bring their new bike. I like to say thank you very much indeed for all the support in 2010.

2011 X-Trial World Trial Championship
Round1 - Genova, Italy
Final Lap
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa Honda 9
2 Albert Cabestany Sherco 12
3 Adam Raga Gas Gas 14
4 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 28
5 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa Honda 13
6 James Dabill Gas Gas 14
Qualificarion Lap
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa Honda 0
2 Adam Raga Gas Gas 0
3 Albert Cabestany Sherco 0
4 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa Honda 0
5 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 6
6 James Dabill Gas Gas 7
7 Micheal Brown Sherco 8
8 Jack Challoner Beta 10
9 Francesco Iolitta Beta 11
1 Toni Bou 20
2 Albert Cabestany 15
3 Adam Raga 12
4 Jeroni Fajardo 9
5 Takahisa Fujinami 6
6 James Dabill 5