2012 X-Trial World Trial Championship Round2

Geneva Switzerland - 21/1/2012

On the Podium, 2nd was just a point away.

photoA week after the opening round in France, the championship visited Switzerland. It was the city of Geneva, the home city of FIM, so there was a sparky atmosphere to have a good show around the venue. There were two wild-card riders, Jack Challoner and Benoit Dagnicourt, joying the regular riders, so a total of ten riders participated in the event.

For the first Qualification Lap, riders were divided into three groups based on their results at the previous round to decide the starting order by a ballot. They were the groups for the top four riders, the lower four riders, and the wild-card riders. Finishing fourth in France, Fujinami was in the top group, and he pulled the final starting order. Fujinami's object at the QL was clear, same as it was at the previous round, to survive and proceed to the Semi-Final. It was at least a relief for him that he did not have to think to battle it out against the Spanish quartet.

After the five observed sections, it was Raga, who marked all clean to finish 1st at the QL in Geneva, pushing away Bou to be 2nd with a single point. The final starter, Fujinami crashed at the section4, breaking the bike - the clutch became faulty due to a hard impact on the clutch cover - when fell down. He switched to the 2nd bike - It is required to have 2nd bike to participate in the X-Trial - to continue, but he used five minutes allotted time to drop additional over-time penalty point. He then marked clean at the final section to finish with six points. Cabestany fived at the section1 then dropped a single points at the section4, and they became even scored. Thus the two had to ride additional section to decide their standing.

photoFujinami had a little thought at the tie-breaker, that losing there would make his day a bit easier, and you don't drop any point at the tie-break. He fived at the beginning of his ride to finish 5th at the QL. This turned out to be a mistake as Gubian at the DL at the following Semi-Final did not make the day any easier for the Montesa rider, and he would give up a position because of the classification of the QL in the end.

So, Fujinami lost the speed race at the beginning of the SF so as Fajardo and Raga, and they had to ride with a point dis-advantage for the rest of the lap. The severity was high at the section1, and everybody except Bou fived, but the reigning champion also dropped a single point. There was a laying log at the section2, and Fajardo was the only rider to drop a point. Then everybody fived at the section3.

Before the final section of the lap, Bou was first in the standing with six points. There were some very close battles for the rest of the riders as Cabestany and Gubian were the joint second by sharing the ten points, and Fujinami and Raga were also tied with 11 points. Fajardo followed them at sixth with 12 points.

The final section of the SF was set up with the construction pipes, and Gubian was the only rider to drop a single point. As a result, Bou was first with six points followed by Cabestany with ten points. Then there were three riders with 11 points. Based on the qualification of the QL, Raga and Fujinami were classified as third and fourth, respectively, and Gubian was eliminated as being fifth.

As always, there were six speed races at the beginning of the Final Lap. Fujinami dropped a single point by losing one race against Bou and winning the other two against Raga and Cabestany. Bou won all three. Raga lost two, and Cabestany dropped three points by losing all.

At the section5, Bou marked clean but the rest all fived. At the section6, Fujinami footed lightly when jumped down, allowed Cabestany catching up. Raga meanwhile made a full mark error.

The final section was cleanable, but there was a good possibility to end with a full mark. Fujinami rode carefully and marked clean, but probably a bit too much carefully that he could not finish in time, about a second too late, to suffer one penalty point to finish the lap with 19 points.

photoRaga concluded the lap with a clean, but two fives costed him to finish with 23 points. Cabestany dropped a single point at the final section, thus he finished in even scored with Fujinami. Based on the classification of the Qualification Lap, the 2nd place went to the Spaniard, thus Fujinami had to settle with 3rd. Earlier, Fujinami let the Spaniard winning at the tie-break, consequently, he gave away the chance to finish 2nd at the end of the night. Bou, by the way, rode the final section at last with a clean to conclude the round with the victory number two.

Two rounds consecutively, there were close fights in X-Trial. Fujinami was able to be among the top battle at the Final Lap and finished on the podium. Although, minus one point he would have finished 2nd, but he was happy with the result, especially it was very hard to even get a chance to ride in the FL, and the podium finish was out of his reach in the previous season.

Quote from Fujigas:

I know I almost finished 2nd, but I am happy to proceed to the Final Lap again and stood on the podium. I was fourth in France then third in Geneva. I know I am expected to be even better at the next round, but I do not want to be greedy. I will try to concentrate on accomplishing my goal, to proceed to the Final Lap at every round. The sections at the opening two rounds were the French type, and it will be so in Marseille too. However, they will be the Spanish type after marseille, and the Spaniards are expected to become vigorous with their favorite taste. Fajardo will be out of slump too. It will make things more difficult, but I will keep it up.

2012 X-Trial World Trial Championship
Round2 Geneva, Switzerland
Final Lap
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa Honda 6
2 Albert Cabestany Sherco 19
3 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa Honda 19
4 Adam Raga Gas Gas 23
5 Loris Gubian Gas Gas 11
6 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 12
Qualificarion Lap
1 Adam Raga Gas Gas 0
2 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa Honda 1
3 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 5
4 Albert Cabestany Sherco 6
5 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa Honda 6
6 Loris Gubian Gas Gas 11
7 Micheal Brown Gas Gas 16
8 Jack Challoner Beta 16
9 Alfredo Gomez Montesa 21
10 Benoit Dagnicourt Beta 23
1 Toni Bou 40
2 Albert Cabestany 27
3 Adam Raga 24
4 Takahisa Fujinami 21
5 Jeroni Fajardo 11
6 Loris Gubian 11