2012 X-Trial World Trial Championship Round4

Madrid, Spain - 3/3/2012

Another Final Lap ride to be Fourth

photoAfter about a month of break, the X-Trial resumed at the capital city of Spain, Madrid. It was the first round held in Spain this year after three rounds in France, Switzerland and France again.

A bad news for non-Spanish riders, that the sections to be used at the X-Trial in Spain will be the same materials from the Spain Indoor trial series. Naturally, the Spanish riders will have advantages with the familiar materials. A single rider from Japan, UK and France, respectively, faced the challenge against six Spanish riders.

Fujinami has been showing a good performance in X-Trial this year. He has won the Indoor trial once in 2004, but the category is still the challenge he has to get used to. It is also true to say that after some seasons with series of rule changes, X-Trial, the Indoor Trial, has become some what a different sport compares to the Outdoor trial. He has not finished worse than fourth this year; still remarkable results for the Japanese rider considering his past records. He has proceeded to the Final Lap three times in the three occasion so far this year, and was eager to do the same in Madrid. Fajardo, in turn, missed the Final Lap for three times in a row, seeking a revenge for his fourth round. He has switched his machinery back to Beta and having a harder time more than expected.

-- Qualification Lap --

Fujinami was in a good shape from his Qualification Lap, where usually, he struggled a bit at the QL, then picked up the rhythm at the Semi Final to go to the Final Lap. There were five sections for the QL. They were typical Spanish style and they were tall. They were also construct with metal plates, providing either make or break outcome for the riders. Gomez and Tarres all fived, Gubian and Brown fived four times, then Fujinami fived three times. Raga fived two times, Cabestany fived once, and Bou had no five. The number of five that riders dropped coincidentally became their standings for the QL in Madrid, thus Fujinami was fourth. That was a bit of relief for the Japanese that he would not have to ride first at the following lap. That would give him a chance to observe and learn the riding of Brown and Fajardo.

-- Semi Final --

photoFujinami lost the Double Lane against Raga. In the previous season, Fujinami was confident with the race. Due to the rule changes, the results of the DL became more and more important in the X-Trial, and the race became more competitive, too.

So, Fujinami started SF with one point dis-advantage, but he made a quick recovery as early as at the first section with a very slippery hume pipe. "I was saved by the other's mistakes." Fujinami described as his close rivals; Brown, Fajardo and Cabestany, dropped five points. Fujinami managed to ride with one footing with two over-time penalty points. Brown, Fajardo and Fujinami at the rest of there sections, so Fujinami grabbed the ticket to the Final Lap by solely his riding at the section1. He recalled that he thought he could ride better at the section4, the section made with stones, more like with the Outdoor style, but he made a mistake at the beginning as the front end went up in the air to five.

-- Final Lap --

photoThere were, as usual, six Double Lanes to start the Final Lap. The round-robin battles, that each rider had to ride three races. Fujinami won the race against Raga and Cabestany, but lost it against Bou. Bou was the only rider to win all three races, and Fujinami and Raga followed with two wins. Cabestany unfortunately lost all three. That made Fujinami catching up Cabestany by canceling the point gap he had at the SF. The Japanese still needed to finish at least one point better than the Spaniard to finish ahead. It would be hard challenge to beat Cabestany, the ex-Indoor champion at the Spanish field, to finish ahead to be on the podium, Fujinami knew before his ride.

Fujinami rode with one point with one over-time point at the section5. Cabestany rode with a single point. At the section6, Cabestany rode with three points with one over-time point, where Fujinami failed to climb up to five. At the final section, everybody except Bou fived, thus the point gap stayed the same between Fujinami and Cabestany, and the Japanese had to settle with fourth place.

The next round will be at the island of Mallorca.

Quote from Fujigas:

I am happily surprised to proceed to the Final Lap again. It is hard to fight against Spaniards riding at the Spanish style sections, and it was the same story in Madrid too. I still enjoy the battle, though. I have built a good margin against Fajardo for the championship, where I am currently lying fifth. I have set my goal to be up to the FL up to this round. Now having a healthy cushion, I think I need to take a different approach at the coming rounds. If you find me start missing the FL at the coming rounds, please think that I am trying something different for the new challenge.

2012 X-Trial World Trial Championship
Round4 Madrid Spain
Final Lap
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa Honda 13
2 Adam Raga Gas Gas 20
3 Albert Cabestany Sherco 30
4 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa Honda 32
5 Micheal Brown Gas Gas 20
6 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 21
Qualificarion Lap
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa Honda 1
2 Albert Cabestany Sherco 9
3 Adam Raga Gas Gas 11
4 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa Honda 17
5 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 20
6 Micheal Brown Gas Gas 20
7 Loris Gubian Gas Gas 22
8 Pol Tarres JTG 25
9 Alfredo Gomez Montesa 25
1 Toni Bou 80
2 Adam Raga 54
3 Albert Cabestany 51
4 Takahisa Fujinami 39
5 Jeroni Fajardo 22
6 Loris Gubian 19