2012 X-Trial World Trial Championship Round5

Mallorca, Spain 11/3/2012

Podium Finish for the Memorial Day

photoThe round five of X-Trial took place in Mallorca, the world's famous resort island in the mediterranean sea and the regular place for hosting the X-Trial event. This year, the section coordination was done by a french man with the materials other than those used in the Spanish championship. That was a very encouraging news to know before the event for Fujinami.

-- Qualification Lap --

The severity of the sections was held low in Mallorca. It was an interesting contrast to the usual rounds, where the sections became so demanding that it was not rare that only Toni Bou could ride. That was because of an overwhelming skills of the Spaniard of course, but speaking of the competition, the level of difficulty became questionably high. It might have not been a very exciting evening for Bou, but the event in Mallorca was good as a competition in general, and was fun to watch for the spectators.

However, all cleans by the top six riders at the Qualification Lap showed that the severity was a bit too low. To decide the finishing order, they had to ride an additional section as a tie-breaker. Knowing the section was cleanable for everybody, riders needed to ride fast as the riding time would be taken account next. Trying to ride fast made the things different at the section, and Gubian was the first victim to crash. Fujinami rode carefully after watching the Frenchman's mistake, but he too fell down as he pushed the pace. The rest all marked clean, thus the standing was decided by the riding time. It was then decided as Bou, Raga, Cabestany and Fajardo. Both dropping a full mark, Fujinami and Gubian needed to ride another tie-breaker, where Fujinami rode with 20.3 sec to beat Gubian, who rode with 22.2 sec.

-- Semi Final --

photoFujinami won the Double Lane against Gubian for the first battle of the Semi Final. He then followed the Frenchman to ride the four observed sections. There was a double step at the section1, with the two ways to choose the line from. One was a direct and a single action, which was the way if aiming for a clean but had a big risk of dropping five points as well. Another was to separate the section into two, and stop in the middle of the section. It was the way likely to drop one to two points but had a very little chance to drop a full mark. Fujinami chose the latter way, but he struggled a bit to climbing up the step to drop three points. Gubilan dropped five points at the section, so as Fajardo and Raga later to drop five points. Cabestany rode with a single point, then Bou marked clean.

Fujinami was in a good shape in Mallorca, and he rode with three cleans at the rest of three sections. He was third after Bou and Cabestany, with Raga being fourth with six points. Gubian was seventh with 12 pionts and finally Fajardo was sixth by dropping three fives to finish with 16 points.

-- Final Lap --

It was Fujinami's fifth consecutive Final Lap appearance in five rounds of the season. In the normal circumstance, he should have been happy to achieve his objective, but in Mallorca on the particular day, proceeding to the FL was not enough for him.

Because of the easiness of the observed sections, the results of the speed races became very important. Fujinami won the race against Raga, but lost other two against Cabestany and Bou, to drop two points. Bou meanwhile won them all, Cabestany won one, and Raga lost all three races.

photoAt the section6, there was a big step at the beginning of the section. Fujinami failed the challenge to drop five points. Raga dropped a single mark at the section5, then marked clean at the section6. As Bou and Cabestany marked two cleans at the first two sections to get away, the battle for the final place on the podium was between Raga and Fujinami. They were in a tie as they finished the first two sections. In case of finishing in a tie at the end of the FL, Raga would take third because of the qualification at the QL.

At the section7, the final ride of the lap, Raga rode with a single point. Fujinami rode next, and he did what he had to do to mark clean. He finished the lap with ten points, one point better than Raga to take the third place. The winner was Bou with two points followed by Cabestany at second with four points after dropping a single mark at the final section. It was not all happy for Fujinami as there was a big gap amoung the top two and himself, but he was relieved to finish on the podium for the second time of the season.

It was March 11th, the day huge earthquakes and tsunami struck Japan a year ago. Standing up on the podium in Mallorca, being far away from home, Fujinami sent his heart out to his home country, Japan.

Quote from Fujigas:

Things fell into place for my favor and I achieved my goal for today to stand on the podium. It was the day a year after the disaster in Japan, so I had many thoughts in my head. People asked me if I had a pressure at the final section, but honestly, I did not have any but had the tension all the evening. I enjoyed my riding and the results came along I suppose. I planned to be on the podium in Mallorca, so I feel 'the mission accomplished'. I wanted everybody to remember and think about Japan, and I wanted to say that on the podium. It was a special podium for me, and meant a lot more than usual.

2012 X-Trial World Trial Championship
Round5 Mallorca
Final Lap
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa Honda 2
2 Albert Cabestany Sherco 4
3 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa Honda 10
4 Adam Raga Gas Gas 11
5 Loris Gubian Gas Gas 12
6 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 16
Qualificarion Lap
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa Honda 0
2 Adam Raga Gas Gas 0
3 Albert Cabestany Sherco 0
4 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 0
5 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa Honda 0
6 Loris Gubian Gas Gas 0
7 Micheal Brown Gas Gas 11
8 Alfredo Gomez Montesa 15
1 Toni Bou 100
2 Adam Raga 66
3 Albert Cabestany 63
4 Takahisa Fujinami 51
5 Jeroni Fajardo 27
6 Loris Gubian 25