2012 X-Trial World Trial Championship Round7

Paris, France 31/3/2012

Finished off with 3rd on the Podium

photoX-Trial World Championship visited Paris, France for the final round of the 2012 season. The Bercy Stadium, the biggest sports stadium in Paris hosted the X-Trial event for the first time. There were total of ten participants in the event, the usual seven with three wild card riders of Challoner, Ferrer, and Dagnicourt. It was good to see the three French riders to take part in the event.

-- Qualification Lap --

Ferrer rode strong at the Qualification Lap, which was the riding surprised a lot of people and somehow upset the usual power balance. Because of that and a regrettable full mark mistake at the section2, Fujinami had a hard time at the QL. The five points he dropped at the section was not a big problem, as most of other riders also fived, but he made an error at the very end of the section. He used up his time for a maximum penalty. He had to ride restlessly at the remaining three sections.

Gubian, who has been a regular the top six for the six rounds this year, also had a tough time at the QL. He made a five points error at the section3, while all the regular riders with Ferrer marked clean, making his chance to survive for the Semi Final very slim. The Frenchman dropped another point at the following section, and his hope to finish better than Ferrer was gone. He just had to hope Fujinami making mistake at the section4, but the Japanese rider marked clean to shut the door.

Fujinami had the one more section to ride with less than a minute. He was in a hurry and made a mistake at the beginning to drop five points. He was the only rider in the top seven finishers at the QL to drop five points at the final section, to finish sixth with one point advantage over Gubian. Fujinami finished last but at least capture the spot for the SF, but finishing worse than the wild card rider was not something he could be proud of.

-- Semi Final --

photoFujinami won the speed race against Ferrer for the first battle of the Semi Final. Fajardo and Bou were other two who won their race. Ferrer, Raga and Cabestany lost to drop a single point, respectively. It was then Fujinami's role to be the first starter at the observed sections because of the result at the QL. All the riders marked clean at the section1, then an incident happened at the section2 when Fujinami failed his challenge of climbing up the fume-pipe. The pipe was protruding like an overhanging hazard, and the very tip of the pipe fell off as the Japanese made an error. Fujinami appealed the organizer, as the condition changed too much for a fair battle as there was no more overhanging part of the pipe. The organizer had nothing they could do, and the competition went on. The section was still difficult without the overhanging, so Bou and Fajardo were the only two to ride with a single point-although Fajardo dropped two more for time penalty-and the rest of the
riders all fived. Fujinami's full mark error at the section did not become decisive.

Bou marked clean at the section3 with one time penalty point, and the rest all fived. Bou continued with another clean at the section4. Fajardo also marked clean but dropped two time penalty points. Other riders all fived, again. After the four sections, clearly Bou and Fajardo secured the spot for the Final Lap. Fujinami, Raga, Cabestany and Ferrer rode with one clean with three fives, sharing the same points, thus Fujinami stood one point ahead of three with a victory of the speed race to capture third to proceed to the FL. Then it was Cabestany, who took the last ticket for the FL based on the qualification of the QL.

Fujinami later said that there was a dangerous jumping spot at the section4, that he did not take a risk. He was fortunate that none of Ferrer, Raga and Cabestany succeeded the challenge, otherwise he was defeated at the SF.

-- Final Lap --

Fajardo continued to show his best ride of the season in Paris. He lost the speed race against Bou, but won the other two. Fujinami won one but lost two against Bou and Fajardo to drop two points. Cabestany lost all three.

Fujinami suffered a puncture during the speed race with Bou. Without time to fix, changing the wheel in the fast moving X-Trial, Fujinami had no other choice but riding the next race against Fajardo with the tire pumped up the air. He had a total of two puncture troubles in Paris, by the way.

photoBou stayed away from any full mark error during the three observed sections, where the rest of three riders all fived at the section5 and the section7, sharing the same point during the FL. That meant, the standings at the FL were decided by the results of the SF and the double lanes at the beginning of the FL.

Clearly Bou took the victory, and the second went to Fajardo, since two had a big point gap over the rest. Then third went to Fujinami based on a point advantage over Cabestany at the SF, and one point advantage during the speed races of the FL. That ended the season of X-Trial 2012. Fujinami finished fourth in the point standings with 18 points advantage over Fajardo. It was not bad job at all considering it was the indoor trial series.

Quote from Fujigas:

I am glad to be on the podium today. This year went very well by standing up on the podium for three times, and missed the Final Lap only once. We will have the Indoor Trial des Nation next week, and I will be putting the maximum effort together with Tomoyuki Ogawa. The Spanish team will take the victory, which is no doubt about it, so we will fight against the team UK and France to capture the second place.

2012 X-Trial World Trial Championship
Round7 Paris
Final Lap
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa Honda 3
2 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 21
3 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa Honda 27
4 Albert Cabestany Sherco 29
5 Adam Raga Gas Gas 16
6 Ferrer Alexandre Sherco 16
Qualificarion Lap
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa Honda 0
2 Albert Cabestany Sherco 0
3 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 1
4 Adam Raga Gas Gas 5
5 Ferrer Alexandre Sherco 6
6 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa Honda 10
7 Loris Gubian Gas Gas 11
8 Micheal Brown Gas Gas 15
1 Toni Bou 140
2 Albert Cabestany 87
3 Adam Raga 84
4 Takahisa Fujinami 69
5 Jeroni Fajardo 51
6 Loris Gubian 33