Fujinami was at the section6, the series of climb up and jump down at a ragged rock hazard. He was jumping down and turning the direction of the bike at the same time when he felt a slight pain with his little finger. He hit the finger against the wall of the rock, and it was jammed between the rock and the handle bar. He told Josep and Carles about hitting the finger, but he thought it was one of those oops to see the nail turning black or to have a blood blister later. He did not take it seriously at first. No big deal.
He then felt something unusual as he continued to ride out the section. He lost the strength to hold the handle bar tightly. Powerlessly, he finished the section with three point. It was his first time to notice that his finger was bleeding a lot. Fujinami went to the event doctor after finishing up the section. There, he was told to take the glove off, but it was too painful to do so. The doctor had no choice but cutting the glove, and he found there was no finger nail. He could move the finger in the nonsense way, so it was easy to tell it was broken. The finger nail by the way was found inside the tip of the glove, which the glove Josep took back to the paddock with him.
Fujinami had a huge pain, but wanted to continue. The doctor said it was not reasonable. Still, it was up to the competitor himself to decide to quit or continue, so Fujinami transported to the next section to decide. He calculated in his mind that he would finish ninth even having declare fives for the rest of the lap. He apparently miscalculated to be too optimistic about it though.
Fujinami was fortunate that the section he used as a reference to decide what to do for the rest of the day, the section7, was easy one. He took a pain killer then rode the section and managed to mark clean. He was able to endure the pain with a good result, so his mind became competitive again and he wanted to ride more. He explained later that he felt the adrenalin circulating in his body at the time and wanted to ride as much sections as possible before losing its affects. It was then literally a bloody riding for the Japanese rider.
As he finished Lap1, he had his finger disinfected and had more pain killer, directly putting the medicine onto the injured area rather than taking pill nor having injection. Fujinami's trainer took care of it. Another fortunate thing happened on Saturday for Fujinami was a cancellation of the section15 for both laps due to the breakdown of the section. For the injured rider, having less sections to ride was a great news.
He could ride without using the little finger, but he had to fight with losing the strength of the grip and the pain. Sometimes his hand slipped off from the bar, and it was difficult to keep balance, too. Fujinami was the latest starter in Spain. The first full mark error at the very beginning of Lap1 at the section1, where the top four riders all marked clean, was a big grief, but it was nothing to do with the mistake at the section6.
He finished the riding on Saturday, totally exhausted and worn out, to be fifth. At first, he was happy to complete his riding for both laps, so fifth was the result more than he could hope for.
There were many crashes and some got injured including Bou suffering damage to his thigh at the section12.
It was a tough fight, but Fujinami barely completed his riding on Saturday. However, it was even more difficult on the following day, as adrenalin which drove him strong on Saturday was not in his body anymore. He did not know if he could even start the day having a huge pain on his little finger. The doctor already told it was not advisable to ride with the injury, though Fujinami had no intension to obediently follow the advice. The Montesa's team doctor told him as long as being careful the injured area not to be suppurated, things would be alright.
He started the day strong with two cleans. He was well composed to continue with a decent riding, considering the injury. He told later that he thought that stepping on the podium was not out of the question. Then the situation became worse for the Japanese rider when he dropped five points at the section12, as the pain became too huge to handle.
As on Saturday, Dabill was the direct rival for Fujinami on Sunday. The Montesa rider tried to grasp the point gap between himself and the UK rider, and tried for cleans when possible to maintain the gap. Fujinami rode Lap2 with 21, one point worse than the UK rider, but he had the seven points advantage at Lap1, thus managed to hold on to the position.
Fujinami had another fortunate thing happened on Sunday. Cabestany, who rode a point better at Lap1 suffered a transmission problem at Lap2, and he started to drop many fives. Without the problem, the Sherco rider difinetely would ride better than Fujinami to push down the position. It was a well done job for Fujinami sustaining the pain, but he was lucky to finish the position on Sunday.
There were many injuries including Gubian broke some teeth on Sunday. He was carried to the hospital for further treatment. Fujinami was very fortunate that he was able to continue his riding for both days. After an intensive examination, the bone of the little finger found to be broken into many pieces, and he needed to have an operation. However, having the Andorra round coming closely, he has to think the best timing to have the operation.
I think fifth and fourth mean a lot for me. I am going to fix the injury, oh but before that, I have to ride the Andorra round. I don't think I am out of the championship battle either. I am 12 points down from Fajardo who is currently second, and I think it is possible to reduce the gap. It was a very painful injury on my little finger, but it was a lot better than the injury I suffered on my left index finger some years ago. You know, that is the finger to operate the clutch. Both were very painful anyway though.
|1||Toni Bou||Repsol Montesa Honda||20|
|3||Adam Raga||Gas Gas||25|
|5||Takahisa Fujinami||Repsol Montesa Honda||55|
|1||Toni Bou||Repsol Montesa Honda||10|
|2||Adam Raga||Gas Gas||21|
|4||Takahisa Fujinami||Repsol Montesa Honda||39|