2012 Trial World Championship Round9-10

Sant Julia de loria, Andorra 23-24/6/2012

Podium on Saturday despite the Broken Bone

- Saturday -

photoThe world championship made a short trip to Andorra, the regular country in the championship calendar. Although the event takes place at the usual city, the location of the sections and the paddock is different every year. This year, the paddock located on top of the mountain at the elevation of 1,600 meters. The sections spread out about 200 meters below the paddock, including two water sections.

Cabestany picked the first order for starting in Andorra. Fujinami was third, and Bou picked the fifth from the last. Being too far from the teammate, Fujinami decided to stay closely with Cabestany.

Fujinami went to Andorra with a taping treatment to his right little finger that he suffered a broken bone in Spain. He has not have an operation yet, because he would have to rest quietly for two weeks if he had, which meant he had to miss the Andorra Grand Prix, as well as Grand Prix in UK if the condition after the operation would not be so well. Missing the Andorra rounds was not acceptable for Fujinami, as it would cancel the effort in Spain to endure the enormous pain.

Fujinami was well aware of the condition of the finger, and he knew it was not very wise to leave the injury as it was. However, he decided to have an operation after the season was over, when he had an advice from the doctor that it would take longer the injury got healed, as well as finger might become deformed if the operation would not take place promptly. Fujinami thought he could pay the price. He had to cut the leather for the little finger of the glove, as his taped finger did not fit into it.

photoAfter the section inspection, Fujinami found the difficulty low from the section1 to 3, then there were demanding sections at the section4, 10, 11, 12 and 13. However, as the competition got underway, he was surprised to see Cabestany making a full mark error at the section1. Although the stone was covered with moss and looked slippery, the rock was about 40cm tall. It did not seem to be a big problem. Fujinami sensed it was not a good day for the Sherco rider.

Fujinami thought it was funny to see the team boss, Mr, Cirera coming over to see him many times during Lap1. The boss normally does not come to Fujinami during the competition, except the Japanese rider is in a very bad rhythm or being in a good rhythm. As usual Fujinami did not need the competition report, so the boss gave the words to encourage, "keep it going". Fujinami did not know then, but he was leading with four points until the end of the section12 at Lap1 . Fajardo was second with six points followed by Bou with ten points, Raga with 11 points, and Cabestany was fifth with 13 points. The condition of the finger was not so bad. He did not have to shout out to withstand the pain like he had to in Spain. In Andorra, he could ride rather quietly.

Then when he was about to start his ride at the section13, he noticed his finger was numb probably because of the taping being too tight blocking the blood circulation. The strength of the right hand became weaker, and lost the grip of the right hand during his ride to fall down. He dropped five points to let both Fajardo and Bou went ahead, losing the first spot.

photoAt Lap2, Fujinami dropped more points than the first lap as the strength of the hand got weaker. He dropped anther full mark at the section12. He worried to lose the position, but Raga, who was chasing the Japanese also fived at the section, thus Fujinami third place was safe.

The biggest factor for Fujinami to be strong on Saturday was that he rode out the section4 without dropping a full mark. There was a climb with an overhang rock and the run up was short. Riders needed to pull up the front end first to climb up. For the injured Fujinami, it was not possible to do such a violent move. Instead, he noticed there was a tree at the right side of the section, and he used it to support the body momentary to climb up the section. He rode with three points at Lap1, then two points at the latter lap. Fajardo rode best at the section, still he rode with a five and a clean. Fujinami's attitude, being conservative due to the injury, paid off at the particular section.

- Sunday -

The overnight modifications took place at the section 5,6,8 and 14 to bring the severity up for Sunday. Still the hard challenges remained the same, thus Fujinami's strategy was the same from the previous day. He seemed to ride without an influence of the injury on Sunday, but unfortunately, his rivals improved their performance and rode strong on Sunday, too. Like the previous day, Fujinami tried not to know the situation, but he sensed he was not in a very good position, worse than the day before.

photoThe biggest challenge of the day was at the section14, even for Bou. The Spanish teammate suffered an injury on his leg in Spain, and he also waived to have an operation. Bou is on the verge of taking the championship if he wins the penultimate round of the season in Italy. People around him suggest to take a time off in Italy to fix the body, but the reigning champion seems to want to clinch the title in Italy. He can then miss the UK rounds to concentrate his treatment.

Bou, having a big problem with his leg, was wondering the possibility of the riding line at the section14. Both Fujinami and Bou rode with a single point at Lap1. Fujinami asked the team boss if his score at the section would influence his finishing order. The Boss said no, as the Japanese rider was too far away from the fourth, and had enough cushion against Dabill, who was sixth at the time.

Fujinami rode the line that his teammate was seeking its possibilities. He almost made it but ended with five points. Bou made up his mind to take the line as Lap1, though he made a full mark error. He made an uncharacteristic mistake at the section4 to drop five point by touching the card. Having dropped five points at the penultimate section, he went down to fourth, otherwise he would have finished in a tie in point to be first with Cabestany.

Fujinami was fifth to follow the teammate to conclude the day. Although being injured, Fujinami trains regularly and everyday. It will be interesting to see what kind of riding he will do to improve his standing in the last three rounds.

Quote from Fujigas:

I am happy with the results on Saturday. Tomoyuki Ogawa did an intensive high altitude testing for the team in Spring, and it paid off. I am pleased to finish third on the podium to give a little return to the team and Tomoyuki's hard work. We have the three more rounds to go before the season is up., but Cabestany's victory this time put me in a difficult position in the standings though. For the remaining three rounds, I will ride for the podium finish, and aimed for the higher step. I have not finished worse than third in the championship for some years now, and I can't imagine having the bigger number on my bike. It is not easy to accept it, but it is no use to worry about it neither.

2012 Trial World Championship
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa Honda 11
2 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 14
3 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa Honda 20
4 Adam Raga Gas Gas 23
5 Albert Cabestany Sherco 32
6 James Dabill Beta 33
7 Michael Brown Gas Gas 41
8 Jack Challoner Beta 47
1 Albert Cabestany Sherco 10
2 Adam Raga Gas Gas 21
3 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 22
4 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa Honda 15
5 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa Honda 28
6 James Dabill Beta 45
7 Michael Brown Gas Gas 53
8 Daniel Oliveras Ossa 64
1 Toni Bou 190
2 Jeroni Fajardo 150
3 Adam Raga 145
4 Albert Cabestany 142
5 Takahisa Fujinami 130
6 James Dabill 98
7 Jack Challoner 75
8 Daniel Oliveras 69