2013 X-Trial World Championship Round3

Malaga, Spain 10/3/2013

Up to 3rd in the Standing with Two Consecutive 3rd

photoAt the third round of X-Trial World Championship held at Malaga, a resort city located at south west of Spain, about a month of interval after the round two, Takahisa Fujinami finished third on the podium, two rounds consecutively. With accumulated points of 29, he better Adam Raga by one point to move up third in the point standings.

Qualification Lap

With the two Spanish wild-card riders, Francesc Moret and Pere Borrellas, there were total of ten riders participated in the event. Fujinami took the third pick at his ballot within the group of lower rank in the standing. The starting order was then decided as Borrellas, as the first rider followed by Moret, Challoner, Grattarola, and Fujinami was the fifth starter. Then the order continued as Ferrer, Cabestany, Fajardo, Raga, and Bou to be the final starter. Fujinami's goal at qualification was simple, same as all the other rounds, to stay alive for the next lap.

The three of the four riders started before Fujinami rode the lap with 21 points and the other rode with 25 points. The Japanese rider knew he could achieve the first goal if he would ride the lap better than 21 points. Fujinami found the severity of the section4 and 5 was high with a big chance to end with a full mark failure. He then focused on to the first three sections to ride as less penalty point as possible. There was a huge trash box to climb up without a run up area at the section1, in which previously all four riders failed, but Fujinami managed to ride with a single point. Thanks to a clean at the section2, he had no problem clearing the qualification even he would five at the section3. He did not fool around and he marked clean at the section. The section4 was difficult, and Fujinami fived at the beginning of the section. He told us later it was his strategy to save time for the final section, where he thought he had a better chance than the section4. As the
scoreboard tells us, it was Bou only to stay clear of penalty points at the section4, and everybody else fived. Fujinami tried but his plan did not work at the section5, and he finished the lap with 11 points.

photoSome of the riders starting after Fujinami were not really in a good shape during qualification, as Ferrer rode with all five, Fajardo rode with four fives to finish with 20 points, and Raga finished with 16 points including a full mark error at the section2. There were two riders only, Cabestany and Bou, who rode better than Fujinami, thus Fujinami unexpectedly finished well at third in the Qualification Lap.


First time in this year, Fujinami had a chance to observe his rivals' riding before his at the Semi-Final, as he qualified low at the previous rounds. Grattarola, Fajardo and Raga would demonstrate some valuable lessons to Fujinami, where previously, the Japanese rider was one of the riders to show the lessons to the other riders.

There were the Double-Lanes to start the Semi-Final, where Fajardo, Fujinami and Bou won to move on to the observed sections with one point advantage, respectively.

Although Fujinami thought the section1 was ridable, it tuned out that all the riders including Bou fived. At the section2, everybody except Bou fived. Then the section3, consisted of a wood and a hume pipes, became decisive, just like Fujinami thought before the evening. Grattarola rode first and he fiver. Fajardo was next to ride with three points with one time penalty point. Raga followed with one point for footing with one time penalty. Fujinami rode carefully tried not to drop five marks, and he was prepared for one time penalty. He rode the section with one point, however, he spent a bit too much time in the end to drop two time penalty point. That put him in tie in point with Raga. Cabestany followed to mark clean with one over time point, then Bou marked clean within time. Therefore, Fajardo, Raga and Fujinami were three riders with the section4 to decide who to be eliminated before the Final Lap. The section4 however was difficult, and only Bou marked clean with one
time penalty, and the rest of the riders all fived. The point gap among the three riders stayed the same, so it was Fajardo, who had to end the evening early.


photoThe Final Lap was consisted of one Double-Lane with three observed sections. A small number of the sections meant every point would become decisive, so Fujinami was determined to win the speed race against Raga. Fujinami had a small advantage until the end, but jumped over the final part of the obstacles to speed up to finish first.

At the first observed section, the first starter Raga failed. Fujinami followed, and he spent time but managed to mark clean. Although he dropped one point for time penalty, he built five points advantage over Raga, and the Japanese rider thought the Spaniard was no longer a threat in the evening.

The following two section did not change the situation for everybody, as only Bou managed to ride other than five. Fujinami finished one point better than Cabestany at the Final Lap, but the results of Semi-Final and the Final Lap combined, both riders had 29 points. Based on the classification of qualification, Fujinami had to settle with third.

Fujinami's performance at tall stair-cases became store this year. Although he has been practicing the way to ride for non-stop rule for the Outdoor competition lately after the new regulation was announced, he has practiced intensively with Indoor style obstacles before that. It seems that his effort for months of training is paying off.

photoIt was the happy third with the two consecutive rounds on the podium for Fujinami. But it was discouraging fact to know he finished in tie in point with Cabestany to lose the second place. Wasn't it possible to ride quicker to finish without time penalty point at the section1? If he could do so, the second place was his. He also knows that he could have ended with a full mark error by riding faster. Fujinami now moves up to third in the point standings, which is the magnificent achievement for the Japanese rider in his Indoor challenge.

Quote from Fujigas:

I have a mixed feeling that I finished with an equal points with Cabestany to be third. I had a good chance to take second but I could not. It is good to know that I will have a good starting position at the next round. I will be in the top group to pick the ballot in Germany, and I will have a better chance too. I want to finish within fourth in the final standings, so moving up to third at this round was more than I expected. I will keep this momentum for the rest of the rounds.

2013 X-Trial World Trial Championship
Round3 Malaga, Spain
Final Lap and Semi Final
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa Honda 8
2 Albert Cabestany Sherco 29
3 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa Honda 29
4 Adam Raga Gas Gas 34
5 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 19
6 Matteo Grattarola Gas Gas 21
Qualificarion Lap
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa Honda 1
2 Albert Cabestany Sherco 5
3 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa Honda 11
4 Adam Raga Gas Gas 16
5 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 20
6 Matteo Grattarola Gas Gas 21
7 Francesc Moret Gas Gas 21
8 Pere Borrellas Gas Gas 21
1 Toni Bou 60
2 Albert Cabestany 36
3 Takahisa Fujinami 29
4 Adam Raga 28
5 Jeroni Fajardo 27
6 Alexandre Ferrer 11
7 James Dabill 9
8 Jack Challoner 9
9 Matteo Grattarola 9
10 Francesc Moret 4