2013 Trial World Championship Round3 and Round4

Sequatchie, U.S.A 25-26/5/2013

Podium on Sunday being Frustrated

photoAfter a month of interval from the Japanese Grand Prix, Trial World Championship traveled to Tennessee in U.S.A. for the Grand Prix of the United States. Takahisa Fujinami has a good memories in the US Grand Prix, as he took a double victory in 2004 after having a double victory at the immediately preceding rounds in Japan. Those four consecutive victories spurred the momentum of Fujinami, and of course he clinched the world championship later the year. Sequatchie was also the very venue he took another victory back in 2008.

After taking the victory at his home Grand Prix in Japan, there was high expectations toward Fujinami to repeat a similar performance like in 2004. The victory in Japan boosted his confidence to a great degree for Fujinami, but he was not totally in a good rhythm. He spoke afterwards that he felt awkward with the bike, not being able to find a sense of unity with the bike during his practice in Spain.


photoFujinami felt his body was tense at the beginning of Lap1, still he kept his penalty points as small as possible. At the section8, the beginning of the dry sections, which the type of the sections Fujinami likes, he made a full mark error when he failed to jump on to the next obstacle. The mistake seemed to distracted his concentration, and he started to make mistakes at the places he should not have. He finished the lap with 15 points, being sixth to go on to the next lap.

He tried to re-concentrate for the second lap, but he made a full mark error at the section4, where the severity was not high at all, and his tension collapsed again. He could not avoid making many mistakes there on. He finished fifth in the end, but he was somehow relieved to stay in the top five, as the results could be a lot worse considering his performance.


photoOvernight modifications took place to bring the severity higher at some of the sections. The stepping stones were removed from the section2, section4 and section8 without any revision of the section set up itself, and the section10 and the section11 were re-arranged.

Fujinami started his day but his rhythm was not fully recovered, was not fully up to perform his best. He dropped the first five at the section2 after rear end of the bike went sideway. It was one of those mistakes that he could accept. But at the following section, which in fact was the kind of the section Fujinami was supposed to like, the engine stalled as he reached at the bottom of the section. He would stand still to restart the engine if it were 2012, but he had to drop a full mark as stopping was not allowed under the new rule.

photoIt was the least way to start the day with massive ten points by the secton3, especially his rivals looked to be sort of trouble free. Fujinami forced to compete patiently for the rest of the lap. Raga and Bou, meanwhile, continued to be strong, and they eventually finished the lap with a single digit penalty point. A catching up began to look impossible for the Japanese rider.

At Lap2, Fujinami dropped five points at the section4 due to his own mistake, but he knew his riding was getting better. At Lap3, he finally picked up his rhythm to be able to ride the way he wished, then however the engine stalled again at the section8. Another five points to drop, and his challenge at the US Grand Prix virtually ended.

photoBoth Raga and Bou went a bit of off tune at Lap3, so it was not totally impossible for Fujinami, as far as his riding goes, to get involved in the battle of the victory. But he had no chance when he had to lose ten points with the engine quitting on him. Fujinami still finished third on the podium, so the mission somehow accomplished. However looking back the way how he miss the chance, the results were rather disappointing.

Quote from Fujigas:

I went to U.S.A. being motivated after winning Japanese Grand Prix, but I had some uncertain feeling at the same time, as I did not have a positive feeling during the practice in Spain. I felt like I did not have a sense of unity with my bike. As far as the engine quitting, Toni also experienced it in Japan, but the team is working on a countermeasure. It won't be a problem anymore I hope. Scoring measurements were a lot milder than they were in Japan. Some of them seemed to be too much tolerance. If that is the way the judgement to be with non-stop rule, I have to change the way of my preparation. I finished third on the podium on Sunday, but it was far frustrating result for me than taking fifth on Saturday.

2013 Trial World Championship
Round3 and Round4 Sequatchie, U.S.A
1 Adam Raga Gas Gas 9
2 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa Honda 17
3 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 19
4 Albert Cabestany Sherco 24
5 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa Honda 37
6 James Dabill Beta 40
7 Loris Gubian Gas Gas 57
8 Matteo Grattarola Gas Gas 62
1 Adam Raga Gas Gas 24 (28 Cleans)
2 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa Honda 24 (27 Cleans)
3 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa Honda 38
4 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 40
5 Albert Cabestany Sherco 55
6 James Dabill Beta 61
7 Alexandre Ferrer Sherco 83
8 Loris Gubian Gas Gas 90
1 Adam Raga Gas Gas 70
2 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa Honda 69
3 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa Honda 59
4 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 56
5 Albert Cabestany Sherco 49
6 James Dabill Beta 41
7 Alexandre Ferrer Sherco 24
8 Jack Challoner Beta 23