2013 Trial World Championship Round12-13

Isola2000, France 31/8-1/9/2013

Season Ended in Despair

photoFujinami arrived at Isola2000 for the final Grand Prix of the championship with his spirit decently high after achieving 2nd and 4th finishes at the penultimate Grand Prix in UK. However the outcome of the two days of competition was far lower than his expectation, and he could not protect his position in the championship.


Fujinami did not underestimated the situation. However, having seven points advantage over Cabestany and eight points advantage over Fajardo, he did not have too much doubt about securing his third place in the championship. Winning on Sunday in Japan put him up to 3rd in the standing, and he kept the position throughout the season except dropping down to fourth in Czech Rep only bouncing back to third shortly after in UK.

Before the competition on Saturday, Fujinami admitted that he had a slight thought for building more point gap to his two imminent rivals, so he would have less stressful riding on Sunday.

It was raining on Thursday, and at the morning practice on Friday, the condition was difficult with the surface being slippery. Weather continued to be unstable and the sky was dark and rain could fall at any minute on Saturday, too. It was the biggest concern for all the riders that the condition would become very difficult to deal with if the rain started to fall again.

Because his starting order was the fourth from the last, Fujinami could not wait to have a chance to see the riding of Bou and Raga as a reference on Saturday. Together with a worry for the unpredicted weather, as well as giving no example for his rivals, he decided to compete in a fast pace.

Mr. Cirera suggested Fujinami to slow down when the Japanese made three consecutive mistakes from the section4 to the section6, including two fives. Fujinami though did not change the pace, as he believed he needed to stick with his own pace to keep his concentration. Still, he reviewed after the competition about his riding of dropping two fives during the sections, that it showed he was not quite in form.

Fujinami's rivals, meanwhile, were in form on Saturday, especially Fajardo chased the winner Raga by three points to finished second ahead of Bou. Bou was on his mission for the title battle against Raga in France, but finished 12 points down from Fajardo at third. He photosaid later he fought hard but third was all he could get on that day. Dabill also showed his solid performance to finish ahead of Cabestany and Fujinami.

The winner Raga had a rider between himself and the championship rival Bou, so the gap between the two was narrowed down to five points. Fujinami on the other hand, kept the point gap against Cabestany by six points, but he allowed Fajardo to come up closely with only a single point.


Fujinami's plan did not work in the way he planned, and the outcome turned to the opposite way. Instead of building up some breathing room, he finished behind the two rivals on Saturday to give them more chances. His objective on Sunday was clear on Sunday to finish ahead of Fajardo to protect his third place.

The overnight modifications took place at the section3, the section5, the section9 and the section10 to bring up the severity. Fujinami expected the battle to be competed with more penalty points, but it did not seem to be so much as the traction was unexpectedly good on Sunday.

photoFujinami's first mistake came at the section4, a full mark, but his rivals also made some mistakes here and there. By the end of the section6, he stood at top of the fields with six points, followed by Bou with seven points, Dabill with nine points, Fajardo and Raga with ten points in a tie, and Cabestany with 12 points. It was a promising opening of the day. However his first position was shortly lived as he dropped another five points at the section7.

The mistake at the section7 was "an easy mistake", said Fujinami. He accelerated trying to get out from the situation when the tires started to lose its grip as he changed the direction of the bike. By doing so he could not align right for the next marker. While the other riders were performing 'well-honed' riding, Fujinami knew he had no way to be competitive to battle among the top riders when making such easy mistakes.

The scoring standard of many of the observers in France was forgiving. The riders responded to ride accordingly, sort of stop to adjust their line and the timing. Fujinami meanwhile did not bother for stopping. Bou asked one time why his team mate was in a big hurry. Fujinami wanted to keep his own riding style, and the way to meet with the none stop rule, which he tried to adjust all year.

It might be true that Fujinami was not in the top form in France, but the fact was that his rivals were doing exceptionally strong. Fujinami finished sixth on Sunday again, so the two sixth places moved his position in the standing down to the fifth place. If he could hang on to finish fifth on both days, the Japanese rider would have finished tie in point with Fajardo, and thanks to the victory in Japan, the Montesa rider would have taken the third position in the championship.

photoWhile the Japanese rider was deeply depressed about his performance in France and the outcome after the evnet, Toni Bou's celebration for clinching the Outdoor title took place at the Montesa camp. Fujinami was truly happy for his team mate for his seventh title, but he had to excused himself from appearing the ceremony because it would be rude to be in it being so depressed. He returned to his team truck to end his 2014 championship.

Quote from Fujigas:

I never expected to see the results to be turned out this way. I feel so bad and bewildered by the results. Still, I took one victory and stepped on to the podium for some times, as well as mixed up in the battles for the victory occasionally, so I say it was a fulfilling season this year. I finished fifth in the championship, same as last year. But it was much bitter results for me as I moved down from the third, which the position I kept until the last Grand Prix, to end with fifth, compare to the last year's where I was fifth all year not being able to improve the position. People around me especially at the team game me some warm words to encourage me. Some said it was not the end of life. I am still depressed but I will refresh my mind soon to be back on working to prepare for the coming season. Lastly, I would like to say thank you very much for all the support from the people throughout the season of 2013.

2013 Trial World Championship
Round12-13 Isola2000, France
1 Adam Raga Gas Gas 12
2 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 15
3 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa Honda 27
4 James Dabill Beta 40
5 Albert Cabestany Sherco 48
6 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa Honda 51
7 Alexandre Ferrer Sherco 54
8 Loris Gubian Gas Gas 73
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa Honda 22
2 Albert Cabestany Sherco 27
3 Adam Raga Gas Gas 28
4 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 36
5 James Dabill Beta 37
6 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa Honda 45
7 Michael Brown Gas Gas 66
8 Loris Gubian Gas Gas 67
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa Honda 238
2 Adam Raga Gas Gas 228
3 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 171
4 Albert Cabestany Sherco 170
5 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa Honda 169
6 James Dabill Beta 135
7 Matteo Grattarola Gas Gas 88
8 Loris Gubian Gas Gas 85