2014 X-Trial World Championship Round2

Marseille, France 25/1/2014

Sixth, but the Knee is Recovering Steadily

photoFujinami, after the season opener in UK, had a treatment to take out the fluid out from his knee, and he was forced to take a rest for about a week. Two more weeks later, he arrived at Marseille said and looked his knee was recovering steadily and getting better.

Fujinami's opponent for the Qualification in Marseille was Ferrer. The Frenchman has shown some strong riding at the indoor trial before, but he seemed to be a bit off the rhythm at his home GP. Fujinami took advantages to take an easy victory while the opponent let him out of contention with 31 penalty points. Dabill, who was eliminated early in his home GP, bounced back strongly in France to finish third. Fajardo, who paired with the UK rider eventually grabbed the ticket to the Semi Final as the Best Loser.

Bou finished first in the Qualification with five points, the only rider to finish with a single digit penalty points. He was followed by Raga with 11 points. Fujinami was fifth with 19 points following Cabestany with 18 points. Fajardo was two points down from the Japanese rider, so the competition was already intense at the early stage in Marseille.

Fujinami's next rider to pair in the Semi Final was Raga, the same pairing in UK. The finishing order in the Semi Final is not decisive, and because of the new rules, finishing at the higher position does not necessary a good thing. At the round one, Fujinami finished sixth in the Qualification to be paired with Bou to decide the starting order at the DL. It gave him a big opportunity to grasp the whole situation of the competition.

In the Semi Final at Marseille, however, the situation was easy to grasp. At the first duo, Cabestany vs Dabill, both finished with 11 points. Cabestany took the victory based on the result at the final section, as the Sherco rider finished with a single mark while the Beta rider finished with five points. Fujinami figured that 11 points would be the borderline. Finish better than ten points, and he would be safe.

At the Section1, while the Spaniard marked clean, Fujinami dropped a single mark. It was the similar area, where Cabestany made a full mark error and put him into a tough situation against Dabill. There was a slippery area at the top of the section. Fujinami climb up, but he did not want to put the engine under guard on the obstacle, so he opted to foot to bring the bike up.

The obstacles at Marseille were not gigantic, but they were the mixture of the obstacles with complicated shapes. They were technical, and there was virtually only one riding line for each section with the width of the tires.

photoAt the Section2, Fujinami made a mistake with the double step staircase. Bou and Raga were the only riders who succeeded to climb up. Raga rode the section with a single points with two time penalty points, thus Fujinami's gap to the Spaniard extended to three.

There were 60 seconds allocated time at each section. One point penalty for more than 60 seconds to 90 seconds, and two more penalty points within 120 seconds. From this year, five points for more than 120 seconds.

The Section3 did not seem to be a big problem as Dabill and Cabestany, the two rode the section before him, marked clean. Fujinami however, made a mistake at the beginning of the section, to be equal in points with Dabill. To keep his hope for the Final, he had to mark clean at the final section, at least to be ahead of Dabill and wait for the outcome of the battle between Fajardo and Raga. He also needed to ride faster than Dabill in case he would finish in equal points with the UK rider.

There was the point to hook the engine's under guard momentary at the obstacle at the final section. Due to the new rule, touching the engine guard onto the obstacle is risky. Thus, Fujinami opted to jump over, but he did a bit too far to end with a full mark. It was a very demanding section without much of the space for margin and the time was very short. Raga, who rode later rode with a single time penalty point with another for footing. Fujinami's evening in Marseille ended early as he finished with 16 points to be sixth. In the later pairing, Fajardo lost the battle with 15 points against Bou with a single point. Fujinami and Fajardo, the two who rode the Final at Sheffield both eliminated before the final battle in Marseille.

photoFujinami needed to take a rest for a week before riding again after the round one. It took only three days to rest after the none titled indoor trial in Toulouse a week before the round two. With the positive calculations, he would be riding again shortly after the competition in Marseille. It is true that you cannot hope for a full recovery from the ligament rapture. However, Fujinami feels his body is getting better and getting stronger.

As a result of Dabill proceeded to the Final to finish fourth, the point became equal between Fujinami and Dabill, but Fujinami's position in the point standings moved down to sixth. The next round will be held at the home of trial, Barcelona. He should be pumped up to make a good show.

Quote from Fujigas:

The mistake at the Section3 might be because of me unconsciously became too much cautious as I knew the challenge would be hard for my knee. My condition is not so bad so I expected to do better this time. The amount of the fluid that has to be taken out after riding is getting lesser, so I assume the situation is under control. All the things concerned, I am positive to say that will be no operation. I am looking forward to the next round in Barcelona to see how much I can improve.

2014 X-Trial World Trial Championship
Round2 Marseille, France
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa Honda 4
2 Adam Raga Gas Gas 6
3 Albert Cabestany Sherco 11
4 James Dabill Beta 12
Semi Final
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa Honda 1
2 Adam Raga Gas Gas 5
3 Albert Cabestany Sherco 11
4 James Dabill Beta 11
5 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 15
6 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa Honda 16
Qualificarion Lap
Win Toni Bou Repsol Montesa Honda 5
xxx Steven Coquelin Gas Gas 28
Win Albert Cabestany Sherco 18
xxx Jorge Casales Gas Gas 26
BL Jeroni Fajardo Beta 21
Win James Dabill Beta 15
Win Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Montesa Honda 19
xxx Alexandre Ferrer Sherco 31
Win Adam Raga Gas Gas 11
xxx Loris Gubian Ossa 29
1 Toni Bou 40
2 Albert Cabestany 27
3 Adam Raga 21
4 Jeroni Fajardo 18
5 James Dabill 14
6 Takahisa Fujinami 14
7 Jorge Casales 7
8 Loris Gubian 6
9 Steven Coquelin 3
10 Michael Brown 2
11 Alexandre Ferrer 1
12 Jack Challoner 1