2014 X-Trial World Championship Round5

Oviedo, Spain 28/3/2014

Eighth is Spain

photoAt the final round of X-Trial World Championship held in Oviedo, Spain, Takahisa Fujinami lost the battle in the Qualification after having five mark failures at five of six sections. He picked the first starting order at the ballot to ride with Dabill, who was fourth in the standing going into Spain, and together fought in the first pair. Fujinami finished with 26 points and was disqualified to end the evening early at the eighth place.

As Toni Bou already clinched the championship at the penultimate round in Italy, and the turning over of the standings between Cabestany and Raga was unlikely with their six points gap, there was the one intense battle between Dabill and Fajardo among the top riders for the final standings, the fourth place, with only two points separation. Fujinami also settled with the sixth place after seventh finish in Milan. So, for most of the competitors, it was the round how to finish off the season in a high note so that they can spur the momentum for the coming series in two weeks.

After the section inspection, Fujinami saw the severity of the sections was not very high except the last two. Final section seemed to be very tough, in which the section eventually everybody except Bou fived. Going to the Spanish Grand Prix, Fujinami spent productive training and he was motivated for a good ride in the final round. He was also happy to find the set of the bike, which was modified for the coming championship, too. He had no idea that his final ride of the series would end with the results at the bottom of the score board.

Being the first starter did not help Fujinami either, but he looked at it positively, as he would have more chance to take a victory in the pair comparing to riding against Raga, Cabestany or Bou. At the Section1, Fujinami tried to prevent the engine's under guard to stick with the obstacle to avoid one point penalty. He jumped over a bit too much, and he fell down to five. It was an unexpected error for himself because the part of the section was not where he thought was the hardest part. Fortunately, Dabill watched the Japanese rider's mistake and eased off the momentum, but a little too much, to end with a full mark as well.

Then at the Section2, Fujinami went off-balanced slightly and lost a point. As the UK rider in turn marked clean, Fujinami had to make up somewhere if he wanted to win. Probably the thought affected his riding at the Section3, the section consisted of climb up from the trash box with a short run-up area. He was confident to ride the section with a single point by footing once to change the direction, but in order to minimize the penalty point, he chose the straight line to aim for a clean. He however failed the challenge. The UK rider marked clean with a time penalty point, thus the point gap extended to five.

photoThere were three sections to ride with the Section6 seemed to be impossible and the chance to make a full mark error was high at the Section5. So Fujinami had only one chance left, which was to mark clean at the Section4, and wait for his rival's riding. To aim for a clean, it required the riding to hop with the rear tire onto the obstacles one by one. He succeeded until the fourth of six obstacles, but failed at the fifth when the front wheel went down. The UK rider also fived, so the point gap stayed the same. Both of them fived at the final two sections, thus Fujinami stayed five points behind to finish the lap with 26 to lose the battle against the UK rider.

He still had a hope that the riders following to ride would finish worse than he. But he knew the chance was very slim if not none, because realistically, fiving five of six sections with one single mark already seemed to be the worst result he could think of. Casales and Gubian watched and learned the mistakes made by the proceeding pair did not waste their chances to finish the lap with 23 points, respectively, and Gubian finished ahead of Casales because of the results at the Section4.

It is true that Fujinami has not recorded many good results at the Indoor competition. He is well aware of it, and psychologically, the bad results do not break his heart too much. As mentioned earlier, the eighth place finished did not affect his position in the standings. It was not the result to boost his confident at all, but he has moved on for preparation for the coming Outdoor season to perform at his best.

The team Montesa, where Fujinami and Bou belong to will change its form, and they will become the team Honda from the Opening round of the Outdoor championship. The coloring of the bike as well as the liveries are scheduled to be altered accordingly.

Quote from Fujigas:

People should be wondering what was wrong with me when my results are getting worse and finally I finished worst at the closing round. I came into the championship with my injury, but I thought things weren't so bad as I finished fourth at the very beginning of the season. Then however, I could not improve my results and I kept missing the chance to stand up on the podium. I know my knee will not recover to its 100%, but it got a lot better comparing to how it was at the beginning of X-Trial season. I was told it could recover to its 80% when the things will go perfectly, but I do not know how much my knee recovered at the time. For the Outdoor championship, I will take care of my knee and to get used to the riding nursing my knee to have a good and solid Outdoor championship.

2014 X-Trial World Trial Championship
Round5 Oviedo, Spain
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa Honda 0
2 Albert Cabestany Sherco 10
3 Adam Raga Gas Gas 10
4 James Dabill Beta 20
Semi Final
1 Toni Bou Repsol Montesa Honda 6
2 Albert Cabestany Sherco 6
3 Adam Raga Gas Gas 7
4 James Dabill Beta 13
5 Loris Gubian Ossa 15
6 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 16
Qualificarion Lap
Win Toni Bou Repsol Montesa Honda 0
BL Loris Gubian Ossa 23
Win Albert Cabestany Sherco 7
xxx Jorge Casales Gas Gas 23
Win Jeroni Fajardo Beta 13
BL Adam Raga Gas Gas 17
Win James Dabill Beta 21
xxx Takahisa Fujinami R epsol Montesa Honda 26
1 Toni Bou 100
2 Albert Cabestany 69
3 Adam Raga 60
4 James Dabill 41
5 Jeroni Fajardo 35
6 Takahisa Fujinami 26
7 Loris Gubian 18
8 Jorge Casales 17
9 Matteo Grattarola 5
10 Steven Coquelin 3
11 Michael Brown 2
12 Matteo Poli 1
13 Alexandre Ferrer 1
14 Jack Challoner 1