2014 Trial World Championship Round9-10

Nord Vue, UK 19-20/7/2014

Painful 5ths


Takahisa Fujinami arrived in UK with his spirit high to continue his improvement after an encouraging result to finish fourth in Belgium, especially, he has a special memory by winning the event before-the event held at the different venue-in the UK soil. The venue for the British Grand Prix for this year was at Nord Vue, the same place as last year, counting fourth times to hold the World Championship event.

It rained on and off on, sort of typical UK weather, for the whole day on Saturday. Temperature was high and very humid. Fujinami wore the rain gear at Lap1, but not on later laps as he got soaking wet with sweat anyway. Sections found to be familiar as previous years, mainly set up with the stones from the rock quarry. Overall, the characteristics of the sections was more of the indoor style.

photoIn UK, the condition of the knee was not so bad, so he was pumped to make a fight back. However, as it seemed so be sort of Fujinami's style to take time to get into a good rhythm, which he has to work on to improve, but he was not really at his form at Lap1. In UK, everybody had to rush to compete as the allotted time was short. At the final section of Lap1, for instance, Fujinami made an intensional five when he found it was not worth spending time to get three points with time penalty to end with five points.

Fujinami completed the first lap with 28 points, five points more than Fajardo, to be fifth. But he was only six points away from Raga being second at the time. Still there was a good chance to catch up. Bou, meanwhile, rode the first lap with a single point. As a team mate as well as a rival, it was nothing but remarkable performance by the Spaniard, Fujinami praised.

At Lap2, Fujinami marked clean at the Section5, where he fived at the previous lap. It was an encouraging result, but he made mistakes here and there, losing more penalty points than the Lap1 to finish the lap with 30 points. Fujinami closed the gap to Fajardo by two points though.

Fujinami finally found the good rhythm at Lap3, and he was able to reduce the penalty points almost in half from the previous lap to finish with 16 points. He felt good by finishing the day exerting his style of riding, but he was one point short to take fourth from Fajardo.

photoThere was also an accident at the final section of Lap3. He was informed that Fajardo made a full mark error there, and was told to be sure to succeed at the section for a chance to move up. He lost three points but about to finish the section. However, he lost the traction before jumping down from the slippery log, almost going down sideways. As he landed he had to foot from the injured right leg. All the load, his body and the bike's, was applied to the leg not to mention being ended with a full mark. It was the moment when he hurt his knee again, and the condition of the knee got worse. The pain did not go away even after the competition, and it appeared engorged. Fujinami hoped the condition of the knee would be better by cooling it down, to be competitive on Sunday.


The knee did not get swell too much in the morning on Sunday. Still, the condition was not desirable, as he could not bend his knee more than 90 degree. He would have cancelled his riding to nurse his knee if it were on the practice day.

Overnight modifications took place at the Section4 and the Section8 to block the detour line the competitors found on Saturday. The rain expected to be clear up soon, so the better performances from the competitors than the previous day were expected. Fujinami started his riding after taking pain killer.

photoThere was a big jump followed by an uphill at the end of Section4, so the riders needed to change the position-attitude-of the bike for the uphill in the air. To do so, they had to land with the legs bent, which gave a lot of forces to the knee, very tough for the injured knee. Fujinami went off balance as he landed, he continued to climb up the hill but ended with a full mark. It was not a very difficult section, so losing five marks hurt.

Fujinami marked clean at the Section5 consisted of three to four stones to hop over. It was an encouraging ride as he does not particularly good at the type of the set up.

The Section7 supposed to be a cleanable section, but Fujinami made a full mark error. The front tire did not reach the place he aimed to put at the overhang stone, resulting to hit the engine under guard against the stone. He recalled it was a simple and very beginner's error. Both Section4 and the Section7 were the clean sections. Very regrettable mistakes to lose ten points there.

photoFujinami reduced the penalty points in half at the following Lap2 and Lap3, finishing with 12 points, respectively. They were the same level of performance as Fajardo. However losing 24 points at Lap1 was decisive. As the all three laps were over, Fujinami was fifth again, only a point behind Dabill, who finished fourth on Sunday. He was not up to stepping on the podium for both days, but he was very close to fourth on both days.

As he returns to Spain, he would concentrate on the treatment of his knee instead of doing training on the bike to get ready for the next round in France in a week. Fujinami once thought that he might have not needed surgery. But without having it, he will be continuously and constantly aware of hurting his knee with the incident like what happened on Saturday, and his riding will be limited. He will decide wether or not to have surgery after the season is over, in a while.

Quote from Fujigas:

Condition of my knee has been good, so it was pitiful to hurt it again at the final section on Saturday. The knee hurt a quite a lot even on Monday, so I will not do any riding but physical training at the gym. The muscles around the knee work as the natural protector, so I cannot miss the training. It is more painful to know the fact that I have not stepped on the podium since Japanese Grand Prix. To fulfill my season's goal to finish third at the standing, I need to be on the podium, but more that anything, I miss the podium finish. I hope I will be up there in the next round in France.

2014 Trial World Championship
Round9-10 Nord Vue, UK
1 Toni Bou Repsol Honda 18
2 Adam Raga Gas Gas 49
3 Albert Cabestany Sherco 57
4 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 73
5 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Honda 74
6 James Dabill Beta 80
7 Alexandre Ferrer Sherco 94
8 Michael Brown Gas Gas 101
1 Toni Bou Repsol Honda 20
2 Adam Raga Gas Gas 35
3 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 36
4 James Dabill Beta 45
5 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Honda 48
6 Jorge Casales Gas Gas 52
7 Albert Cabestany Sherco 53
8 Matteo Grattarola Gas Gas 64
1 Toni Bou Repsol Honda 168
2 Adam Raga Gas Gas 158
3 Albert Cabestany Sherco 120
4 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Honda 113
5 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 111
6 James Dabill Beta 91
7 Jorge Casales Gas Gas 78
8 Alexandre Ferrer Sherco 67