2014 Trial World Championship Round12-13

Arnedo, Spain 6-7/9/2014

Fifth Twice, Fifth in 2014

photoThe Trial World Championship resumed in Spain for the season closing Grand Prix after about a month of the summer break. There would be two more rounds for Takahisa Fujinami, to end and released from the season, in which he started off strongly with a victory but then haunted by series of struggles with the injuries.

Fujinami's goal for this season was to finish within top three. The point gap between himself and the third placed rider Cabestany coming into Spain was ten, so mathematically, the Japanese still had a chance to fulfill his goal. Although Fujinami was one of only three riders to become the winner for the season so far, it was not realistic that such a big turn over would happen. There was four points gap between Fujinami and the fourth placed rider Fajardo, so catching the Spaniard up to finish fourth in the season was a higher bid.

Fujinami was not aware of those calculations, but focusing to have strong finishes at the final Grand Prix, after being away from podium appearance since his home Grand Prix in Japan. However, the final Grand Prix did not pan out the way Fujinami hoped to be, being struck by the all sorts of problems. In the end, those two days of competition somehow symbolized Fujinami's 2014 campaign, especially at the end of the season.


Fujinami made many mistakes including five full marks at Lap1. He then improved his riding, cutting down the penalty point almost in half at Lap2, to have the second best score of Lap2 following Bou. He however lost the rhythm again at Lap3 to finish with 22 points. There are some inclination, the pattern of mistakes, which Fujinami has experienced in his long career. And it seemed that he was hampered by many patterns of mistakes on Saturday.

photoThe eventual winner, Bou dominated in Spain by finishing with a single digit penalty point, the only rider managed to do so on Saturday. Behind him, there was a close battle for the second place, and four riders finished within four points separation.

Fujinami made a five points mistake at the final section of Lap3, the indoor trial style section in the gym, to be five points shy of taking the second place. But in fact, he was not aware of the point situation, more precisely speaking, it was not possible for him to know, because he competed in a fast pace to leave all the top riders behind. It was Fujinami's plan for the day as he knew finishing within time to be difficult. Together with allotted time being very short, and because the women's championship was taking place and they were sharing some of the sections with the big boys, so that traffic jam to built up was inevitable to make the time situation more difficult. Fujinami knew the problem, and made his plan to ride fast from the start of Lap1. His plans paid off and he lost only two time penalty points for the day, one point at Lap1 and the other at Lap3. All the top riders lost many points, especially at Lap3, they lost about ten points respectively. They used
up their time when they reached at the Section6 of Lap3, and they had to rush their way to finish the lap in ten minutes. Fujinami, on the other hand, was about ten minutes ahead of them, still it was not an easy job but hectic like the other too. Another word, despite about ten points of margin for error, Fujinami could not make it profitable. It was easy to blame the mistake at the final section, where Fujinami mis-aligned the rear tire about five centimeters and unable to climbed up and fail. But he could eliminate a point here and there in the course of three laps, so it was not the only the reason why he finished the day with the position he did.

Allotted time in Spain could have become an issue to end with a similar result of round 5 in Corsica that all the rider became disqualified. Fujinami saw top riders going toward the Section12 of Lap2, when he was approaching to the Section3 of Lap3. He remembered to worry that they might have disqualified for being too late.


photoThere were some changes for the competition on Sunday, to have additional ten minutes for transporting from the Section11 to the Section12 as well as cancellation of the Section5, the section detached from the rest of the sections, all to give more time allowance. No major modification of the section took place, so the competitors were expected to be more confident with the sections and to ride rapidly, too.

Fujinami did not have a change to exert his own style of riding on Sunday, continuous from the previous day. At the end of Lap1, he was fifth, sharing the same penalty point with Casales. He built up the penalty points as the laps proceeded to finish the day at fifth, four points behind Cabestany, who took the fourth place. Fujinami's closest rival, Fajardo finished third to extend the point gap to nine and he secured fourth in the standings.

Fujinami entered the season with an injury, and when it seemed that the situation got under control with the condition of the knee was stabilized, he hurt it again to make the situation more difficult. He somehow learned how to cope with the injured knee to ride accordingly as the season progressed. But his season ended with the two fifth places, and to be fifth in the standings was how he concluded the season of 2014.

photoFujinami returned to his home soon after the Grand Prix of Spain was over. Two days later, as he planned, he had an operation to his knee to transplant the ligaments. No damage around the knee bones was found, which the damage sometimes occur after putting heavy stress to the knee joint without having the proper ligaments to support the joint. He is expected to return to the competition in about six months if everything goes well and no further damage around the knee joint to be found. He is not planning to stay too long in the hospital, to return his home to start his preparation for 2015 season soon after the medical treatment got settled down.

Quote from Fujigas:

I made countless mistakes with all kinds of patterns of mistake this time. As I look back, they were the reasons that prevented me to have a strong season. Now the 2014 season is over, but I do not get the feeling of accomplishments as I know the season was full of failures. I had the one victory this year, but I made mistakes like I did this time at each Grand Prix here and there, and ruined my chances to finish strongly. I am going to have an operation to my knee, and if there is no damage to the bone, I will be able to move it shortly after the operation. However, otherwise, they will have my knee fixed and immobilized for about a month. I need to start moving the knee as soon as possible so that the ligaments that transplanted to be blended in smoothly with other structure of the knee. I was told that it would take about a month for me to start putting weight on the knee and start to do rehabilitation or training. It usually takes about six months for football players
to come back after the surgery like I had, but I am not sure how long it will take till I can start riding motorcycle. I think that will be my new challenge during this off season. It was hard with a lot of struggles in the season of 2014 for me, but it was encouraging to have a big support from all my fans. I like to say thank you very much. I will fight off and come back stronger to have the better season next year.

2014 Trial World Championship
Round12-13 Arnedo, Spain
1 Toni Bou Repsol Honda 37
2 Albert Cabestany Sherco 65
3 Adam Raga Gas Gas 66
4 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 67
5 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Honda 69
6 Alexandre Ferrer Sherco 81
7 Jorge Casales Gas Gas 90
8 Pol Tarres Sherco 90
9 Matteo Grattarola Gas Gas 94
10 ames Dabill J Beta 126
1 Toni Bou Repsol Honda 19
2 Adam Raga Gas Gas 33
3 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 44
4 Albert Cabestany Sherco 58
5 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Honda 61
6 James Dabill Beta 65
7 Jorge Casales Gas Gas 68
8 Pol Tarres Sherco 72
9 Matteo Grattarola Gas Gas 72
10 Alexandre Ferrer Sherco 76
1 Toni Bou Repsol Honda 225
2 Adam Raga Gas Gas 210
3 Albert Cabestany Sherco 163
4 Jeroni Fajardo Beta 154
5 Takahisa Fujinami Repsol Honda 145
6 James Dabill Beta 113
7 Jorge Casales Gas Gas 107
8 Alexandre Ferrer Sherco 92