World Trial Championship Round 2 Gouveia, Portugal

Trial World Championship round 2 was held at a beautiful city in Portugal called Gouveia. Sections are divided by three groups; group 1 for section 1 to 6, group 2 for section 7 to 14, and group 3 for section 15. This final section was located near Start/Finish area after a long mountain trail from section 14.

Day 1 - Saturday, April 17th

Fujinami wasn't discouraged by finishing 4th on Sunday at Northern Ireland, because he knew he found the clue for the coming competition. He had arrived Portugal on a positive note, only to see him finishing 5th on Saturday.

What took the wind out of Fuji's sail was machine setting. Fuji and the team had set up the bike intensively prior to the competition, but when he arrived at section 1 on Saturday, the bike acted differently. There was a good distance from the practice area to the competition areas, and having about 1000ft difference in altitude must have affected carburetion.

Fuji and the crew continuously tried to make the bike better in between the sections, but the motor refused to perform at its best with fouling spark plug. Having a problem with the motor ruined Fuji's chance to get on the rhythm, and it would continue to affect his riding throughout Saturday.

Thanks to the mechanics, the motor became better on lap2. Fuji quickly showed a better performance, and he kept the score low. Still, Fuji didn't feel comfortable, and he thought he was lucky to score clean at some the sections. At section 12, where most of the top riders scored clean, Fuji fived. It was a decisive mistake for Fuji, and he lost a chance for moving up. As competition was over for lap2, Fuji scored 10 points, shared the 2nd best with Freixa, next to Raga who had 5 points. But 21 points on lap1 put him at the 5th in Day1 result.

Day 2 - Sunday, April 18th

On reflection of the previous day, Fuji and the team extensively carried out an adjustment work, which foreseeing the condition at the section areas. It paid off, and Fuji would finish 4th at lap1. With only one point difference between 4th and 2nd, it wasn't too difficult to move up.

Finishing 5th on Day1, Fuji started early on Sunday. It would give him a small confusion later on, because he had to ride without knowing what the main oppositions such as Raga and Lampkin were at.

Fuji didn't even know how we finished on lap1, but he had a good feel and believed he did well. Then there was a shocking news for him that a rookie Fajardo had scored 15 points and finished ahead of him. Fajardo showed a brilliant ride for the first time for his career at lap1, which Fuji didn't know. It was a natural calculation for Fuji to expect he had a bad finish, which soon he found was wrong.

Fuji was clearly on the rhythm on lap2, but when he was at section 3 machine trouble struck him. The motor started to how hesitation, and it became very hard to ride. Fuji managed to finish the section with a big difficulty.

They did not know exactly what was wrong, but they figured it was an electrical problem. The only way to fix it was a complete transplant of the unit from a mechanic's bike, and it would take time.

Fuji came up with a decision not to fix the problem to save time. He rode with the throttle wide open in order to compensate hesitation. It turned out that Fuji scored only 8 points, which was the best run on lap2. After all he was able to finish 2nd on Day2 with one point separation from Day2 winner Raga.

Lampkin finished 3rd on Day2, which was unexpected result for Fuji. Fuji saw Lampkin making five at section 6 on lap2, and he thought Lampkin would finish worse. That showed how formidable Lampkin was and the way the champion was supposed to fight.

Quote from Fujigas:
I was completely off on Saturday. It didn't feel like it was me, nor feel like it was my bike. It was one of the toughest days that you would experience once in a year I guess. I had a tough day on Sunday too, but it was much better compared to Saturday. It was frustrating that I lost Day2 by one point, but considering I was at the bottom on Saturday, I should be happy that I recovered to be 2nd on Day2. I should had done better if I didn't have setting and engine trouble, but I know it is no use saying such things. You can't turn the clock back, so I will focus again to make it perfect at the next competition.

2004 World Trial Championship
Round 2 Gouveia, Portugal
1. Adam Raga 19 (14+5) 20
2. Marc Freixa 23 (13+10) 14
3. Doug Lampkin 25 (14+11) 17
4. Albert Cabestany 28 (17+11) 17
5. Takahisa Fujinami 31 (21+10) 16
6. Kenichi Kuroyama 40 (21+19) 17
1. Adam Raga 23 (12+11) 20
2. Takahisa Fujinami 24 (16+8) 17
3. Doug Lampkin 25 (15+10) 16
4. Albert Cabestany 36 (22+14) 18
5. Marc Freixa 37 (25+12) 16
6. Jeroni Fajardo 39 (15+24) 18
1. Doug Lampkin 68
2. Takahisa Fujinami 67
3. Albert Cabestany 61
4. Adam Raga 58
5. Marc Freixa 49
6. Jeroni Fajardo 40

Pix: Pep Segales Official Results PDF- Saturday
Official Results PDF- Sunday
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