World Trial Championship Round 5 Valdeblore, France

World Trial Championship has returned to Europe after its expedition to Japan and U.S.A. Coming back to their own ground, European competitors were expected to show their best in France and for the rest of the season. It would be crucial stages for Fujinami for his quest for the championship.

Day 1 - Saturday, June 19th

It was interesting to see if Fuji could keep his winning streak and stretch his point gap over Lampkin in France. But competing 2 laps on Saturday, Fuji built up his penalty points with 5 fives and many small mistakes. He had to face his streak broken, and realize he wasn't in form to claim a victory that day. Still he managed to finish 3rd on the podium with small gap between himself and second place finisher Lampkin. Fuji thought he was lucky to finish 3rd on Saturday though.

There were a number of French riders competing in the newly formed Youth Trial Cup-125cc class- at the round, and Fuji among other top riders found himself in a traffic jam for his lap1, 125 riders were back for their 2nd lap attempt. 125 riders had long time allowance and being cautious before their attempt. Top riders on the other hand needed to rush their way, and had to ask the riders to give a way. Having no time to waste, but at the end of the lap Fuji had his front tire punctured. He spent some time for fixing it, and together with the time being lost in a jam, Fuji found himself 3 minutes overtime-had to face 3 more penalty points. It was an unfortunate trouble for Fuji and the result: his championship lead was slimmed 2 points into 8 over Lampkin. However, the result inspired Fuji to concentrate more for Sunday.

Day 2 - Sunday, June 20th

Fuji wasn't really in form again on Sunday. But when lap1 was over the team inform him that Lampkin would be the only threat for the day. The previous day's winner Raga lost his rhythm and finished the lap in 3rd place. Fuji had only one more penalty point than the leader Lampkin, a very close fighting range. Fuji set his mind to keep his eye on Lampkin for lap2.

Fuji continued to score clean and approached section 8, a step from the water, where many fived including Fuji in lap1. Top riders halted there to find the better line. Fuji found the line he believed to work well. Fuji wanted to wait until someone try the line to give him a hint, but being started early for the lap, he had no choice but try to line for the first time. It worked perfectly; in fact it was too good. Fuji climbed too easily and had to foot to stop as he climbed over the step. Lampkin was there and watched his rival showed both good and bad examples. Lampkin followed to attack the section and scored clean beautifully. Fuji and Lampkin were even in point up to the point, for Lampkin had added one point at the beginning of the lap, Fuji once again dropped one point down from the leader.

Section 13 was another difficult section where most of the riders added 3 or 5. Again Fuji tried the section first and succeeded to score the lowest penalty point. Fuji thought it was a decisive, but Lampkin followed once again and score one point. Ironically, Raga was the only rider scored clean at the section on lap2, but it was too late or him to move up.

It was section 14 that 7 time champion made a fatal error, footing and added another point. Both Fuji and Lampkin scored clean at the final section, that meant they finished the day with 13 penalty points each. Just like in Japanese GP, Fuji barely won the day with number of clean, 24 for Fuji and 22 for Lampkin.

Two days of hard and close battles were over, Fuji and Raga received 35 points and Lampkin 34. In the end, Fuji stretched his championship lead one more point, and kept himself in the right direction for the championship.

For the next world championship round in Andorra, the Spanish championship will be held on Saturday. It will be a try-out event to study 1day competition of trial championship. Originally Fuji wasn't going to participate in the Saturday event, but it will be competed at the same sections as the world championship round on Sunday, Fuji are said to participate the Spanish round too.

Quote from Fujigas:
It was a close victory on Sunday. I wasn't doing great on Saturday but somehow finished in 3rd. Both days were close, and I think I had a decent weekend in France. It was lucky for me that Adam won in front of Lampkin on Saturday, and my point lead was slimmed only 2 points. I was hoping that Adam would finish 2nd on Sunday between Dougie and me, but he didn't help me that time. I have to say that we are the three in the field that standing out in the series at the moment. This year I feel different when I ride. Of course I feel good by winning more than last year, but this year I can compete better even things aren't going great. I think my concentration is much higher this year. Please watch me, because I will try to keep it up for the rest of the season.

2004 World Trial Championship
Round 5 Valdeblore, France
1. Adam Raga 36 (24+12) 17
2. Dougie Lampkin 44 (21+22+1) 13
3. Takahisa Fujinami 48 (22+23+1) 14
4. Albert Cabestany 54 (33+21) 15
5. Jeroni Fajardo 54 (31+23) 10
6. Kenichi Kuroyama 55 (34+21) 12
1. Takahisa Fujinami 13 (11+2) 24
2. Dougie Lampkin 13 (10+3) 22
3. Adam Raga 26 (15+11) 22
4. Albert Cabestany 26 (23+3) 18
5. Jeroni Fajardo 29 (16+13) 15
6. Marc Freixa 32 (18+14) 17
1. Takahisa Fujinami 176
2. Dougie Lampkin 165
3. Adam Raga 159
4. Albert Cabestany 126
5. Marc Freixa 111
6. Jeroni Fajardo 101

Pix: Mario Candellone, Agnese Andrione Official Results PDF- Saturday
Official Results PDF- Sunday
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