World Trial Championship Round 7 Aprica, Italy

The World Trial Championship traveled to the foot of Alps for round 7. The round was held in Aprica in Northern Italy, where the area is very famous for sports resorts. Elevation of the city is high - 1,200 meters. The sections were dotted from the city to the mountains - 1,200 to 2,100 meters in elevation. Lean air conditions provided tough work for the team when setting the carbs, and difficult physical preparation for the competitors as well.

Day 1 - Saturday, July 3rd

Fuji was very disappointed at his result on Saturday, because he knew he had a good chance to win it. Still the result wasn't so bad as he stretched his championship lead 2 points more - from 14 to 16. Fuji regretted that he couldn't exploit his opportunities.

Playing it safely, Fuji had 7 single point penalties on lap1. Lampkin and Raga on the other hand, suffered with some bigger penalty points. Fuji had the lowest penalty points and finished on top for lap1.

Fuji had early lead of the day and went on to lap2. But at section 11 he made his first major mistake of the day and added 3 points. He marked 4 consecutive cleans for the rest of the lap to finish the day.

The world champion, Lampkin, needed to turn the thing around in Italy. Finishing 7th in the previous round was a very disappointing and costly result for him, it was his mission to win in Italy. Lampkin kept charging and won the day by 1 point.

It wasn't a good day for Raga, who had moved up to 2nd place in the ranking at the previous round. He struggled that day and finished in 3rd place. As a result, Lampkin and Raga tied in points, and Lampkin moved back into 2nd place in the championship because of the number of wins.

Fuji had never lost the game when he was on his rhythm this year. Losing on Saturday somehow reminded him of his previous seasons. When the day was over, Fuji carefully reflected on the previous games to get ready for the battle on Sunday. It gave him confidence that he would win.

Day 2 - Sunday, July 4th

Some of the sections were modified for Sunday, because they didn't give much trouble to the top riders to mark single digit penalty for a lap. Conditions also changed on Sunday; all the sections became more demanding as a whole.

Fuji made the first mistake of the day at section 4. It was also the first five he had for the round. He failed to climb up the rock, which he described as a pitiful mistake. He also thought it could be a decisive mistake. He went on and by marking some cleans, he kept his points low. Meanwhile, Fuji's closest competitors had their own troubles and kept adding points. Eventually Fuji managed to catch up. Fuji was showing his great ride on Sunday, but he also made some mistakes too. It was the case when he fived at section 10 and 11. Fuji had 3 fives and 1 point at section 7. Fuji managed to finish the lap at the top.

It was Kenichi Kuroyama who led the field until section 13. The news didn't upset Fuji at all, because Kuroyama wasn't his threat for the title at that stage. Fuji thought that as long as he was ahead of his rivals, he would be happy to finish 2nd to Kuroyama if he had to. It kept Fuji from being nervous for the battle, and it was one of contributions to his victory on the lap too.

Fuji started lap 2 by making a five at the very first section. Section 1 was easy and considered as a clean section for the top riders. Josep, Fuji's minder couldn't believe the mistake his rider made and froze. Fuji went to Josep and laughed to bring his minder back to reality. It was a kind of mistake Fuji had to laugh at indeed.

Still it was a dangerous mistake for the battle of victory. But at the same time, it gave Fuji a chance to brace himself up for the rest of the day. Sure enough, Lampkin climbed up ahead of Fuji one time, but Fuji showed a solid ride from the middle stage to the end of the lap. It was the only five he had for the lap, and for the day, and Fuji kept his penalty point lowest to take the victory.

July 4th was the birthday for the late Daijiro Kato. Fuji and he once pledged together to win their championships; Kato for motogp and Fuji for trials. There was also the delightful news that Makoto Tamada won his first motogp race in Brazil too. Two good birthday presents for Kato É~ the victories that Kato always loved.

Quote from Fujigas:
I was very disappointed to finish 2nd on Saturday. I knew I had a good chance but I couldn't pull it through. I had the same result in Andorra, but it was totally opposite - fighting to get 2nd. This time I blew it. I managed to win on Sunday, and I extended my championship lead. The results weren't too bad.
It was Dai-chan's birthday on Sunday. I was happy that I could dedicate my victory to him as a birthday present. But I felt like he helped me a lot this time.
Now we have only 2 rounds-3 days left for the season, and I am beginning to think about the championship. But again, I don't need to learn how to calculate the numbers. If I keep riding and winning like I have been able to do so far this year, it will fall into place.

2004 World Trial Championship
Round 7 Aprica, Italy
1. Dougie Lampkin 11 (8+3) 23
2. Takahisa Fujinami 12 (7+5) 20
3. Adam Raga 25 (17+8) 21
4. Marc Freixa 25 (18+7) 20
5. Albert Cabestany 36 (21+15) 14
6. Kenichi Kuroyama 37 (24+13) 15
1. Takahisa Fujinami 28 (16+12) 20
2. Dougie Lampkin 35 (18+17) 17
3. Kenichi Kuroyama 35 (19+16) 14
4. Marc Freixa 38 (21+17) 13
5. Adam Raga 48 (22+26) 13
6. Albert Cabestany 51 (31+20) 13
1. Takahisa Fujinami 230
2. Dougie Lampkin 211
3. Adam Raga 205
4. Albert Cabestany 162
5. Marc Freixa 149
6. Jeroni Fajardo 128

Pix: Hiroshi Nishimaki Official Results PDF- Saturday
Official Results PDF- Sunday
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