|2004 Indoor Trial of the Nations, Tenerife, Spain
The final event in the World Trial calendar
of the year, Indoor Trial of the Nations, took place at Tenerife in
Spain on November 6th.
Number of rider capable of riding indoor
trial is limited, so as eligible national team. Spain, Great Britain
and Japan were again selected to participate. Takahisa Fujinami, Shinichi
Kuroyama and Fumitaka Nozaki composed Team Japan in 2004. All three
riders are based in Europe for the World Trial Championship, and
are familiar with indoor trial too.
For Repsol Montesa HRC riders: Fujinami,
Lampkin and Freixa, it was the final competition aboard 2-stroke
machine - Honda RTL250R/Montesa Cota 315R. In 2005 season, they will
be on 4-stroke machines - RTL250F/Cota4RT. The team has started to
test their new machines, and the event was held in a middle of their
Up to the event, Fuji had been very busy
taking care of his baby and doing numbers of champion interviews. He
had only two demonstration runs and two test rides for a month. There
was hot-air balloon event on November 3rd in Japan, and about 200,000
spectators were expected to gather. Fuji visited the event because
he wanted to perform demonstration ride before the massive crowds.
That forced him to travel to Spain directly from the event site, and
he arrived Spanish site with severe jet rag.
There are some difference
between regular trial championship and Trial of the Nations. Scoring
system is one of them; winner at each section scores 3 points, 2
points for the 2nd place, and 1 point for the 3rd place. Another distinguish
feature in Trial of the Nations is team riders share to ride sections;
except high jump - all riders are assigned to ride. It is up to the
teams' strategy to decide which rider to be assigning at each section.
of riding was obvious for Fuji, and he wasn't in a good shape; in
fact he felt very rough. It was the first time to ride his machine
since Outdoor Trial of the Nations at Cordoba too. So, team Japan assigned
Kuroyama for severe sections, letting Fuji ride the sections he felt
he was sure. However Fuji couldn't perform the way he wished.
Spanish on the other hand showed excellent performances. Apart from
single mistake made by Raga at section 6 and over-time, they had
all clean for both laps. Huge crowds loved every minute of it. Team
GB and Japan weren't up to Spanish strength, and they made Spanish
team looked even well.
After lap1 over was over, GB bettered Japan
by 5 points. Team Japan had a slim chance to catch up team GB.
Spanish's fierce ride was expected before competition, Japanese riders
developed a plan to beat GB to finish at 2nd place prior to the event.
For lap2, Japanese rode better than the previous lap, but the point
gap extended into 7 points; Japan finished 3rd overall.
So, that concluded
Fujinami's trial competition on a 2-stroke machine. He will be testing
the new 4-stroke machine in the off-season, and will be on the machine
stating from 2005 indoor trial season. Development should continue
as the season goes on.
Quote from Fujigas:
Sections were shorter and easier than
we had in indoor championship round. Still, I felt there was no way
we could beat Spanish team. I was not sure about the battle against
team GB, but I didn't expect Colley to perform that well. I didn't
feel easy on my 2-stroke machine at all. When I realized we lost
a chance to catch up GB, I concentrated to ride to entertain spectators.
Season is over, but a lot of testing for the next season is waiting
Indoor Trial of the Nations
|| Great Britain
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