Trial Championship Round 9 Puerto Pajares, Spain
Championship arrived in Spain after three weeks break from the Italian
round. There was no man-made section for this year's Spanish round.
There were wet and slippery stages for the first 4 sections followed
by Spanish dry rocky sections for the rest. Later were considered as
local rider Raga's specialty.
Fujinami came to Spain with a clear goal,
which was to establish a commanding lead over Lampkin before the final
round of the season. Fuji had good 19 points lead in the championship,
but winning in Spain would give him 20 more points. Greater point gap
would not hurt him at all.
There were a few things that Fuji worried
prior to the competition on Sunday. He could not find the ideal setting
for the bike at the
final adjustment on Saturday. On Sunday morning, Fuji felt something
wasn't right when he woke up. He didn't feel great to start the day,
which might have been the reason for his tough battle for more than
a half of the day.
During lap1 and the first half of lap2,
Fuji was amazed that his body didn't react the way he wanted. Physically
had no problem,
he didn't have a clear head, it restricted the body to perform
at its best. Even when he marked cleans, he didn't feel comfortable,
he had it by a narrow margin. Fuji marked 5 cleans on lap1; greater
number of clean than Raga and Lampkin, but he struggled to compete
and finished the lap. He felt that it wasn't going to a good day
Fuji proceeded to lap2, and he had 2 points
at the first section followed by single penalty at the section 2. He
3 and 4 as he did in the last lap. Section 5 and 6, where he
had 3 and 5 points previously, he managed to go through with 2-single
penalties. It was then he began to feel his riding was back.
asked the team boss for the competition report, and Fuji found
he was in
the 3rd place by the end of lap1. Although the boss didn't mention
him the point gap, Fuji felt that he could recover. Fuji wasn't
doing well on lap1 and still managed to finish at top three.
He was confident
for the rest of the lap to fight back knowing his riding and
rhythm were back then. Fuji might have to settle for the 2nd place
Raga, but he wanted to finish ahead of his biggest rival for
After scoring two consecutive cleans at
section 7 and 8, Fuji fived for the first time on lap2 at section 9.
meters below in altitude from section 8 - located at 1,600
meters. Fuji and
the crew adjusted the electrical setting of the bike for the
section. The setting worked OK on lap1, but it didn't on lap2.
to climb up the rock because the motor didn't perform as expected.
saw Dougie failed at the section as he waited his turn. He thought
it would be one of the biggest chances to catch up
pass him, because it was the section Fuji had only one point
on lap1. So being failed and fived there slowed down Fuji's
rhythm. Fuji then
decided to make a drastic electrical adjustment in order to
turn the things around. It was the setting Fuji normally avoided because
body couldn't match up. Physically Fuji was up to the setting,
thus he went for it. His gamble paid off, and he had 3 consecutive
followed by a single point at section 13.
He approached section
14, which later he admitted was the most difficult section for him.
Fuji fived on lap1, but he managed
to score clean
for the second attempt. The boss came to Fuji and reported
that Fuji was tied in points with Raga for the 1st place.
Fuji proceeded to the final 15th section.
Most of the competitors played for safety for 3 points. Raga tried
the section before
Fuji, and he
also rode for 3 point. Before the attempt, Fuji was thinking
about the line he found at lap1, which was a line to climb
He did not try it on lap1 and fived there. Fuji decided
to go for it that
time and it worked perfectly. It wasn't impossible for
Fuji to mark clean, but he footed to secure the least penalty
point. As a result,
Fuji managed to move up in points, winning the round by
2 points against Adam Raga.
It took a while till Fuji could celebrate
the victory, because Raga lodged his protest after the competition.
He was claiming
things; over time penalty at section 7, and being fived
at section 12 - the
observer fived him for moving stones in the section.
was nervous knowing that it was the protest being lodged by the
local Spanish hero. Team boss told Fuji that
chance for Raga's appeal to be granted. The prize ceremony
took place while
the officials were working on the case. It was a mixed
feeling for Fuji on top of the podium knowing the results
Raga's protest was rejected, and Fuji officially
became the winner of Spanish round. Fuji stretched his lead
Lampkin and 28 for Raga. With only 2 days competition
remaining, it could
be decisive advantage for Fuji. Team boss gave him
an advice that fighting
for 3rd place consistently for the rest of the season
would be enough for Fuji to capture the title.
agreed. But he came to Spain for aiming three consecutive victories
at the end of the season. Now
he had a victory
in his bag, he is
looking forward to taking two more before the season
is out. He will ride the
only way he knows, that is to ride for the victory.
Fuji's chance for taking the championship becomes
ever, but it
will not change
the way Fuji competes at all.
Quote from Fujigas:
I was very off on lap1, and I knew I couldn't hope to win the round
that way. So I think I did very well to recover today. Like always,
I was aware of Lampkin today. But he might have been busy for
watching Raga for the 2nd than care about me, because 4 points
difference is very subtle at the end of the season. My goal for
the final round is to capture the championship on Saturday. There
is a month break before the round, but I will try to do the same
as before. We have been very busy competing lately, so I am happy
that now I will have more time to practice. I simply want to
ride and practice on the motorcycle than thinking about the Swiss
World Trial Championship
Round 8 Puerto Pajares, Spain
||47 (34+1+12) 13
||49 (27+22) 12
||52 (27+2+23) 11
|| Kenichi Kuroyama
||71 (40+31) 8
||73 (42+3+28) 5
||75 (35+4+36) 9
|Ranking (2 rounds to go)
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