Trial Championship Round 10 Moutier, Switzerland
A month summer break was over, and the final
round of world trial championship took place in Switzerland, at a quite
remote mountain village about an hour from Zurich. Thanks to Bruno
Camozzi for setting up the hazards, and many of them appeared to be
very tough. After preliminary inspection Fujinami was happy and looked
forward to having some tough ride than having some nerve breaking battles
at easy sections.
Day 1 - Saturday, Sep 4th
There were man-made
rocky hazards from section 1 to 3, and 4 to 14 were located in woods
at the ranch. The last section 15 was being set up at the in-door
skate rink, which hosted start-finish area too.
There were a lot of
HRC related personals at the round, as well as Japanese Fujigas supporters
to celebrate Fuji's magical moment. Atmosphere of the final round
was somehow different from usual world championship rounds.
wife was unable to make the trip because she was expecting delivery
on October. Fuji's parents who have been supporting Fuji from the
start of his carrer were there to support their son.
Fuji picked the
last starting position by ballot. When he marked clean at the very
first section of the day, he noticed his body was reacting much better
than usual. Normally Fuji doesn't feels too comfortable even when
he marks some cleans at the beginning of the Day. He marked one point
at the exit of section 2, but things were going very well at the
Following section 3, Fuji fived for overtime
penalty. It seemed he lost a little bit of rhythm there, but he kept
the motivation for the victory high, which in fact was the style he
had kept throughout the 2004 season. He went on and marked 3 points
at a tough hazard of section 4, followed by clean at section 5, and
2 points at section 6.
He tried to shift it up to perform better,
but he fived at section 7 and 8 in a row. Section 9 was too difficult
and almost all chose to escape, Fuji too opted to escape and marked
From section 11 to 14 were located closely
from the headquarter, and there were a lot of spectators around the
areas. Fuji enjoyed support from fellow Japanese fans, and it pushed
him to perform better, just like he did at Motegi.
However Fuji couldn't
maintain his groove on Saturday. He went on to start lap2, and he
fived at section 3 as the previous lap, followed by another five at
section 4. Although he did not set his goal to capture the title on
Saturday, it was beginning to appear that he had to wait till Sunday
to secure the title.
The closest rival of Fuji, the only man
who can mathematically stop Fuji from taking the title, Dougie Lampkin
however showing his best rides of 2004. He had a slight - 5 points
- advantage over Fuji on lap1, but the level of concentration seemed
to be much higher than Fuji's. For Fuji it was a matter of a couple
of more points to secure his goal, but Lampkin was fighting a big battle
with Raga for second place in the championship.
Fuji struggled to keep
his concentration with his performance went up and down, but he managed
to finish the day at 3rd place. Fuji admitted after the competition
that he didn't deserve to finish at 3rd place with his performance
of the day. But he finished at top three on the podium even things
weren't going great, that symbolized the way Fuji had fought 2004
So the day was over, and Lampkin took his
third victory of the season on Saturday. Fuji finished 3rd by 11 points
behind the winner, and 9 points from runner up finisher, Raga. Fuji
barely missed the championship by one point. Fuji and Japanese supporters
had to wait until the end of Sunday for the memorable, long awaited
Day 2 - Sunday, Sep 5th
Some of the sections
became shorter and some became easier, in fact, 10 of 15 sections
were modified before Sunday's competition because many of competitors
claimed that they were too difficult and too long to complete in time.
However those modifications made the hazards very easy for the top
Fuji needed to score 1 point to secure the
title, which meant finishing at 15th or better on Sunday. It was then
obvious that Fuji would take it unless something real disastrous would
happen to him. So it wasn't the matter of IF Fuji would take it, but
HOW. Fuji went for one more victory before the season was up, to make
his day even sweeter.
Fuji started the lap with 2 cleans, but
at section3, where he fived both laps on Saturday, he fived again.
Fuji gave too much gas and the rear end slid a little to the side.
It was a small mistake, but making five hurt a lot. As most of the
hazards became easier on Sunday, there were small room for an error,
and it was very difficult to recover. Still, Fuji managed to finish
the lap at 2nd place by 3 points behind Lampkin.
Although Fuji seemed
to have a chance to turn things around on lap2, it was Lampkin that
showed the final performance of the year and rode brilliantly. He
scored all cleans on the lap except he footed to mark single penalty
point at section 12. It was as if Lampkin trying to give Fuji a compliment
for the championship - the only way 7-time world champion knew how.
concluded 2004 season by finishing 2nd place ahead of Raga by 1 point,
and 10 points behind Lampkin. As Fuji finished the lap, he was welcomed
as the new world champion. It was the moment Fuji had waited for
9 years since he started to compete in the world trial championship,
and after finishing at 2nd place for 5 years consecutively.
Quote from Fujigas:
It took a long time but I finally pulled it through.
I tried not to think about the championship on Saturday and even today. I was
solely concentrating on getting victories, but I failed to win. Although I
tried to push the championship out of my mind, I guess it was still there because
I felt something different on both days.
It reminded me the strength and concentration that Dougie has
because he had to go through what I experienced this time for 7 times
in the past.
So, it's my first time, and I surely don't want it to be
the end of it. I don't want people to think it was a fluke either. 2005
will be another challenge, and I will try hard again next year to make
it two in a row.
I like to say thank you very much for people's support
for me through the years. I believe that this championship is for everybody,
because I couldn't do it without your support.
Round 10, Montier, Switzerland
||48 (27+21) 12
||50 (30+20) 15
||59 (32+27) 12
||70 (36+34) 8
||73 (31+40) 10
||Kenichi Kuroyama / Marc Freixa
|| 74 (41+33) 6
|| Dougie Lampkin
||9 (8+1) 25
||19 (11+8) 21
||20 (15+5) 20
||22 (13+9) 17
||30 (14+16) 18
||33 (22+11) 14
|2004 Ranking (Season Completed)
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