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WCTJune 1, 2003
World Outdoor Trials Championship Round 4 Twin Ring Motegi, Japan

Fujinami and Jarvis take one victory each

Montesa HRC rider Takahisa Fujinami and Graham Jarvis shared the honours with a win and a second place apiece over two very wet days of competition. It was Fujinami who took the victory on the opening day by a massive nineteen mark margin from Jarvis, but the Sherco mounted British rider turned the tables on his Japanese rival by winning on Sunday, although the margin this time was only a single mark. Fujinami1s 1-2 result puts him at the top of the overall standings, by virtue of having the most victories, after drawing level with Lampkin on 131 points. Although only a slim advantage, incredibly this is the first time Lampkin has been headed in the World Championship for over six years. Lampkin did not enjoy the best of weekends and was relegated to third place on both days.

The fantastic Twin Ring facility at Motegi had basked in sunshine in the week prior to the trial but, as predicted, torrential rain caused by a typhoon passing over the oriental island arrived ready for Saturday's trial. A mixture of manmade hazards and steep bankings formed the fifteen sections that were all located in close proximity to the tarmac race circuit. The first and last hazard were situated in the pit lane and provided perhaps the most spectacular action for the relatively large crowd who braved the severe weather.

In front of his home fans Fujinami started confidently and strongly and was only joined by fellow Japanese rider Kenichi Kuroyama in remaining unpenalised through the first four sections. However the clean run came to an end at the fifth hazard as the almost vertical muddy climb could not be passed for anything less than a hard earned three. Jarvis stayed in contact with Fujinami for most of the lap, but faltered at section twelve where he joined Lampkin in recording a five. Lampkin1s failure was frustrating as it was caused by a derailed chain, and marked the start of a poor end to his lap, which included another maximum on the last section. With the rain coming down heavier than ever, Fujinami begun to stamp his authority on the day1s proceedings to lead Jarvis and Kuroyama by a clear six marks. Lampkin held fourth at this point, though his score of twenty-eight was a fair way off winning form.

As conditions became worse and worse, Fujinami looked to become stronger as incredibly he managed to match his earlier performance despite the rising tide. Jarvis had no answer to this level of riding and dropped back to engage in a fight for the runner-up place with Lampkin and Kuroyama. Arms aloft, Fujinami had every right to acknowledge his victory so passionately as his ride was easily the best by any rider so far this season. With time running out, Jarvis did enough to keep Lampkin at bay, the British duo taking second and third places respectively, as Kuroyama ruled himself out of a podium place thanks to incurring seven time penalties. Freixa completed the top five having struggled all day in the slippery conditions.

During a packed press conference Fujinami explained the significance of his victory. "To ride in front of my home fans is always a great opportunity to enjoy the support and to use that feeling to ride at my absolute best. Today has been such an occasion. The level of my victory is especially pleasing when you consider that it is usually Lampkin that is the strongest in the wet and muddy trials. It is an important victory for me, but it is only a small part in my overall aim to become world champion."

World Outdoor Trials Championship Round 4
Twin Ring Motegi, Japan

Day 1

1 Takahisa Fujinami (J-Honda)
2 Graham Jarvis (GB-Sherco)
3 Doug Lampkin (GB-Montesa)
4 Kenichi Kuroyama (J-Beta)
5 Marc Freixa (E-Montesa)
6 Isao Shibuya (J-Yamaha)
Takahisa Fujinami
Takahisa Fujinami
Day 2

1 Graham Jarvis (GB-Sherco)
2 Takahisa Fujinami (J-Honda)
3 Doug Lampkin (GB-Montesa)
4 Marc Freixa (E-Montesa)
5 Kenichi Kuroyama (J-Beta)
6 Fumitaka Nozaki (J-Scorpa)

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