Trials > Round 04: U.S.A. > Race Results
WCTU.S.A.June 4 - 5, 2005
2005 World Outdoor Trials Championship Round 4 U.S.A.

Fujinami and Lampkin win one day each

Repsol Montesa HRC team mates Takahisa Fujinami and Dougie Lampkin shared the victories at the USA Grand Prix. It was Lampkin who won Saturday’s trial and Fujinami who took the top honours twenty four hours later, with both competitions taking place in appalling weather conditions that nearly saw Sunday’s event abandoned. The Repsol Montesa HRC riders packed the podium on both days with Fujinami finishing runner up on the first day and Lampkin taking third place on Sunday despite an injury scare. Antonio Bou – Beta recorded his first ever rostrum place by taking third position on Saturday, whilst it was Albert Cabestany – Sherco who finished second on Sunday, as both endured mixed fortunes over the two days. The remaining member of the Repsol Montesa HRC squad, Marc Freixa struggled all weekend and could only record 7 – 6 results respectively, in contrast Graham Jarvis – Sherco had his best showing of the season with two fifth places.

Doug Lampkin (GB-Montesa)

Takahisa Fujinami (J-Honda)

With just one week to recover from the Japanese Grand Prix the various trials teams that support the FIM trial World championship were once again forced to select air travel as their mode of transport as the series shifted to the opposite side of the globe to the USA. Sitting on the shore of the famous and massive Lake Superior, the city of Duluth is no stranger to hosting an event of this level, this being the third time that the championship has visited this venue in a four year period. After an unusually dry trial in Japan, the bad weather finally caught up with the 2005 campaign as heavy rain and thick mist covered the ski resort at Spirit Mountain. The local weather stations had predicted such conditions for most of the week leading up to the US round, but after several dry and warm days the rain finally decided to show itself during the early hours of Saturday morning.

Whilst the weather overhead was pretty much similar to twelve months earlier, the organizers had worked hard to create several new hazards compared to last year’s course, with many more of the sections this time around being located in the river that cuts through the steep hill side. By the time the riders got underway for Saturday’s competition the rain had stopped and much brighter skies had replaced the previous dull background, although this respite would only last a few hours with appalling weather returning before the close of the first lap.

The opening two sections were both new and were situated very close to the paddock making them favorites amongst the fans who had braved the driving rain. Bou had looked good on the training area prior to the start of the trial and this carried through to the first hazard as he posted the only clean of the day. Whilst the technical nature of this section perhaps suited the young Spanish rider, the slippery ground could hardly be described as familiar to the Beta rider who is usually more suited to dry and dusty going. Lampkin, Fujinami and Raga all parted with a single dab apiece at different points whilst then championship leader Cabestany appeared to be very nervous and needed two steadying feet to reach the ends cards.

A four meter near vertical rock face marked the start of section two, watching the top riders leap up this face from a carefully placed kicker rock was truly awesome and was only for the brave, this brought great applause from the damp crowd down below. Unfortunately the exit of the hazard preventing any clean rides as everyone was to forced to foot as they pushed and shoved their way clear, so little changed amongst the front runners with all of them recording functional but not pretty three mark rides.

Further down the hill sections three and four were the first in the river and were perhaps two of the best hazards on the course. With less than twenty riders in the championship class, the rocks were still very slippery when the leaders arrived in the third hazard. The series of turns on the smooth surface were made even more difficult as the riders struggled to find sufficient grip to lift their front wheels in the right direction. Watching Lampkin, Bou and Cabestany pivot their way to clean rides was bike control at its very best, Fujinami, Raga and Freixa were not far short of matching this feat as this trio all recorded one mark attempts.

Lampkin, Raga and Bou were the pace setters at section four, with all three remaining feet up as they conquered the short and muddy climbs that rose up away from the river bed. Fujinami found himself slipping down the leader board as he lost three marks here compared to the single dab lost by Freixa. Progress through the early hazards was slow with many of the riders using over two hours to complete the first third of the course, leaving them little of their allowed three and half hours to finish the first lap without penalty.

With the rain now falling heavily the riders increased their pace as they rush through the remaining hazards. Lampkin was the only rider to stay unpenalized through sections six, seven and eight as he began to create his advantage over his main rivals. Hazards nine, ten, eleven and twelve were extremely tough, maybe too tough as no one managed less than a three mark loss in any of these sections. Already clear of the field Lampkin further increased his lead as he recorded the only clean at section thirteen, Cabestany was the only rider to come close to matching this awesome ride as he parted with just one dab. Fujinami escaped with a three whilst Raga, Bou and Freixa all took maximum marks here.

Although only a few meters away from the finish area, the final two hazards were hardly visible as the riders sped through this pair of man made sections to hand in their first lap punch cards. Even a five in section fifteen could not prevent Lampkin heading the order at the halfway point, he was still eight marks clear of Fujinami despite incurring a single time penalty. Behind the Montesa duo it was very close with only six marks separating Bou, Jarvis, Raga, Cabestany and Freixa respectively.

With the weather turning even worse and the river level rising rapidly the second lap was a case of survival rather than stunning riding. Safety became the order of play as the riders got their feet on the deck to ensure that they made it to the end cards rather than ending up on their side as they went for glory. Lampkin’s final lap approach was very calculated as he tried to protect rather than extend his lead, however even riding in this manner could not prevent a near disaster as both he and his bike disappeared under the water in section ten. Amazingly the factory four stroke kept running and allowed Lampkin to ride home four marks clear of Fujinami who had matched his opening lap score through some gritty riding.

The fight for the final rostrum position was fierce, with Bou eventually taking it after defeating Raga on a most cleans tie break. With Raga in fourth, Jarvis completed the top five pushing Cabestany into sixth and Freixa back to a disappointing seventh position. This result was enough to hoist Lampkin back to the top of the championship for the first time in over a year, ahead of Cabestany and Fujinami, and thus demoting Raga to fourth spot in the overall standings.

Lampkin 1st:
“It certainly hasn’t been an easy day, and in the end it came down to the last few sections after what can only be described as a marathon. I am obviously delighted to have won especially after having been so close to doing so on the second day in Japan. I felt that I rode really well on the first lap today, with only one real mistake, so I was surprised not to have been further ahead at this point.”
“The rain this afternoon really changed things, the river must have rose several inches in a very short time. It then came a bit of a lottery and a case of survival of the fittest, with many of the riders just going for threes. I thought my day was over when both me and the bike ended up totally under the water in section ten, but somehow it kept running. To head the championship again is a great feeling, but I know that it is going to be very tough to hold on to the lead, as there are five or six riders who are riding so well at the moment. ”

Fujinami 2nd:
“Without so many mistakes perhaps I could have won, but still this is a very good result both for me personally and also for the team. For Dougie and I to finish first and second shows the progress we have made with the new bike, and perhaps in these conditions we are at a point where the four stroke is now better than the two stroke we had last year. It is clear that this is the toughest trial we have had this season, and this was made so much tougher by the bad weather. I hope I can be stronger tomorrow and challenge for the win.”

Bou 3rd:
“I am very happy as this is the first time that I had arrived on the podium, although I have been close before, especially in Japan. What makes this result good for me is that the conditions are not my favorite or what I am best used to, but still I managed to ride well even when the weather was really bad. To be on the podium again on Sunday would make it a very good weekend.”

Freixa 7th:
“The day was disappointing in every way. I don’t want to make excuses, as I am responsible for many of the mistakes that happened today, but my day was not helped by the fact that I had to ride ahead of all my rivals. I had no one to watch as a reference and in the end of the first lap I had to rush and lost time as it was a real fight to be the first rider through on the championship route.”

Laia Sanz - Repsol Montesa HRC took fourth position in the Junior class:
“I think this has been one of the toughest competitions of my life the sections and the weather is the worst I could ever imagine. Despite everything I am quite satisfied with my result as it has been a very physical trial which is always difficult for me.”

Marc Freixa (E-Montesa)

Laia Sanz

Sunday morning broke with more heavy rain and mist, and with the notification that the start had been delayed by one hour to allow for alterations to the sections due to the appalling weather. In total twelve out of the fifteen sections were modified or simplified to avoid the deeper water levels. By the time the first rider got underway the sun had actually got out and it looked like it was going to be a far more pleasant day. Again this was true right through to the end of the first lap before the mist and torrential rain returned to blank out the entire mountain. Such was the ferocity of the rain on this occasion that sections nine, ten and eleven were scrapped on the grounds of safety during the second lap as the course markers were simply washed away.

Lampkin basically ruled himself out of repeating yesterday’s victory within the first three sections of today’s trial by collecting two maximums before his day had even properly begun. Fujinami in contrast was set for victory immediately as he recorded the only clean on the first hazard on the opening lap. There was little to separate Cabestany, Raga and Jarvis from the Japanese rider through the first part of the lap, but it was Lampkin who was bringing the biggest cheers as he fought his way back to be joint leader with his team mate by section twelve.

Dougie’s return of form was short lived as a massive crash in the very next and unlucky section thirteen left him and his bike broken. Although Lampkin’s team worked rapidly to repair his machine, Dougie’s own injuries were far worse and at one point looked to be serious enough to prevent him riding any further. Typically the Englishman was not going to be beaten and continued in immense pain and with his right wrist heavily strapped. Fujinami was three marks clear of Cabestany at the mid point, with Raga and Lampkin following up respectively.

The much shortened second lap conducted during the worst of the storm did little to change the running order, but did give sufficient opportunity for Lampkin to grab the final podium place from Raga on most cleans tie decider, as he followed Fujinami and Cabestany home respectively. Fujinami’s win now puts him at the top of the championship for the first time this season, just two points clear of Lampkin and Cabestany who are tied in second place.

Fujinami 1st:
“I am very happy to win today and also to return to the top of the championship, but I also understand that this lead is only in this moment as each race is so important because there are five riders who can take the victory. It has been another tough day, but my team has worked well and I want to thank them for their efforts as much of the victory is due to them. It was a shame that we had to miss some sections on the second lap, but this was the correct decision both by the jury and the organisers as the river was rising so fast it was dangerous. ”

Cabestany 2nd:
“It was important for me to return to the podium today after the disaster of yesterday. Whilst I can not say that I have ridden well all weekend I am happy with today’s result. Another bad result today and I would have given Fuji and Dougie too much of an advantage in the championship. I want to pay tribute to my mechanics as twice my bike stopped today due to the water, but both times they worked very fast to fix it so that I could finish without any time penalties.”

Lampkin 3rd:
“It has been a strange day for me as I started terribly by fiving both section one and three. I was close to cleaning section one, but I just failed to make the last step. It was a big advantage to give away so early so I was happy to be back in content later in the lap, that was until the big crash in section thirteen. I must of fallen five or six meters, I tried to cling to a nearby tree but it was to slippery, I was sure that I had broken my wrist when I landed hands first. I must thank Fuji’s Doctor, as without his strapping there was no way I could have continued. Considering everything that has happened, I suppose I have got to be happy with third spot.”

Freixa 6th:
“I felt that there was some improvement from Saturday, but perhaps not enough. Again I struggled with many things, the type of sections, the weather and the fact that I was riding in front of my main rivals again. But although I can say these things, I must also realize that everyone had to ride in the same bad conditions. It has been a long trip for two disappointing results.”

Laia Sanz - Repsol Montesa HRC took fourth position in the Junior class:
“The conditions were simply too tough for me, I was still feeling the effects of Saturday’s trial and I had little resistance or fight in me to battle my way through the difficult sections. This is certainly not my favorite type of trial and I am sure it would have been much better for me without the rain.”

2005 World Outdoor Trials Championship Round 4

1 Doug Lampkin (GB-Montesa)
2 Takahisa Fujinami (J-Honda)
3 Antonio Bou (E-Beta)
4 Adam Raga (E-Gas Gas)
5 Graham Jarvis (GB-Sherco)
6 Albert Cabestany (E-Sherco)
7 Marc Freixa (E-Montesa)
8 Kenichi Kuroyama (J-Beta)
9 Tadeusz Blazusiak (POL-Gas Gas)
10 Jordi Pascuet (E-Gas Gas)
11 Sam Connor (GB-Sherco)
12 Fumitaka Nozaki (J-Scorpa)
13 Jose-Maria Juan (E-Montesa)
14 Chris Florin (USA-Gas Gas)
15 Bruce Le Richie (USA-Sherco)

Doug Lampkin (GB-Montesa)
1 Takahisa Fujinami (J-Honda)
2 Albert Cabestany (E-Sherco)
3 Doug Lampkin (GB-Montesa)
4 Adam Raga (E-Gas Gas)
5 Graham Jarvis (GB-Sherco)
6 Marc Freixa (E-Montesa)
7 Kenichi Kuroyama (J-Beta)
8 Antonio Bou (E-Beta)
9 Tadeusz Blazusiak (POL-Gas Gas)
10 Jordi Pascuet (E-Gas Gas)
11 Sam Connor (GB-Sherco)
12 Fumitaka Nozaki (J-Scorpa)
13 Jose-Maria Juan (E-Montesa)
14 Bruce Le Richie (USA-Sherco)
15 Chris Florin (USA-Gas Gas)

Takahisa Fujinami (J-Honda)

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