Trials > Round 07: Italy > Race Results
WCTItalyJuly 9 - 10, 2005
2005 World Outdoor Trials Championship Round 7 Italy

Raga and Fujinami share the victories in Italy

Repsol Montesa HRC rider Takahisa Fujinami moved into second place in the overall standings of the 2005 World trials championship after recording a victory and a runners up spot at the Italian Grand Prix this weekend. Adam Raga (Gas Gas) took the first day win, but was pushed down to fourth placed on day two of the competition. Dougie Lampkin (Repsol Montesa HRC), who is still recovering from the injuries he sustain in France two weeks ago, did well to earn a 4 -3 result over the weekend. The third member of the Repsol Montesa HRC squad Marc Freixa had some brilliant moments, but only had a pair of sixth places to show for his efforts come the finish. Albert Cabstany Sherco saw his title hopes fade as he went 3 9 on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

Takahisa Fujinami (J-Honda)

Takahisa Fujinami (J-Honda)

After the man made sections of the French Grand Prix, the championship returned to more natural surroundings for the Italian round. The small village of Valbondione sitting at the head of the towering valley, approximately fifty kilometers north of the city of Bergamo, brought the series to one of its most beautiful locations on this years tour. The dramatic steep sided mountains surrounded the paddock on three sides, and kept from view the rapidly changing weather system that is so typical of this type of region. The fifteen sections were all situated either beside on in the shallow river that ran directly beside the village. Sections twelve, thirteen and fourteen being the most scenic, with a one hundred metre high waterfall as their natural backdrop.

Sections one and two were incidental in the overall scale of things, the first hazard was a very easy opener where none of the top riders lost marks. In contrast the steps in the following hazards simply proved too much with everyone failing to reach the ends cards. In fact such was the severity of this section it was actually scrapped for lap two. With the next three sections being back to the easier variety the trial proper did not start until the watery sixth hazard.

Starting in the shallow but fast flowing river, this section had two big but very different steps, the first of these rising nearly two meters from the watery bed under a small pedestrian bridge that gave spectators a great vantage point over head. However the real sting in the tail was a four meter high under cut step that was angled towards it summit and that was very slippery due its previous lack of use. Freixa was the first to conquer this awesome hazard after having watched a string of failures including Lampkin and Antonio Bou (Beta).

Freixas three dabs looked like that this may be the best for this section, as his escape was far from convincing, however Fujinami, Cabestany and Raga were to soon prove different as all three needed only a single dab, the later of this trio hardly needed to foot at all.

Moving back to the hill side beside the river, sections seven and eight although extremely greasy rode much easier than they first suggested, with the second of these just taking the odd mark from the top ten group of riders. Cabestany could be accused of under estimating section seven as he did not give the approach to the final step enough respect resulting in him spinning at the critical moment to leave him with a very unexpected five marks. Alberts mistake allowed Raga and Fujinami to become the new joint leaders on nine marks, whilst he now found himself five marks adrift due to one small, but costly lapse of concentration.

A pattern was beginning to emerge, with the sections ranging from impossible to relatively easy, as the ninth hazard defeated all on the first lap. The leading riders were absent of any real challenge through the final sections with the exception of the last hazard situated in the river just below the paddock. Cabestany rode himself back into contention with a fantastic clean here as he closed his opening lap performance, a feat that was only matched by Bou on the first visit to this tough finale.

Fujinami finished off his mornings work with a two to head the field on sixteen marks. Raga found himself in second place at this point, trailing the Japanese rider by three marks, the same score that he had lost in section fifteen. Cabestany completed the halfway point - top three just one behind his compatriot. Bou and Freixa filled joint fourth spot after the first fifteen sections on twenty four marks apiece, with Lampkin a further five marks adrift due to a controversial maximum penalty in section eleven for touching the boundary marker tape.

With the rain continuing to return much as it had all day, the second lap was conducted in a similar fashion to the earlier part of the day, although some of the sections had definitely improved with the greasy top surface having now been scrubbed away. The scores were always going to be lower, especially with section two having now been officially removed from the competition for safety reasons, but no one could have predicted the lap that Raga was about to put together.

Adam's total of just five marks for his second tour almost seemed impossible as it was posted on the score board at the finish, but a quick look at the section by section analysis actually revealed the true scale of his feat.

A three in section seven and single dabs in sections nine and eleven were his only losses of the lap. This performance was simply too strong for his rivals and left him a clear and well deserved winner, a victory that may just signal the new outdoor World champion in waiting.

The scrap for the runners up spot was far closer with Fujinami just managing to hang on in the last section to defeat Cabestany by a single mark. Lampkin had recovered well to ride himself into fourth place as both Bou and Freixa posted worse second lap totals to be demoted to fourth and fifth respectively.

Raga 1st :
“This is a very important victory for me, both for my advantage in the championship and also for my own confidence. My level of riding during the first lap was acceptable, but I am really pleased with my performance on the second lap as that is what has giving me the victory today. Now I am feeling strong about taking the title, but also it is clear that the fight is not finished yet as there is still a lot of sections before the end of the season. Obviously I will be looking to repeat something similar tomorrow, I hope at least.”

Fujinami 2nd :
“My level was good in the morning as the sections were very slippery and quite strange to judge. I was happy to be leading at the end of the first lap, but also I thought I had deserved to be in this position as I had committed very few marks outside those that were totally necessary. I managed to repeat almost the same again on the second lap, which I was quite happy with, but Adams ride was very special. Second place is not perfect, but after the disaster I had in France it is a great improvement. All I can do is to continue fighting.”

Cabestany 3rd :
“I think the big problem for me today was I misjudged how difficult the sections actually were. I was thinking that they were a lot more difficult than they actually were. You can not ride at your best when you are expecting to have this kind of mental attitude. I rode OK, but I should have rode better. It is now clear that I must start winning again if I am to have a real chance of lifting the title.”

Lampkin 4th :
“I came here thinking that I could challenge for the victory, but the truth is that I am simply not in a condition to do that at the moment. Having rested my injuries for the last two weeks, I felt quite good coming here this weekend. That was until I tried to ride a bike. I am having to ride with a body belt pulled very tight to protect my hip, and that really restricts my breathing in the sections. It was always going to be a difficult weekend, but drawing number one just made matters a whole lot worse especially how the weather has been today. On the first lap I had no one to watch or follow and was simply scrubbing the sections in for the other top guys. As you can see my second lap was a whole lot better, as I too got the benefit from my earlier work.”

Freixa 5th :
“I am really angry as my day has been ruined by one observer. I made quite a good first lap, but then I received a five in section one on the second lap for nothing. The marshal said the five marks was for my mechanic being in the section, but this was completely stupid. After that I had no real interest and I think my result shows that. Let us see if tomorrow can be better.”

Laia Sanz - Repsol Montesa HRC
“Really struggled in the slippery conditions today and could only manage a lowly ninth position. I need to do more training in these conditions, as I am used to having more grip, it is something I certainly need to work on. Also the level of the sections was simply too much for me at times.”

Torrential rain throughout the night and modifications to four of the sections created a new element to Sunday's trial. Section two had been softened and brought some good riding as the riders fought to find grip in a hazard that now looked very possible. Fujinami signaled his intentions for the day with the only clean on the opening lap in the eased section. Jeroni Fajardo (Gas Gas) and Lampkin both failed, whilst Raga and Bou needed a dab a piece on the final under cut step despite the new larger launcher rock.

Fujinami remained clean through the first three hazards, but was to collect his first maximum of the day in the fourth hazard to lose his early lead. With the conditions even more slippery than yesterday, mistakes were very much the order of the day, with no one rider being able to exclude themselves from suffering at least three fives on their first lap. That is with the exception of Fajardo, who kept his maximums to just two, a point that would be important in giving him a slim lead after the first fifteen sections. Lampkin committed perhaps the worst of these mistakes when he touched a flag in section eleven after moving his back wheel without thinking. This split second lapse would cost Dougie dearly both at the end of the lap and at the end of the day.

Doug Lampkin (GB-Montesa)

Marc Freixa (E-Montesa)

Fajardo found himself the halfway point leader, one mark ahead of a rejuvenated Freixa, with Fujinami, Lampkin, Raga and Cabestany all following closely with only seven marks separating the top six at this stage of the competition. The rain returned ready for the start of lap two to make things very interesting out on the course as this pack of front runners continued to fight it out for the victory.

As Raga had done yesterday, this time it was the turn of Fujinami and Lampkin to produce a special closing lap as both threatened to achieve single figure totals for their respective second lap tours. Fujinami came closest with a tally of ten that included one five, one three and two dabs, this performance would be enough to give the Japanese rider a vital victory in his championship campaign. Lampkin managed his second lap for eleven marks, but this still was not enough to prevent Fajardo taking the runners up spot and pushing the British rider on to the lower tier of the podium.

Freixas challenge fell apart to leave him down in sixth spot behind Raga and Bou who both recorded much better afternoon performances. With Kenichi Kuroyama (Beta) and Graham Jarvis (Sherco) filing seventh and eighth places respectively, Cabestany did his title hopes no favors as he slumped to an unexpected ninth position. Whilst Raga remains the clear championship leader, Fujinami has now moved into second place in the overall standings thanks to his latest victory.

Fujinami 1st:
“After France, it is good to return to this position once again. It is an important victory for both me and the team, as we have had a bad couple of weeks with my results and with Dougie's injury. I really hope that this is another turning point and that we can enjoy a strong close to the season. It is clear that Raga has a big advantage and he now must be favorite to be champion, but that doesn't mean that I will stop fighting right until the last section of the last round.”

Fajardo 2nd:
“Yesterday we had a lot of problems with the bike, I had to return to the truck several times to attempt to repair the fault. This cost me a lot of time and totally broke my concentration, so it was a bad result in everyway. When I took five marks in section two on the first lap today, I thought it was going to be another bad day, as I broke the cylinder, which we had to replace very quickly. Despite this I felt I rode well for the rest of the day, and to be on the podium again is a good result for me.”

Lampkin 3rd:
“Although it is only one place better than yesterday, it is a much better result today, although I am not totally happy as I really could have won. I made two really bad mistakes, both with flags that have cost me ten marks and also the victory. However given my condition I suppose I had done as well as I could have expected this weekend. Now I have got a couple of weeks off, so hopefully that will be time enough for my injuries to heal properly, as I don't plan to ride a bike at all during this period.”

Freixa 6th:
“My second lap was a complete disaster and ruined the good work I had done on the first lap. I thought I could be on the podium today, but at the finish sixth place is very disappointing. Although the sections were slippery I had a good feeling and was riding OK, so I can have no excuse with regard to these points at least.”

Laia Sanz - Repsol Montesa HRC:
“Slipped whilst walking a section and fell heavily" (injuring her right hip. The combination of this injury and tough conditions saw Laia finish in twelve place in the junior class.) "I was already finding it tough, and after I did the damage to my hip I knew my day was basically over. All I could do was to ride to finish, as the result was not important after that moment.”

2005 World Outdoor Trials Championship Round 07:Italy

1 Adam Raga (E-Gas Gas)
2 Takahisa Fujinami (J-Honda)
3 Albert Cabestany (E-Sherco)
4 Doug Lampkin (GB-Montesa)
5 Antonio Bou (E-Beta)
6 Marc Freixa (E-Montesa)
7 Kenichi Kuroyama (J-Beta)
8 Graham Jarvis (GB-Sherco)
9 Jeroni Fajardo (E-Gas Gas)
10 Tadeusz Blazusiak (POL-Gas Gas)
11 Jordi Pascuet (E-Gas Gas)
12 Shaun Morris (GB-Gas Gas)
13 Daniele Maurino (I-Gas Gas)
14 Fumitaka Nozaki (J-Scorpa)
15 Isao Shibuya (JPN-Scorpa)

1 Takahisa Fujinami (J-Honda)
2 Jeroni Fajardo (E-Gas Gas)
3 Doug Lampkin (GB-Montesa)
4 Adam Raga (E-Gas Gas)
5 Antonio Bou (E-Beta)
6 Marc Freixa (E-Montesa)
7 Kenichi Kuroyama (J-Beta)
8 Graham Jarvis (GB-Sherco)
9 Albert Cabestany (E-Sherco)
10 Tadeusz Blazusiak (POL-Gas Gas)
11 Jordi Pascuet (E-Gas Gas)
12 Isao Shibuya (JPN-Scorpa)
13 Shaun Morris (GB-Gas Gas)
14 Fumitaka Nozaki (J-Scorpa)
15 Dario Re Delle Gandine (IT-Montesa)

Takahisa Fujinami (J-Honda)

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