WCTJapanAugust 21, 2011
FIM Trial World Championship Series 2011
Round 07 Motegi – Japan

Bou and Fujinami Take Double Podiums in Japan


Reigning SPEA FIM Trial World Champion Toni Bou – Repsol Montesa HRC and team-mate Takahisa Fujinami finished on the podium on both days of the Japanese Grand Prix at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit, with Bou ending the weekend with a 13 point lead heading to the final round in France in two weeks’ time. Bou beat fellow Spaniard Adam Raga – Gas Gas by a single mark on Saturday, held under overcast skies on a course made soft by overnight rains. Fujinami was third. Raga won Sunday’s Trial, which was run under light rain that increased at the start of the second lap, with Fujinami putting in one of the most courageous rides of the year to finish second. Bou struggled, but finished third.

Toni BOU (MONTESA) Toni BOU (MONTESA)


Toni BOU (MONTESA)


Toni BOU (MONTESA)


The 15-section Motegi course is laid out on the outskirts of the Twin Ring Motegi circuit, the track which annually hosts the MotoGP riders in the Japanese Grand Prix. Much like the MotoGP race, which was scheduled for early April but moved to September following the March earthquake and tsunami, this event was also postponed. The original date for the Japanese Trial GP was its traditional early June slot.

Whether the change of dates affected the conditions will never be known. The course looked challenging when the riders made their Friday inspection. Then came overnight rains which softened it up and made it considerably more difficult. It was made even tougher on Sunday, when it began in steady light rain that picked up at the start of the second lap.

Riding his factory Cota 4RT Fujinami held the early lead on Sunday - after five hazards he had 10 marks to 15 for both Bou and Raga, who had an uncharacteristic string of three fives in a row from sections three through to five. The complexion of the race changed in the next section, the sixth, which was laid out on a hill facing the speedway next to sections four and five, making the area a spectator favourite. Raga cleaned section six and the next six to take command of the event.

Fujinami tried to keep pace, though lost marks in seven and eight. But it was section ten which would change the nature of his Trial. Fujinami had nearly cleared the section when his tyres slipped on boulders within meters of the finish. He fell hard to his left, dropping two metres onto a flat rock, his Repsol Montesa Cota 4RT landing on his left leg. It was clear he was in considerable pain at the most remote hazard on the course, at the apex of the forest. However after some time he sat up, then stood up and stretched his leg. By the time 15 minutes had passed, he was hurrying to sections 11 and 12. Taking inspiration from the crowd below, the courageous Fujinami cleaned both very difficult sections and finished the first lap with the loss of only three more marks, which put him two down on Raga. Bou had dropped 30 by now and his day would get worse.

As the Trial went on, the tightness in Fujinami’s leg loosened, though he was not able to match his first lap total of 22. He lost 29 marks on lap two, still good enough to equal his season best finish of second place from the Andorra round at the end of June.

Bou on his factory four stroke had a rough second lap patch from which there was no recovering in these conditions. He took three fives and a three, losing 18 marks over four hazards. Then followed a pair of cleans, two threes, and a clean in the final stadium hazard 15.

Despite what he admitted was an off day, the 24-year-old Catalunyan left Japan to return to Europe with a 13 point lead on Raga. He will arrive for the two-day season finale in France with 167 points to 154 for Raga and hopeful of clinching his fifth consecutive outdoor World championship. Fujinami has a firm grip on third place with 131 points.

Takahisa FUJINAMI (MONTESA) Takahisa FUJINAMI (MONTESA)


Takahisa FUJINAMI (MONTESA)


Takahisa FUJINAMI (MONTESA)


Toni Bou (Repsol Montesa) Trial result: 1st / 2nd Championship position: 1st
“Yeah, because I won yesterday, today I started first and it’s very, very difficult in these sections. The line in the sections is very, very difficult. The start of the race was very bad with many fives. After section six it came a little better. On the second lap in section seven I was within two metres of the finish, and then I took a five. After that it was very bad for my mentality and in section eight at the start I made another big mistake. That finished the race for me. After then it was raining and it’s incredible, section ten was extremely slippery. I think it’s maybe impossible. I think yesterday was a better day for me. But I think the third place is not bad for the championship. Thirteen points in the lead is good, not bad. I think to finish in fourth place and fifth place is good enough to win the championship, but I will attack in France. I’ll start in third position, which is not bad. Now I’ll be working for the next race to have a good mentality.”

Takahisa Fujinami (Repsol Montesa) Trial result: 3rd / 2nd Championship position: 3rd
“In the first lap in section ten I make a big crash. The rock was slippery and the rear tyre slipped and then directly the front wheel was going down. So I’m catching my bike, but the bike fell over onto my left leg and to a rock that was out of bounds, so after that it very difficult to find good riding. The first moment, I think it is impossible to finish. I think for sure I cannot return, also for France. But I make section 11 and section 12 and many Japanese people are pushing for my riding-they did not know I had fallen-and it was a big help for me and after every time better than before, so it was good to continue. The second lap it felt better than the first lap, but it hurts. But for sure Adam (Raga) very strong today, but I hope nothing is broken for my leg. But today second not so bad. I’m so happy.”

FIM Trial World Championship Series 2011
Round 07 Japan



line
Saturday
1 Toni BOU (MONTESA)
2 Adam RAGA (GAS GAS)
3 Takahisa FUJINAMI (MONTESA)
4 Jeroni FAJARDO (OSSA)
5 Kenichi KUROYAMA (Yamaha)
6 Loris GUBIAN (GAS GAS)
7 Fumitaka NOZAKI (Yamaha)
8 Tomoyuki OGAWA (Honda)
9 Michael BROWN (GAS GAS)
10 Tsuyoshi OGAWA (BETA)
11 Akira SHIBATA (Honda)
12 Masatoshi OKAMURA (GAS GAS)
13 Masahiko SUNADA (Honda)
14 Akio SAITO (Honda)
15 Tsubasa MATSUURA (Honda)
Toni BOU (MONTESA) & Takahisa FUJINAMI (MONTESA)


Toni BOU (MONTESA) & Takahisa FUJINAMI (MONTESA)
Sunday
1 Adam RAGA (GAS GAS)
2 Takahisa FUJINAMI (MONTESA)
3 Toni BOU (MONTESA)
4 Kenichi KUROYAMA (Yamaha)
5 Michael BROWN (GAS GAS)
6 Fumitaka NOZAKI (Yamaha)
7 Tomoyuki OGAWA (Honda)
8 Loris GUBIAN (GAS GAS)
9 Jeroni FAJARDO (OSSA)
10 Tsuyoshi OGAWA (BETA)
11 Akira SHIBATA (Honda)
12 Masahiko SUNADA (Honda)
13 Tsubasa MATSUURA (Honda)
14 Masatoshi OKAMURA (GAS GAS)
 

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