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2013 FIM Trial World Championship

Round 01: Motegi – Japan

  • Overview
  • Race Results
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Japan
Japan
April 27-28, 2013

Bou And Fujinami Take A Win Apiece at Honda’s Home GP

Repsol Montesa HRC team mates Toni Bou and Takahisa Fujinami – both riding their factory Cota 4RT machines - each won a day of the Japanese Grand Prix, as the event held at Honda’s Twin Ring circuit, Motegi got the 2013 FIM Trial World Championship underway.

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Toni BOU (MONTESA)
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Takahisa FUJINAMI (MONTESA)

Bou won the opening day ahead of Adam Raga – Gas Gas and Albert Cabestany – Sherco, whilst Fujinami placed fourth on Saturday. However Fujinami was to make up for his slow start by snatching a last gasp victory from Jeroni Fajardo – Beta just twenty-four hours later as Bou had to fight his way back onto the podium on day two.

The 2013 GP marked the fourteenth consecutive year that the Japanese Trial Grand Prix has been hosted at Honda’s famous Twin Ring circuit at Motegi. The permanent motorsports facility once again provided a testing array of hazards on the perimeter of the tarmac track, with many of the sections consisting of carefully placed boulders on the surrounding steep wooded hillsides. The re-introduction of the no-stop rule where riders must now maintain forward motion added a new dimension to competition, with the emphasis being on longer and wider sections of a more flowing nature.

Rain late on Friday afternoon forced local organisers to make changes to several of the hazards prior to Saturday’s competition getting underway. The slippery conditions and new rules saw a nervous start to the trial for many riders, however these factors only had a limited effect on Bou. He immediately opened up a five mark lead over Raga come the end of the first lap, as the old rivals locked into battle once again and moved clear of the chasing pack. Only Cabestany was on the same page after the initial lap.

Over the closing two laps of twelve sections and in drying conditions due the sun overhead, Bou further stretched his advantage both over Raga, and over the rest of the entry. Whilst on each of his three laps he recorded one failure, Toni on board his recently upgraded factory Cota 4RT, made few other errors despite the tricky going. Bou’s winning margin of twenty marks clearly illustrated the scale of his opening victory, and must have served as a worrying message to the other main protagonists. Fujinami got his 2013 started with a solid fourth place, and only six marks away from a podium finish.

Many expected Bou to make it two wins in a row when Sunday’s event started under clear blue skies, but his faultless run was to come to an unexpected halt when he stalled his bike in section seven, which was later diagnosed as being due to a slight electronic mapping error. This certainly broke Toni’s concentration and when his hand slipped off the handlebar as he attacked the final part of the next section, he knew he was now involved in a real battle as he ended the first lap down in eighth place and well off the leading pace.

In contrast Fujinami was keeping the pressure on the early leader Fajardo who was having the ride of his life to lose only four marks over the first two laps. Bou was to surpass this achievement as he fought his way back up the order, by dropping just two marks for his closing two laps. Although this was not enough to secure victory, Toni at least booked his place on the podium. Takahisa used the large and noisy home crowd to his advantage and applied pressure to Fajardo at exactly the right moment with a string of outstanding rides that eventually saw the Spanish rider crack. Fujinami’s victory was well deserved and was his first since 2010.

Bou and Fujinami hold first and second places in the general standings respectively after the opening GP. The Repsol Montesa HRC duo will take a short break before resuming battle in the USA next month.

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Toni BOU (MONTESA)
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Takahisa FUJINAMI (MONTESA)
Toni Bou (Repsol Montesa)
Trial result: 1st / 3rd - Championship position: 1st
“Overall I can be satisfied with my results and to be leading the championship, but today has not been perfect for me. The small problem with the bike made me nervous especially with the new no-stop rules, but after the initial disaster I made some incredible riding on the final two laps to bring me back to the podium. In my absence it is great that Fujinami won today, as we have shared the victories at this important GP for Honda, and just after we have received the new engine. So I want to thank and to congratulate the whole team for this joint success. Now I am looking forward to the next GP, but still I cannot say I am happy or confident about the new rules.”
Takahisa Fujinami (Repsol Montesa)
Trial result: 4th / 1st - Championship position: 2nd
“This is an incredibly important and special victory for me. To win in front of my home fans is the best feeling you can have. They have had to wait for this latest victory in Motegi for sometime now and I could really feel their support today especially towards the end of the trial. Jeroni made a really strong two opening laps, but I managed to keep him within my reach. I was pushing hard on the last lap, and then finally it came down to the last section to take the win. I want to thank Honda so much for the new engine as it made the difference today. I hope I can now continue this level when we go to the USA.”
Toni Bou (Repsol Montesa)zoom
Toni BOU (MONTESA) & Takahisa FUJINAMI (MONTESA)

2013 FIM Trial World Championship
Round 01: Motegi – Japan

Saturday
Rank Rider (Team)
1 Toni BOU (MONTESA)
2 Adam RAGA (GAS GAS)
3 Albert CABESTANY (SHERCO)
4 Takahisa FUJINAMI (MONTESA)
5 Jeroni FAJARDO (BETA)
6 James DABILL (BETA)
7 Tomoyuki OGAWA (Honda)
8 Michael BROWN (GAS GAS)
9 Kenichi KUROYAMA (Yamaha)
10 Jack CHALLONER (BETA)
11 Fumitaka NOZAKI (Yamaha)
12 Alexandre Ferrer (SHERCO)
13 Matteo GRATTAROLA (GAS GAS)
14 Yoshiaki NOMOTO (BETA)
15 Daniel OLIVERAS (OSSA)
Sunday
Rank Rider (Team)
1 Takahisa FUJINAMI (MONTESA)
2 Jeroni FAJARDO (BETA)
3 Toni BOU (MONTESA)
4 Adam RAGA (GAS GAS)
5 James DABILL (BETA)
6 Albert CABESTANY (SHERCO)
7 Michael BROWN (GAS GAS)
8 Fumitaka NOZAKI (Yamaha)
9 Kenichi KUROYAMA (Yamaha)
10 Jack CHALLONER (BETA)
11 Tomoyuki OGAWA (Honda)
12 Alexandre Ferrer (SHERCO)
13 Matteo GRATTAROLA (GAS GAS)
14 Tsuyoshi OGAWA (Beta)
15 Daniel OLIVERAS (OSSA)

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