TOKYO, Japan, April 23, 2014 - Repsol Honda Team riders Toni Bou and Takahisa Fujinami, competing in Round 2 of the 2014 FIM Trial World Championship, the Japanese Grand Prix, held a public press conference.
As a precursor to the Japanese Grand Prix, to be held at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit in the Tochigi prefecture on April 26 and 27, 7-time world champion Toni Bou and 2004 world champion Takahisa Fujinami were invited to Honda’s Welcome Plaza in Aoyama, Tokyo to conduct a press conference open to the public. Honda’s Trial machine, the COTA 4RT was on display, and visitors unfamiliar with the sport were treated to a Trial demonstration by Akira Shibata, currently competing the in the All Japan Trial Championship.
At the press conference, Bou and Fujinami shared their thoughts on their wins in Round 1, and their ambitions for the upcoming Grand Prix with this season’s new works team.
Bou shared his excitement: “It’s an honor to be part of the new Honda works team. The Japanese Grand Prix is Honda’s home event, and our home race. We’ll do our best to please our wonderful Japanese fans. Both Fujinami and I will go into battle to win.”
Fujinami commented, “I’m grateful that in my 19th season of Trial World Championship racing, we now have a Honda works team, which gives us a stronger team formation. I feel everyone’s expectations are higher than usual for us to win in Japan, as we won in Round 1. We’ll be well prepared to make sure we can live up to those expectations.”
For the second-half of the press conference, HRC Club TEAM MITANI rider Akira Shibata, who will also participate in the Japanese Grand Prix, took the stage to invite the pubic to the grand prix. “It will be a rare event for me, as I will be able to race side-by-side with my childhood heroes Bou and Fujinami. Trails are fun to watch, even for the unfamiliar spectator, as you can see the riders competing right up close.”
After the press conference, the visitors were introduced to Twin Ring Motegi’s attractions, such as the new “Asobi no Mori - Nature playfield - ” athletic park, by the Twin Ring Motegi Angels image girls and “Kochira,” Twin Ring Motegi and Suzuka Circuit mascot character.
Visitors were then invited outdoors where Shibata showed off his trial skills. Lunchtime onlookers gathered in front of the Aoyama building, creating a large crowd, to be treated to professional trial techniques such as wheelies and 180cm jumps.