Lampkin Second, Fujinami Third
Takahisa Fujinami - Repsol Montesa HRC claimed the runners up position in the FIM trial World championship by finishing third at today's final round in Belgium. Although ahead on him in today's trial, Fujinami's team mate Dougie Lampkin was not able to improve on his third place in the overall standings after losing out on the victory to Adam Raga - Gas Gas by a single mark. The battle within the Repsol Montesa HRC team was close, as If Lampkin had won today he would have overtaken his Japanese rival in the series. The third member of the Repsol Montesa HRC squad, Marc Freixa completed a disappointing year with a lowly ninth place to lose out on fifth place in the final championship standings to Antonio Bou - Beta.
Normally more associated with four wheel Motorsport, the famous Spa - Francorchamps circuit welcomed the final round of the 2005 FIM trial World championship just seven days after hosting their annual Formula 1 Grand Prix. Without around of the World trials series since 2001, the return to this small European country is a significant move for the tour considering that is the home of a trials legend. Eddy Lejeune remains amongst the true trials great have won three successive World titles back in the early eighties aboard his factory four stroke Honda.
The fifteen, mostly man made sections were spread fairly evenly around the famous tarmac circuit with good access to all thanks to the superb infrastructure that a facility such as this offers. The majority of hazards featured carefully placed boulders on the relatively steep banks that edge the circuit, section two was by far the most spectacular and used a large chunk of natural rock face. The jump from the concrete ramp on the road below up the three meter undercut rock face had to be attacked without the slightest hint of hesitation.
With the title already in Raga's care it was down to Fujinami, Lampkin and Albert Cabestany - Sherco to fight it out for positions two, three and four in the final rankings. Riding ahead of his main rivals due to a poor pick during the starting ballot, Raga cleverly used his Gas Gas team mate Jeroni Fajardo as his point of reference in the sections before making his own attempt. The plan worked well as Raga was the joint leader at the end of the first lap, tied on twenty seven marks with Fujinami.
A little off the pace Lampkin and Cabestany were enjoying their own duel at this point, as the British rider came in two marks ahead of the Sherco rider, but on some seven marks more than the leading duo. Freixa was already enduring the beginnings of a nightmare day, languishing back in eighth spot after a really poor first lap showing.
Scores amongst all the riders were high with sections ten, eleven and twelve all proving to be impossible with the wet ground dragging on to the steeply placed rocks. This situation meant that the trial was effectively played out over twelve rather than fifteen hazards, which was disappointing for all the riders, as so much remained at stake.
Lampkin mounted one of his trade mark comebacks during the second and final lap, this type of riding has been so important during his long career, but on this occasion he simply left himself too much to do. Dougie's score of fourteen marks for his afternoon performance was the best of the trial, but was not enough to overtake Raga.
Adam held his nerve well to run out the winner by just one mark, after what had proved a very slippery and difficult trial. Fujinami completed the podium on the day, and in doing so had done enough to hold on to the vice champion position in the final standings.
Freixa's day went from bad to worse as he dropped a further place, his ninth position giving him no chance of overhauling Bou in series rankings.
Lampkin - 2nd:
"I am obviously very disappointed as I came so close to taking the win today and to taking second place in the championship. But to be truthful I haven't ridden well enough during the first part of the trial to really deserve to achieve that. My second lap was so much better, and at least is one positive thing in what otherwise has been a bad day. It hasn't been a bad trial at all, it just would have been better if they had changed the sections which the all the riders said were impossible, as that proved to be true and spoilt what otherwise has been a good event."
Fujinami - 3rd:
"I think I am more happy than Dougie, but still I am not really that happy. After Germany the title had gone so I came here to win and to take second in the championship. Although I have kept second in the championship I am not happy with the way I rode today. My objective was to be World champion again, but that has not been so, but overall in the first year for the four stroke it has not been such a bad result."
Freixa - 9th:
"I don't want to make any real comment, as it has just been a very bad day and one I would prefer to forget quite quickly."
Laia Sanz - Repsol Montesa HRC finish tenth today in the Junior class.
"It is clear that this is not my best result, but it has been a very physical and difficult trial and one that did not best suit my style."
2005 World Outdoor Trials Championship Round 10
1 Adam Raga (E-Gas Gas)
2 Doug Lampkin (GB-Montesa)
3 Takahisa Fujinami (J-Honda)
4 Albert Cabestany (E-Sherco)
5 Antonio Bou (E-Beta)
6 Jeroni Fajardo (E-Gas Gas)
7 Graham Jarvis (GB-Sherco)
8 Kenichi Kuroyama (J-Beta)
9 Marc Freixa (E-Montesa)
10 James Dabill (GB-Beta)
11 Fumitaka Nozaki (J-Scorpa)
12 Sam Connor (GB-Sherco)
13 Shaun Morris (GB-Gas Gas)
14 Christophe Bruand (FRA-Gas Gas)
15 Michele Orizio (ITA-Scorpa)
Source: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.