Trials

Adam Raga stops a Toni Bou double in Japan

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Gas Gas' Adam Raga was the master of the mud in Motegi today, scoring his third victory of the 2011 SPEA FIM Trial World Championship by riding smartly in some of the most difficult conditions of the year.

Repsol Montesa's Takahisa Fujinami survived a frightening first lap fall in the treacherous tenth section, made more so by a steady light rain. The Japanese rider initially thought his season was over, but he rebounded to finish the Trial superbly and take second.

?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," Fujinami explained

"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" the Japanese rider concluded

Team-mate Toni Bou struggled throughout the day, but leaves Japan with a thirteen point championship lead over Raga with only the final two day round in France remaining.

?Yeah, because I won yesterday, today I started first and it?s very, very difficult in these sections," Bou said.

"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.?

For the second day in a row, Yamaha rider Kenichi Kuroyama was the best of the local Japanese riders. Fifth on Saturday, today he came fourth. Spanish rider Jeroni Fajardo , was fourth a day earlier, but he also fell victim to the muddy course and dropped to ninth place. Gas Gas mountdd Michael Brown improved four spots on his Saturday performance by finishing fifth, eight marks behind Kuroyama and fourteen in front of the second Yamaha rider, Fumitaka Nozaki, who was seventh on Saturday. Nozaki beat fellow countryman Tomoyuki Ogawa ‰ÛÒ Honda by a single mark for sixth today. French rider Loris Gubian ‰ÛÒ Gas Gas dropped to eighth from his Saturday sixth, with Fajardo ninth and Tsuyoshi Ogawa ‰ÛÒ Beta was the tenth placed finisher.

The fifteen hazard course was soaked by overnight rain which continued throughout the day. Most of the time it was a light, misty rain until the start of the second lap when it intensified. Even before the rain, the organisers had adjusted six of the fifteen hazards to make them easier. The changes provided mixed results, with section fourteen taking fewer fives, but the early section three remaining as difficult as ever.

After five sections of the first lap it appeared Fujinami might be in for his first win of the year. Raga had taken three consecutive fives in sections three, four, and five, as had Bou. Fujinami escaped with only a nine mark loss heading to section six, which is where Raga found his form. The Spaniard went on a run, cleaning every section from the sixth through to twelve to take command of the Trial. Only a three in section thirteen and a single mark lost in the previously unmanageable fourteenth hazard prevented him from a clean sweep.

Meanwhile, Bou was struggling. He lost marks in all but four sections, and had an uncharacteristic four fives in the span of five hazards. With a deficit of ten marks to the leader Raga, he was resigned to finish third.

Raga nearly matched his own first lap run of seven cleans in succession. He would have, if not for section ten. From there to the end he was nearly perfect, only losing three marks in fourteen to finish with twenty-one on the lap and forty-one for the day. That was ten better than Fujinami whose second lap score went up to nineteen. Bou added thirty-one to his first lap thirty to tally sixty-one on the day.

World Championship Final Results - Japan
1. Adam Raga - 41
2. Takahisa Fujinami - 51
3. Toni Bou - 61
4. Kenichi Kuroyama - 75
5. Michael Brown - 83
6. Fumitaka Nozaki - 97
7. Tomoyuki Ogawa - 98
8. Loris Gubian - 102
9. Jeroni Fajrado - 111
10. Tsoyushi Ogawa - 113
11. akira Shibata - 123
12. Masahiko Sunada - 141
13. Tsubasa Matsuura - 146
14. Masatoshi Okamura - 147

World Championship Standings After Round 7
1. Toni Bou - 167
2. Adam Raga - 154
3. Takahisa Fujinami - 131
4. Jeroni Fajardo - 102
5. Albert Cabestany - 99
6. Loris Gubian - 74
7. Michael Brown - 71
8. James Dabill - 69
9. Jack Challoner - 52
10. Matteo Grattarola - 47

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