Trials

Fujinami leads Bou home in Australian World Trial Championship opener.

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Taking a start to finish win Takahisa Fujinami (Repsol Honda) and Toni Bou (Repsol Honda) were separated by a single mark after three laps of twelve hazards at the Grand Prix of Australia which opened the 2014 series.

The opening day of the 2014 FIM World Trials Championship took place under clear blue skies in the sun at Mount Tarrengower Australia where the crowds witnessed a day of intense action.

With the competition under way it was the defending champion Toni Bou ? Repsol Honda who was the first to part with any marks when he took a nervous one mark penalty on section three and then another on section six. Eventual winner Takahisa Fujinami though remained feet up until sections eight and nine.

It was section eleven though where Bou parted with a five mark penalty which would push him down the leader board on the opening lap behind Fujinami and James Dabill (Beta) to tie on eight marks with Jeroni Fajardo (Beta) and Adam Raga (Gas Gas).

The second lap would see all the leading contenders keep their scores in single figures keeping the overall result very close and leaving no room for error in the chase for the victory.

Bou knew that after the early five mark failure on the first lap he would have to be at his very best to challenge his team mate Fujinami for the win and put in a faultless performance on the final lap which he did.

Takahisa knew with one hand on the winner?s trophy approaching the final lap that as long as kept calm the victory would be his. That is exactly what he did losing only two more marks and despite the loss of a single mark for going over the time limit he was the winner.

Behind the two Repsol Honda riders Jeroni Fajardo and Adam Raga both finished on eleven marks lost but Fajardo took the final position on the podium on the most cleans tie breaker.
Takahisa Fujinami in action
Fujinami was pushed all the way by his team-mate Bou who really added to the pressure when he parted with no marks on his last lap. He added a single mark time penalty to his two marks on observation but the hard work on the opening two laps was enough to give him the victory.

It's over 12 months since Fujinami last won a world championship round when he won the second day at his home round in Japan in 2013. He has been struggling with a knee injury since the end of last year but put all this behind him to take a popular win and make his rivals take note of his commitment to the championship.

"This is a fantastic victory for both my-self and the new Repsol Honda team," the Japanese rider enthused.

"I started the competition feeling very confident and I knew I could build on this when I took the lead after the opening lap. I concentrated on my riding and despite having to race against the clock on the final lap I took the victory. After the problems with my knee injury in the X-Trial championship I am very happy to be back on the top step of the podium and look forward to Sunday's competition?.

Defending champion Toni Bou gave himself all the hard work to do after parting with seven marks on his opening lap, fighting back with a strong second lap score before finishing the final lap with a perfect no marks recorded on his score card.

"My day has not been so bad and second position is not a disaster," the Spaniard lamented.

"I knew when I parted with the five mark penalty that a victory today would be hard to achieve. The competion today has been quite easy after last year when the hazards were much harder. I would like to thank the fans today for their support and my team for their help?

The opening round of the Championship continues at the Australian venue tomorrow with a double-header format that will see the riders tackle sections over the same outcrops of Mt. Tarrengower on the outskirts of the town of Maldon, Victoria.

Main Photo: Takahisa Fujinami (L) and Toni Bou
Toni Bou
Results: Mount Tarrengower (Australia) ? 12.04.2014
1: Takahisa Fujinami (Repsol Honda-JPN) 8;
2: Toni Bou (Repsol Honda-ESP) 9;
3: Jeroni Fajardo (Beta-ESP) 11;
4: Adam Raga (Gas Gas-ESP) 11;
5: James Dabill (Beta-GBR) 33;
6: Albert Cabestany (Sherco-ESP) 43;
7: Pol Tarres (Sherco-ESP) 62;
8: Alexandre Ferrer (Sherco-FRA) 70;
9: Eddie Karlsson (Montesa-SWE) 81;
10: Jorge Casales (Gas Gas-ESP) 81.

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