Japanese World Trial veteran, Takahisa Fujinami will be aiming to repeat his 2005 victory, which was the last time he triumphed on home soil, when the 2012 FIM Trial World Championship heads to Motegi, Japan this coming weekend.
The thirty-two-year-old rider has begun the 2012 series in consistent form having finished within the top-five on all four counting days to date – twice in France and twice in Australia, and as a result holds fifth position in the current championship standings.
Despite experiencing some machine problems in last weekend’s Australian GP, Fujinami proved that he is still a force to be reckoned with, missing out on a podium placing to Albert Cabestany - Sherco on day one by only a whisker, before finally climbing to finish third on the rostrum on day two. Fujinami will now be looking to build on this success and at least earn more podium placings in the two-day Japanese GP on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd June.
Feeling confident after gaining his first podium finish of the series in Australia last weekend, Fujinami said: “I am very happy with this podium as it shows that I am going in the right direction to getting further podiums at the Japanese round. I feel under more pressure when competing in my homeland. I always want to deliver a good performance and to achieve my best results, as being in Japan always provides good motivation for me.”
One of Fujinami’s best results last season was in Japan when he took to the podium on both days in third and second place. So it would certainly seem that being back on home soil could just prove the source of empowerment for the Takahisa, along with all the support and encouragement he is sure to receive from his many fans.
Despite being one of the oldest riders of the World series, Takahisa Fujinami has so far shown little sign of slowing down. Fujinami has finished third in the FIM Trial World Championship for the last five years in a row (in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011). Before Bou’s winning years began, Takahisa was the second placed rider in 2006 and 2005 and was World Champion in 2004.
Fujinami’s results in Australia have put him only four points away from fourth-placed rider, Albert Cabestany - Sherco and only six points behind Jeroni Farjardo in third place. With five rounds still to go, a top-three 2012 World ranking is still comfortably within reach for the Japanese rider.
Rivals and fans alike can once again expect Fujinami to use all of his experience as one of the championship’s longest serving competitors to his advantage this weekend, as he aims to give Japan another GP to remember as he goes in search of glory in his usual flamboyant manner.