Toni Bou - Repsol Montesa continued his relentless pursuit of a sixth straight FIM Trial World Championship as he won the second day of the Japanese Grand Prix to increase his lead at the top of the general standings to a commanding twenty-nine points after only three rounds.
Albert Cabestany -Sherco came close to stopping Bou’s current winning run as he finished the day just one mark behind the reigning FIM World Champion after a tense and intriguing closing day at the Twin Ring, Motegi venue. Much to the delight of the passionate home fans, Takahisa Fujinami - Repsol Montesa made it onto the podium as just five marks separated the top three places.
For the second day in a row the forecasted rain never arrived, and thus the local organisers responded by modifying several sections in all three classes to inject some increased difficulty into the hazards that remained dry throughout Sunday’s Trial. Despite the almost Spanish like conditions Adam Raga - Gas Gas once again failed to shine in the land of the rising sun and had to settle for fifth spot that saw him demoted to fourth place in the title race after a well below par showing over the two days.
Yesterday’s runner-up in the World Pro category Jeroni Fajardo - Beta failed to reach his self imposed target of being on the podium on day two and had to be content with fourth position this time out as a much improved second lap moved him up the order. Fajardo now finds himself tied in second place with Cabestany in the general standings on eighty-eight points apiece as four Spanish riders currently pack the top four places. Fujinami remains in fifth spot in the title chase, but has now closed within two points of Raga, who will need to improve his form at the next round, his home GP if he is not to lose touch with the three front runners.
Daniel Oliveras - Ossa was the shock result of the day, as he recorded a career best sixth place after having only returned to top-flight competition earlier this season following a year away from riding. Oliveras’ previous best finish was eighth at his home round back in 2010. The twenty-four year old came home three marks clear of Tomoyuki Ogawa - Honda who was the highest placed wild card entrant in seventh position. The British duo of Michael Brown - Gas Gas and James Dabill - Beta filled the next two places respectively, as another Japanese wild card rider in the form of Fumitaka Nozaki - Yamaha completed the top ten today.
Alexandre Ferrer - Sherco re-established himself back at the top of the Junior class as he made amends for his third place yesterday, by winning day two of the Japanese GP in emphatic style to take his tally to five wins from six starts. Ferrer’s clean closing lap put him six marks clear of Saturday’s victor Pol Tarres - JTG who now moves into second in theseries standings behind his French rival as Francesc Moret - Montesa could only manage seventh spot today. Cedric Tempier - Sherco occupied the final Junior podium place, although some way off the pace of the leading duo.
Sweden’s Sverre Lundevold - Beta recorded his second victory of the campaign in the Youth division as he beat championship leader and yesterday’s winner Steven Coquelin - Gas Gas by five clear marks much thanks to a devastating final lap showing. Britain’s Bradley Cox - Beta had to rely on a similar second lap recovery to prevent a disaster, as he rode himself back onto the rostrum by a single mark after a poor first lap performance. Coquelin now heads the Youth title race by fourteen points from Cox, who in turn is four points the better of Sverre at this stage of the season.
After their long trip to Australia and Japan, the riders and teams will have one week to rest before the action resumes in Spain on 16/17 June.