Reigning FIM Trial World Champion Toni Bou – Repsol Montesa extended his current winning run to four counting days in a row as he took a clear victory on the opening day of the Trial Grand Prix of Japan, which marks the third round of the 2012 FIM Trial World Championship. His Spanish compatriot Jeroni Fajardo – Beta, who was runner-up for the second time in a row as he confirmed his second spot on the second day at last weekend’s Australian GP was not a fluke, followed Bou home. Albert Cabestany – Sherco finished third to make the rostrum an all-Spanish affair, as he dropped three more marks than Fajardo over the two laps.
Whilst there was an almost familiar pattern with the top three, the shock on this warm and sunny day was Adam Raga – Gas Gas who slumped to a season worst sixth place, and in doing so has now been overtaken by Jeroni in the general standings. Raga now holds third spot, but equal on points with Cabestany whilst Fajardo has now moved four points clear of his two Spanish rivals. However whilst these three battle to be the best of the rest, Bou sits a resounding twenty-two points ahead of the chasing pack even at this early stage in the campaign.
Takahisa Fujinami – Repsol Montesa fought hard in front of his home fans, however was unable to make it on to the podium as he placed fourth on day one and four marks in front of Britain’s James Dabill – Beta who recorded his best result of the season to date with a solid fifth position. Raga’s plight could have been even worse as he clung on to sixth spot by just two marks after a day long battle with thirty-three year old ex FIM Trial World Championship rider Kenichi Kuroyama – Yamaha who celebrated his one off annual return to the series with an incredible seventh place finish.
Alexz Wigg – Gas Gas made his round trip to Australia and Japan more than worthwhile as he earned a career best eighth position at the famous Twin Ring venue with a respectable total of forty-four marks. Tomoyuki Ogawa – Honda made it three home riders in the top ten as he took ninth on the day, whilst it was another British rider this time in the form of Jack Challoner – Beta who was the final of this leading group of finishers.
In the Junior category it was all change at the top as Pol Tarres – JTG halted Alexandre Ferrer – Sherco winning run by taking his first victory of the season. Unbeaten in the initial four days of competition in this division, Ferrer had to settle for the third step of the podium today, as a five in the very last section of the Trial saw him beaten by Tarres and Francesc Moret - Montesa in what was a relatively low scoring affair. Ferrer still enjoys a healthy twenty-one point lead in the championship standings, though Tarres has now closed within three points of Moret who currently occupies second place in the title race.
Almost emulating Bou, French Youth rider Steven Coquelin - Gas Gas extended his triumphant roll to three wins as he added victory on the first day in Motegi to the double maximum points haul he scored last weekend in Australia. However on this occasion Coquelin had to rely on a most cleans tie-break to defeat Norway’s Sverre Lundevold – Beta as they both finished on six marks apiece. Bradley Cox - Beta from Great Britain completed the Youth class top three, as these three young protagonists remain the main title contenders with Coquelin currently heading the charge from Cox and Sverre respectively.
The second and final day of the Japanese stop of the 2012 FIM Trial World Championship will
take place tomorrow, as Bou looks to increase his unstoppable run.