Toni Bou clinches the first of the two trials held in Japan. Japanese rider Takahisa Fujinami, also made it onto the rostrum in third spot, sealing Repsol Honda Team’s first double in 2019.
The first day of competition at the TrialGP of Japan proved to be a complicated affair. The rain made a re-appearance, wreaking havoc with the terrain and making for a tricky task for all the riders starting from the rear end of the field including Toni Bou. Despite the difficulty, the Repsol Honda Team ace was able to mark the difference and was rewarded with another victory, the seventeenth to date at the Motegi Twin Ring.
Takahisa Fujinami, with a swift pace, seemed at ease and was able to finish the day with a noteworthy third place to complete the Repsol Honda Team double – a feat not achieved since last year’s Belgium GP. This first podium of the season was, in part, fruit of the tremendous support received from the local crowd at ever corner of the route. Takahisa Fujinami takes his tally of podiums on home soil in Trial World Championship events to twenty-eight.
Tomorrow, Sunday, sees the second day of the competition, where Bou and Fujinami hope to be back on the podium. The trial covers the same route, but with the starting order in the reverse order of today’s classification.
Toni Bou 1
TRIAL: 1ST STANDINGS: 1ST
Today I am very satisfied, since it was a complicated trial with conditions that varied throughout the day. It was raining, then it stopped raining… so it was especially complicated on the second lap where it had stopped raining right before the difficult sections. It is always very important to win here in Japan, at Honda, so I am very happy, especially after not having been able to win in either of the two days last season. I am also very pleased that my partner Fujinami got onto the podium; He has worked hard all winter and he deserves it. Tomorrow, I think it will be a different trial with lower scores, the terrain should dry out as there are no predictions of rain, so we’ll see. We’ll try to give everything.
Takahisa Fujinami 6
TRIAL: 3º STANDINGS: 4TH
This year I feel great physically and I had been hoping for a podium in Italy but finally it has arrived here in Japan. I am very happy, getting on the podium in front of my Japanese fans is very important for me. It is also important for Honda, so I’m even happier. This double podium means a lot for the whole team who have worked so hard and it is a great motivation to continue along this track. Tomorrow we will continue working to try to get back on the podium.
I want to congratulate our two riders who had a great trial today, Toni for the victory and the podium for Fujinami. This result is very important for Fujigas: it will give him strength for the rest of the season. Thanks also to all the team because today was not easy. Tomorrow looks likely to also be a difficult race, so we will give it everything and try to get back onto the podium. We are lucky that this season we started with the two riders both in really strong physical condition and without any injuries. We will try to keep up this strong start.