TrialGP 2017 Round TR2 , Qualifying 1
Bou, Fujinami and Busto qualify among the top eight for the Japanese TrialGP
The Repsol Honda Team officially got the Japanese TrialGP underway today with the qualifying round prior to this weekend’s main event. The starting positions will be crucial.
The first of the 2017 world championship season’s two great transatlantic trial events is to be held in Japan this weekend. After the season opener in Camprodón two weeks ago – with a major victory for Toni Bou – the Twin Ring Motegi circuit now plays host to the second round of the championship with a highly-anticipated two-day event.
On Thursday all the teams unloaded the hardware: bikes, tools and spare parts which had been shipped out from Europe. This was followed by team briefings and the first opportunity to train. Today, Friday morning, the Repsol Honda Team crew were subjected to the habitual pre-race technical and administrative scrutineering before the Japanese GP really gets underway.
Bou, Fujinami and Busto were able to get back into the saddle for the first time since the transatlantic flight and also got a first glimpse of the fifteen sections that await them.
At three in the afternoon the qualifying round kicked off just after rain had fallen, which had left the sections rather muddy. Current world champion Toni Bou finished in third place with two points, stating that the sections had been considerably more difficult than those of the previous trial, a challenge that should give him an extra confidence boost as he heads off amongst the final starters.
Repsol Honda Team’s Japanese rider Takahisa Fujinami, performed well in the qualifying round to finish in seventh and will begin from a good position. Jaime Busto, the fastest rider in TrialGP qualifying in the previous outing in Camprodón, Spain, posted eighth and begins ahead of Fujinami.
Tomorrow sees the first of the two days of the Japanese Trial GP, made up of fifteen sections to be completed over two laps, with the lowest number of penalty marks deciding the victor. The course – held in its entirety within the confines of the Motegi circuit – has a total lap length of some five kilometres.
Qualification TrialGP of Japan