Repsol Honda Team all set for the world championship curtain-raiser in Japan
The FIM Trial World Championship fires up this weekend at the Motegi circuit in Japan with three Repsol Honda Team riders keen to embark on what is set to be a hotly-disputed season.
Repsol Honda Team adepts Toni Bou and Takahisa Fujinami line up alongside rookie Jaime Busto this weekend as the FIM Trial World Championship kicks off with the Japanese Grand Prix in Motegi. Fans can look forward to nine GPs, which will consist of 18 races, given that all are double-daters this season.
Incumbent champion Toni Bou arrives on top of his game after a fruitful pre-season saw the Spaniard collect a ninth X-Trial triumph as well as securing the top of the overall rankings in the Spanish championship. The Repsol Honda Team guru aims at consolidating yet more his formidable record as the highest-garlanded motorcycle rider of all-time with 17 world titles to his credit.
Japanese ace Takahisa Fujinami starts his twentieth world championship season with various goals: to continue among trial’s elite, to increase further the number of world championship participations and to beat the all-time record of accumulated points – a milestone that looks likely to be demolished later this year.
Repsol Honda Team will feature a new name among their ranks for this championship with the inclusion of Jaime Busto. The Basque youngster – last year’s champion in the Junior category – makes the leap to World Pro, arriving at the sport’s top level with the clear aims of honing skills and gaining experience.
Riders will be faced with three laps of some six kilometres in length, which will include twelve sections. The event is due to start at 11:00 a.m. local time with the last rider of the World Pro class heading out first.
· Last year Toni Bou arrived at the competition carrying rib injuries. In spite of the pain, the Honda rider made the podium on both days and clinched top-spot on the overall leaderboard at the Motegi.
· The Japanese Trial GP has continually been disputed at the Motegi circuit since 2000.
· Bou, with 11 triumphs, is the rider with the highest number of wins in Motegi, followed by Repsol Honda Team companion ‘Fujigas’, with 6.
· Takahisa Fujinami is the rider with most podium finishes having scaled the Japanese GP rostrum 23 times.
2015 FIM TRIAL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
DATE PLACE COUNTRY
25th and 26th April Motegi Japan
30th and 31st May Sokolov Czech Republic
6th and 7th June Boras Sweden
13th and 14th June Penrith Great Britain
27th and 28th June Andon France
4th and 5th July Sant Julià de Lòria Andorra
25th and 26th July Stepping Stone United States
5th and 6th September Paços de Ferreira Portugal
12th and 13th September Jerez de la Frontera Spain
“Another Trial World Championship season begins and another challenge for the team, although the aim continues to stay the same: a world championship win. The bikes, the riders and the whole team are all set to tackle the competition and are looking forward to getting the best final positions.
This year we have a young rookie rider and we will be working hard to help him get a result. It won’t be easy, of that I’m sure. There are a lot of races in a lot of different places, but hopefully we’ll be able to clinch both titles, both the rider’s and the constructor’s. The best of luck to all.”
“The world championship is always a very special competition. The last few years have been very tough for me: the rivals are closing in and it’s never easy to win a title. It will be a year where we are not able to make the slightest error and that is what motives me. Personally, I arrive in Motegi with no injuries and the bike is working great; we’ve done a lot this winter to fine-tune it. It’s essential to arrive at the first race in that way. The Japanese GP is never easy and let’s hope that the other races in the competition are worthy of the world championship. Let’s fight to keep hold of the title.”
“We are in Japan preparing to start the new season. It will be my twentieth in the world championship and starting the season on home soil always means a lot of pressure. But I also feel at an advantage because the crowd is on my side to cheer me on to victory. It’s going to be very important to have a good race and fight to win. There will be a lot of pressure, but at the same time, performing in front of the home crowd is a big motivation. In Japan I’ve always had great results. And we know what the sections will be like: demanding and very hard, but that’s what is suited to the ‘Fujigas’ style.”
“The moment of my first race in the top category of the Trial World Championship has arrived and I’m happy to be doing it with a team like Repsol Honda. I know that they aren’t expecting me to get any special result, that I’ve got to learn and learn, race in race out, but I will try all the same to get the best result. The podium in the Spanish Championship has motivated me to do well in Japan too.”