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.

Toni Bou

QUALIFICATION: 3rd

We knew that it would be very important not to make any mistakes as an error could have been so costly. The sections were very slippery, it was really easy to slip up and I picked up two points which left me in third. I don’t really know if it is a good starting position – I’ve got some doubts – but I will try to have a good trial for Honda on home soil and I’m very motivated for it.

Takahisa Fujinami

QUALIFICATION: 7th

I did a lot better than in the first race. Here in Japan the sections are very complicated and to start out ahead can be a problem although starting from behind isn’t that bad either. I will be able to see what Adam (Raga) and Albert (Cabestany) do which is very important as it could be an advantage. There are a lot of very slippery slopes so it will be tough. I want to take it easy because here there will be a lot of people cheering me on to get a good result.

Jaime Busto

QUALIFICATION: 8th

Compared with the first qualifying of the season this one here has been much better because the sections were difficult and it was very slippery. I’m quite happy because I can start from ahead which is better as the course tomorrow is very difficult so a good starting position could really help me.

TrialGP 2017
Qualifying Round TR2   Motegi

Qualification TrialGP of Japan

Pos. Rider Num Nation L1 L2 L3 T3 Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Dabill James 7 GBR 0 0'49.12 Gas Gas Factory Team Gas Gas 0
2 Fajardo Jeroni 47 SPA 1 1'00.08 Vertigo Factory Team Vertigo 1
3 Bou Toni 1 SPA 2 0'58.93 Repsol Honda Team Montesa 2
4 Bincaz Benoit 16 FRA 3 0'38.69 Scorpa Factory Scorpa 3
5 Kuroyama Kenichi 98 JPN 3 0'40.84 Yamaha Racing Yamaha 3
6 Gubian Loris 14 FRA 3 0'44.39 Beta Beta 3
7 Fujinami Takahisa 3 JPN 3 0'45.37 Repsol Honda Team Montesa 3
8 Busto Jaime 69 SPA 3 0'46.78 Repsol Honda Team Montesa 3
9 Ogawa Tomoyuki 97 JPN 3 0'48.46 Honda Team Mitani Honda 3
10 Kadlec Franz 11 GER 3 0'48.50 Gas Gas Factory Team Gas Gas 3
11 Price Jack 34 GBR 3 0'49.45 Gas Gas Factory Team Gas Gas 3
12 Noguera Oriol 15 SPA 3 0'49.95 MRW Gas Gas Trial Team Gas Gas 3
13 Nozaki Fumitaka 99 JPN 3 0'50.42 Sherco Factory Team Sherco 3
14 Grattarola Matteo 9 ITA 3 0'51.94 Gas Gas FG Italia Gas Gas 3
15 Cabestany Albert 37 SPA 3 0'58.50 Sherco Factory Team Sherco 3
16 Raga Adam 67 SPA 5 TRS Factory Team TRS 5
17 Gelabert Miquel 10 SPA 5 Sherco Factory Team Sherco 5
18 Karlsson Eddie 12 SWE 5 RG Team Montesa 5
19 Ferrer Alexandre 13 FRA 5 Sherco Factory Team Sherco 5
20 Casales Jorge 33 SPA 5 Beta Factory Racing Beta 5
Location Information

Now one of the most established and certainly iconic venues on the TrialGP tour the TwinRing Motegi facility is a must visit destination for all motorsport fans. The sprawling grounds that extend around the two interlinked tarmac circuits not only incorporate some excellent Trial terrain, but also include what can… read more.

Race format 15 sections x 2 laps

Twin Ring Motegi, Haga District, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan - View in Google Maps

Records

Podium 2017 -day2- Toni Bou - Adam Raga - Albert Cabestany
Podium 2017 -day1- Toni Bou - James Dabill - Takahisa Fujinami
Podium 2016 -day2- Toni Bou - Adam Raga - Takahisa Fujinami
Podium 2016 -day1- Adam Raga - Toni Bou - Takahisa Fujinami
Podium 2015 -day2- Toni Bou - Takahisa Fujinami - Jeroni Fajardo
Podium 2015 -day1- Toni Bou - Jeroni Fajardo - Adam Raga
Podium 2014 -day2- Adam Raga - Toni Bou - Albert Cabestany
Podium 2014 -day1- Adam Raga - Toni Bou - Takahisa Fujinami
Podium 2013 -day2- Takahisa Fujinami - Jeroni Fajardo - Toni Bou
Podium 2013 -day1- Toni Bou - Adam Raga - Albert Cabestany