Fujinami celebrates 25 seasons in the World Championship: “in the end, it’s just a number”

This week marks the 25th anniversary of Takahisa Fujinami’s debut in the Trial World Championship, the rider with the highest number of participations, 338. The Japanese Repsol Honda Team rider is also suffering from mandatory confinement due to CoViD-19, although the fact that he cannot leave his home does not prevent him from being able to stay fit at home… and remember how the legend ‘Fujigas’ began.

Motorcycle Trial Offers
Takahisa Fujinami’s first international race was in Spain, in the Madrid town of Navacerrada, on April 14, 1996. Fujinami was 16 years old and, in a cold race that dawned snowy and where a total of 37 riders participated, the young rookie finished, at the end of the two days, in nineteenth position. In that trial, Marc Colomer would win, who in the end, that same year also ended up winning his only world title, with Montesa.

-What are your memories of your debut in the Trial World Championship?
-The truth is that I don’t remember many things, but I do remember that it was there, in my first race, where people started calling me Fujigas.
“What was that like?”
-I arrived at a very difficult area, where no rider had passed on the first lap. It was very steep, but I gave it a lot of gas. A lot. It didn’t help much, because I also ended up penalizing fiasco, but the spectators asked me, what’s your name? Fujinami, I answered, and they said, “What you are is Fuji-gas!” That’s where it started…
-It was your first race among the best…
-Yes, I like Jordi Tarrés, Tommi Ahvala, Bosis, Colley, Lampkin, Colomer… I had only seen them on video, and there they were next to me, playing. It was quite exciting for me and I was even a bit self-conscious in front of so many professional riders.

-This year will be your 25th season in the Trial World Championship. Hardly anyone will prolong their sports career that long!
So far I don’t think anyone has done it, but by breaking this record, I think it’s going to be a goal for many. Last year’s third was a surprise for many, but not so much for me… Mentally and physically I think I’m even better this year. 25 in the end, it’s just a number. I feel great! And I think year after year…

-As you pointed out, last year you finished third in an extraordinary end to the season. Do you consider it to be your best year except for 2004?
-Three years ago I also got the third in the World Championship and I think I also had a very good season with a victory and several podiums. Last year I was always in the top 5 and this is very important for the final result.

-The TrialGP World Championship this year will change its start and Japan will cease to be traditionally the most important race in the month of June.
-Yes, it’s complicated to organize a calendar. For me, not competing indoors, it’s going to be too long! The first three races have been delayed and it’s a bit tough mentally. To think that in 2 months the World Cup still hasn’t started, it’s hard…
“In spite of everything, we’ve been very active lately, Fujigas, training at home. Is it your way of preparing for and fighting the Coronavirus Pandemic?
“It is what it is. Everyone needs to be at home, in quarantine. At home I try to exercise as much as I can: bike, gym. I have a trainer who sends me exercises to do at home.

-What exercises do you do to stay in shape?
-Mainly cardio on a bike and also some TRX and weights for chest and legs…

-Do you have a gym at home?
-It’s not the same as a gym, but it’s lucky to have some equipment at home. But it’s very difficult to stay focused to work alone. Mentally you have to be very strong to push yourself so your own…
Fujinami TrialGP 2019
-Do you have time to prepare the bike?
-At home I have the training bike, and I was entertained by how I could change the maps of the bike, try to change the engine… but I haven’t been able to prove anything yet…

-Taking care of an athlete’s diet is also important. Have you changed your diet these days?
-Every day I check my weight on the scale. And the truth is, I’ve lost a bit of weight. This is normal, I think. So I don’t have to worry about food…
Fujinami TrialGP 2017 Montesa
-Hoping we can see you back in action, any final message?
Yes, I would like to take this opportunity to send a greeting to the health workers who during all these days are working hard and making an effort to try to cure those affected. My respects and I would also like to give my condolences to the family and friends of the people who have lost a loved one. Thank you.

Did you like it? Share

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on whatsapp
Share on email