Fujinami Hopes To Battle Back In Barcelona

It has beFujinami021en a tough start to the 2014 FIM X-Trial World Championship for veteran campaigner Takahisa Fujinami – Repsol Montesa as he continues to fight his way back to full fitness for this weekend’s third round in Barcelona, Spain. Fujinami snapped a ligament in his right knee during a motocross training accident in mid September last year and since then has spent the last four months undergoing intensively physiotherapy to be back on a bike ready for the beginning of the 2014 series that started early January in Sheffield, Great Britain.

Although yet to make it onto the podium during the opening two rounds, the recently turned thirty-four year old is just happy to be back riding at this stage after what was potentially a career ending injury as the highly popular
Japanese rider explains. “I knew it was serious as soon as it happened, there was a lot of pain and also a lot of swelling immediately, and when you have been a rider for many years you know what that can mean.”

“The time to recover from an operation was too long to be ready for Sheffield, so instead we decided to do physiotherapy instead to build up the muscles around the knee to compensate for the broken ligament. The work in the gym has been incredible, every day of every week, working to be ready. Although I knew the knee was getting stronger I was also many weeks without riding the bike and also doing the other physical training.”

“In the end I only managed to start riding again just before Sheffield, but I could only ride for a short period before my knee started to swell and also because of my overall physical condition. Training like this was difficult, also I had to find my confidence again, both with my riding and also with my knee as I had some fear that it might just collapse in some situations.”

The 2004 FIM Trial World Champion continued by saying. “So finally I arrived at Sheffield, but not too sure what to expect and to see what would happen, as training is OK but riding in an event is something different. Overall I was very satisfied how the first round went, to be close to the podium was much more than I could have hoped for. My knee was sore, and in a couple of places it felt weak. One time when I made a big drop it felt like might collapse and then another time when I put by leg down to dab I simply fell over as it was not strong enough to hold me and the bike. After the event the knee was quite swollen, but generally was OK.”

“Marseille was a very physical race, so I was happy to make it though qualification with not too many problems. In the semi-final I think my condition showed that it is not at the best level yet, but still sixth place was OK really.”

Heading to Barcelona this coming Sunday Takahisa has set his hopes high. “Barcelona is always a special round, it is my home round and also the home event for the Montesa team so there is some extra pressure to get a good result. The sections can be very difficult with many big steps, but having had another two weeks of training since Marseille I hope I can be on or close to the podium again.”

Fujinami is currently tied on fourteen points with James Dabill – Beta, and wants to improve on his interim sixth spot in the overall standings, and ended by stating. “When you can only bend your knee to ninety-degrees just riding becomes a big challenge, but if I don’t crash and do any more damage to it I think that I have a good opportunity to ride well and be in the fight for a top three placing in Barcelona. That is my target.”