Repsol Honda Team rider Toni Bou and his team-mate Takahisa Fujinami had to settle for a rather inferior starting position after a lacklustre qualifying round as TrialGP arrives at Japan’s Motegi Twin Ring circuit.
FIM race authorities confirmed a controversial decision and sanctioned Toni Bou with a point in the overall standings. The current championship leader is forced to start the main events of tomorrow and Sunday among the opening group of TrialGP riders. Being one of the first riders out is not without its drawbacks although Bou remains confident that he can overcome the handicap will skilful riding in some of the more demanding sections.
After performing a solid Q1, Bou headed into the definitive Q2 looking to improve on the time but a slip made him take his foot off the footrest. The FIM race director adjudicated that he had put his foot down for support and the consequent penalization dropped the Repsol Honda Team rider to thirteenth place.
Takahisa Fujinami, likewise, failed to shine in front of the home crowd. ‘Fujigas’, in a carbon copy of his performance in Camprodón, avoided losing his balance only to concede time before settling for tenth place.
Tomorrow sees the first main event of the two-day TrialGP of Japan. There will be fifteen sections in a four kilometre course to be tackled over two laps. The weather forecast is for sun.