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Trial Magazine - - TRIAL MAGAZINE - 2017: Takahisa Fu­ji­nami (Honda-JPN) – The Costa Brava Clas­sic Two Day Win­ner. AR­TI­CLE: JONNY • PICTURES: YOOMEE AR­CHIVE, CYRILLE BARTHE, TOON VAN DE VLIET, NICK NI­CHOLLS COL­LEC­TION, MOR­TON’S AR­CHIVE, COLIN BUL­LOCK AND BUL­TACO

Costa Brava Clas­sic

In 2017 the event was pleased to wel­come two of the cur­rent top ten rid­ers from Tri­alGP, world num­ber five and the 2004 World Cham­pion Takahisa Fu­ji­nami, and world num­ber ten from Italy Mat­teo Grat­tarola. Fujigas, as he is af­fec­tion­ately known, is the orig­i­nal play­boy from the tri­als world hav­ing spent over twenty years com­pet­ing in the cham­pi­onship. His en­thu­si­asm and en­cour­age­ment for the world of mo­tor­cy­cle tri­als is a credit to his on­go­ing com­mit­ment to the sport. He loves the fun fac­tor — and any­one who will have seen him be­ing thrown into the swim­ming pool af­ter the awards pre­sen­ta­tion will know ex­actly what we mean! Mat­teo Grat­tarola was en­cour­aged to ride the event on a twin-shock Honda four-stroke as has moved to the Montesa Cota 4RT for the 2018 Tri­alGP sea­son. In this ar­ti­cle we have a look at the past and present with the many rid­ers who have given so much to our sport over the years. We also look at other win­ners of tri­als events in more re­cent times.

I have been at­tend­ing tri­als since my ear­li­est rec­ol­lec­tions, from 1967 of Mick An­drews at Hawk’s Nest. Over the next fifty years I would wit­ness some of the most mag­i­cal events in tri­als, watch­ing so many of the great rid­ers in ac­tion. In more mod­ern times, and with my work now to­tally focussed on both this pub­li­ca­tion and our sis­ter one Clas­sic Trial Mag­a­zine, my trav­els take me far and wide around the globe. This was my sec­ond year at the Costa Brava Clas­sic Two Day in late Novem­ber, and it is with great de­light that I can wit­ness some of my early tri­als he­roes in ac­tion as they are now very much a part of the clas­sic scene. With a full en­try of three hun­dred and sixty rid­ers it was very much a who’s who of the tri­als world.

96 TRIAL MAG­A­ZINE2004: Takahisa Fu­ji­nami (Honda-JPN) – Trial World Cham­pion: 2004. Since his first ap­pear­ance on the world scene in 1996 the ever pop­u­lar Ja­panese rider has re­mained in the top ten of the Trial World Cham­pi­onship over a long and distin­guished ca­reer, tak­ing many in­di­vid­ual world round wins. What makes Fu­ji­nami quite unique is the fact that he has re­mained loyal to the Honda/ Montesa ma­chin­ery on this in­cred­i­ble ad­ven­ture. Tak­ing the 2004 cham­pi­onship, which was the last for the brand us­ing two-stroke en­gines, he last won a world round in France 2016 on the fourstroke Cota 4RT and still re­mains a force to be reck­oned with at the very cut­ting edge of the sport.

2017: Yrjo Ves­ter­i­nen (Bul­taco-FIN). In­set: 1976: Yrjo Ves­ter­i­nen (Bul­taco-FIN) – Trial World Cham­pion: 1976–1978; Scot­tish Six Days Trial Win­ner: 1980; Fin­nish Na­tional Cham­pion: 1970–1980; Bri­tish Tri­als Cham­pion: 1982. In a ca­reer which has now been ex­tended to the clas­sic world, Yrjo ‘Vesty’ Ves­ter­i­nen was the first for­eign win­ner of the ‘Scot­tish’ on Montesa in 1980 be­fore be­com­ing the only ever for­eign win­ner of the Bri­tish Tri­als Cham­pi­onship, for Bul­taco in 1982. Af­ter re­tir­ing from top flight tri­als he started the world fa­mous Apico brand in 1984 with his wife Diane. Af­ter sell­ing the busi­ness in 2014 he be­came more in­volved with clas­sic tri­als, where he is just as com­pet­i­tive now as he was when he was chas­ing world cham­pi­onships.

2017: Steve Saun­ders (Fan­tic-GBR). In­set: 1983: Steve Saun­ders (Arm­strong-GBR) – Vice Trial World Cham­pion: 1986; Scot­tish Six Days Trial Win­ner: 1988–1991; Bri­tish Tri­als Cham­pion: 1983–1992. Af­ter a very suc­cess­ful youth ca­reer on both Fan­tic and Bul­taco ma­chines Steve moved to the new Arm­strong tri­als project in 1983, and his dom­i­na­tion of the Bri­tish tri­als cham­pi­onship would run for ten years rid­ing Arm­strong, Honda, Fan­tic and Beta along the way. Dur­ing his world cham­pi­onship years he would win nine in­di­vid­ual rounds. His four con­sec­u­tive Scot­tish wins were won on both Fan­tic and Beta ma­chines, two each. Now the of­fi­cial UK im­porter for TRS, his skills are still a plea­sure to watch in clas­sic tri­als.

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