After his race in Gouveia, Portugal, Trials GP Rider, Takahisa Fujinami proceeds to retire after a storied 26-year long run with Repsol Honda.
A charismatic rider, and following 26-seasons, Fujinami hangs up his gear following a very fruitful career. In his 26 years, Fujinami has had 34 victories, 168 podiums, eight years in a row finishing in the top two of the championship, and 13 years in a row finishing in the top three. He became Outdoor Trial world champ in 2004, besting none other than Dougie Lampkin. He is also the first-ever Japanese rider to win the FIM Trial World Championship in 2004.
Fujinami first debuted in 1996 at the young age of just 16-years old. Now in his forties, he’s spent about a quarter of a century dedicated to Trial sport. Fujinami was also able to collect several accolades during his lengthy career, some of which include several records, such as being the youngest rider to win a world championship back in 1997 where he was able to dominate the Talheim GP at only 17 years old. Conversely, and due to his long-haul career, he was also honored as the most elderly rider in a recent 2021 GP in Italy.
Even before Fujinami made it onto the world stage, he was already breaking age-related records, making it as champion in the All Japan Trial aged just 15 years old. Fujinami got his start in riding motocross, at the ripe young age of just 3 years old, and he eventually got to the national level just a mere 10 years later.
Fujinami is quoted in a Honda press release: “I firmly believe that the time has come to close the curtain on my career as a world trial championship rider after 26 years in the competition. Thanks to everyone's support, over this period, I have been able to make trial my profession and perform at a more than satisfactory level for over a quarter of a century. Thank you very much."
“They have been 26 great years. And I have to also thank my family, who supported me from the first moment, my teammates, the brand, the sponsors, and also the fans who have cheered me on throughout. I would like to greet each of my fans one by one, and I hope to do it someday, to thank them for the enormous support they have given throughout this time.”
“Honda Racing and Montesa-Honda gave me a bike to participate in the world championship when I was 16 years old and, since then, I am proud to have battled with this team right through to the very end.”
Fujinami further states that he would still like to be involved in the sport in some way, however, he’s confident that “everything will go well” in his new life.
Sources: Honda , Honda Racing, Motociclismo.es