Takahisa Fujinami (Repsol Honda) wasn’t the only homegrown hero in action at last weekend’s TrialGP Japan, round two of the FIM Trial World Championship. In fact, the host nation was well represented at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit with competitors in all classes.

In the premier TrialGP Women class, 43-year-old Aya Nishimura (Beta) had strong rides on both days after coming through the second Qualification session in fourth place with one of only four clean rides.

Aya – whose favourite riders include Jordi Tarres, James Dabill, Emma Bristow and Berta Abellan – has been competing for 31 years after her father introduced her to the sport and has no shortage of experience at world championship level.

The undisputed Queen of the Japanese Trial scene with three national titles to her name, she backed up her impressive performance in Qualification with a pair of ninth-placed finishes and only missed out on eighth on day two on a most-cleans tie-break with Sarah Bauer.

“I had more fun than last year but I’m not satisfied with my results,” she said. “I think I can do better. I want to go to the other rounds but there are no plans for this year.”