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French taste of success in Sweden

Posted on August 29, 2012 at 8:30 AM



It’s another triumphant day for the French in the Maxxis Enduro World Championship as France claim victory in all classes on day two at the GP Husaberg of Sweden in Karlsborg…


Once again proving that they are the most dominant nation in the EWC, French riders, Antoine MEO (KTM), Christophe NAMBOTIN (KTM) and Mathias BELLINO (Husaberg) secure their second win of the weekend in Enduro 1,


Enduro 3 and Enduro Junior while their compatriot Pela RENET (Husaberg) wins Enduro 2. Day two in Sweden also sees another strong performance from Estonia’s Aigar LEOK (TM) as he grabs second place in Enduro 3. Italy’s Manuel MONNI (KTM), Thomas OLDRATI (KTM) and Alex SALVINI (Husqvarna) show impressive speed in the soft, sandy conditions not akin to Italy. In the Junior rankings there’s podium delight for the Isle of Man as the MCCANNEY brothers, DANNY and JAMIE, secure second and third respectively in Enduro Junior and Enduro Youth Cup.


However, while some enjoy the sweet taste of Swedish success, it also proves to be a tough day for others as the Spanish Gas Gas duo of Ivan CERVANTES and Goncalo REIS along with Beta’s Oscar BALLETTI (I) are forced to retire due to mechanical problems and injuries.


In Enduro 3, it was the familiar sight of KTM’s Christophe NAMBOTIN that topped the standings. Trailing early pace setter Aigar LEOK by seven seconds at the end of lap one, the Frenchman soon found his stride on the rough and rutted Enduro Test to gain control of the lead. Although unable to shake off the constant threat of LEOK, NAMBOTIN stayed strong to win the day. “It was a great fight for victory between Aigar and myself,” commented NAMBOTIN after securing his 11th win of the year. “I had to ride hard to beat him but it’s been an enjoyable race. With these two victories in Sweden it is possible to win the championship in Finland.” Fastest during the opening lap, LEOK was unable to match the pace set by NAMBOTIN during the final two enduro tests and settled for second place. Although hoping for a winning result at his home race, Sweden’s Joakim LJUNGGREN (Husaberg) placed a distant third behind the leading duo. Improving on his previous day’s result of tenth, Britain’s David KNIGHT (KTM) jumped six places on day two to finish fourth while Italy’s Manuel MONNI completed the top five.


KTM’s Antoine MEO remained the rider to beat in Enduro 1. Taking control of the race lead at the end of lap one, the Frenchman set a strong pace for the rest of his class to follow. Setting the fastest times in the Enduro Test, MEO was able to record a comfortable victory. “I tried to start off quickly and build up an early lead as I knew my fitness would begin to struggle during the final lap due to my summer flu. Thankfully my plan worked and I was able to win,” remarked a tired but happy MEO. Behind him Italy’s Thomas OLDRATI (KTM) continued to impress in the difficult sandy terrain to finish second in Enduro 1. Holding off a final lap push from Finland’s Eero REMES (KTM), OLDRATI placed four seco nds in front of the Finnish rider.


Fighting hard to recover from a costly crash during the opening extreme test, REMES eventually worked his way back to third thus lifting himself to second overall in the points standings. Feeling the effects of fighting for a podium result on day one, Sherco’s Fabien PLANET (F) faded back two places to finish in fourth while Spain’s Lorenzo SANTOLINO (Husqvarna) placed just 12 seconds behind the French rider to complete the top five.


Husaberg’s Pela RENET improved on his runner up result from day one to win day two. Finding some new lines on the extremely rough and demanding Enduro Test, RENET set the fastest times to secure a 22-second victory over his nearest rival Juha SALMINEN (FIN – Husqvarna). “Today was much better for me,” confirmed RENET. “On day one I didn’t have the pace to match Juha in the Enduro Test, but today I was more confident in the conditions and could push harder. This is an important win in the championship fight.” Loosing ground to his French rival, SALMINEN was forced to settle for second on day two in Finland. Although fastest in the Cross Test, he couldn’t quite close the gap to the Husaberg r ider and ended his day as runner up.


Making a return to the podium for the first time since round one in Chile, Italy’s Alex SALVINI (Husqvarna) was in top form on day two in Sweden and finished third. Placing a slender six seconds behind the Italian, Spain’s Cristobal GUERRERO (KTM) claimed fourth with KTM’s Johnny AUBERT (F) rounding out the top five.


Setting the fastest time in all but three of the day’s nine special tests, France’s Mathias BELLINO (Husaberg) continued his winning ways in Enduro Junior. Extending his advantage to 51 points over Italy’s Jonathan MANZI (KTM), BELLINO is one step closer to clinching the title at round seven of the series in Finland. Posting consistently fast special test times throughout the day, Britain’s Danny MCCANNEY (Gas Gas) placed as runner up to the French rider. Sweden’s Robert KVARNSTROM (Beta) set a blisteringly fast pace during the final lap to overhaul MANZI and claim the final step of the Enduro Junior podium with third place. With MANZI fourth, Italy’s Rudy MORONI (KTM) ended his day in fifth.


Setting a pace that would have seen him top the Enduro Junior classifications, the newly crowned world champion, Giacomo REDONDI (I - KTM) was the clear winner of Enduro Youth Cup on day two. Placing over two minutes behind Redondi, Sweden’s Oliver NELSON (KTM) was second, while Jamie MCCANNEY (GB - Husaberg) was third.


Categories: FIM News

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