Continued Podium Success for Husqvarna at GP of Spain

Fresh from their successes at the opening round of the ’09 World Enduro Championship the CH Racing Husqvarna team travelled to Igualada, close to Barcelona, this past weekend for the GP of Spain where team riders Antoine Meo, Bartosz Oblucki, and Seb Guillaume all continued their good form and once again finished on the podium. With conditions unexpectedly wet during the second round of the WEC series the event proved to be a demanding one for all competitors. With the exception of Bartosz Oblucki who frustratingly derailed his chain early on day two, all CH Racing Husqvarna team riders finished the event without problems.

Frenchman Antoine Meo delivered the team’s best result finishing on the podium on both days in the Enduro 1 class. Agonisingly close to claiming his first WEC victory of the new season on day one Antoine claimed an eventual third place. Winning the opening extreme test before going on to perform well throughout the day, in trying to claim victory the former GP motocross racer made one or two costly mistakes. Nevertheless Meo finished just 23 seconds behind eventual winner Mika Ahola.

Day two saw Antoine claim third once again. With Italian rider Simone Albergoni topping the class Antoine placed just 14 seconds behind defending E1 world champion Mika Ahola having again made costly mistakes, including a big crash on the enduro test. Were it not for his mistakes Antoine would certainly have finished higher but third on both days were extremely encouraging performances. Competing alongside Meo in the E1 class aboard Husqvarna’s TE250 was Marc Bourgeois. Placing 10th on day one the young Frenchman improved to eight in class on Sunday following a determined day’s riding.

Matching Meo’s day one result of third in class Bartosz Oblucki was another CH Racing Husqvarna rider who enjoyed the GP of Spain. Confident of a good result after his strong performances at the opening round of the championship in Portugal, Bartosz performed well throughout the opening day’s competition. In contention for a podium result right from the start of the day Bartosz eventually paced just 14 seconds behind runner-up Cristobal Guerrero.

Frustratingly for Oblucki day two didn’t go as planned. With heavy overnight rain making each of the event’s special tests incredibly slippery, the Pole hoped that he would be able to improve his result. During the enduro test on lap one Bartosz derailed his chain, which put an end to a second podium result. Riding well throughout the day Oblucki placed eighth. WEC newcomer, CH Racing Husqvarna team rider Matti Seistola, enjoyed a successful GP of Spain claiming a well deserved seventh in the E2 class on day one before placing 12th in class on day two.

For the CH Racing Husqvarna team’s Enduro 3 class rider Seb Guillaume the GP of Spain started in the worst possible way as a fall during Friday night’s Super test resulted in the Frenchman injuring his wrist. Also dropping some 20 seconds behind his E3 class rivals before the start of the first day’s competition, Guillaume was forced to fight his way back into contention for a podium result. Steadily improving his speed and winning three of the day’s special tests Seb managed to position himself close to the top of the class and amazingly came close to winning the day. After close to 40 minutes of special tests Seb finished just two-and-a-half seconds behind winner Ivan Cervantes.

Day two wasn’t to be Seb’s day. Hoping for a second top three result he was unable to get up to speed as quickly as the three riders that finished ahead of him. Ninth in class at the end of the opening lap and suffering with his injured wrist Seb’s hard work saw him place fourth at the end of the day.

Antoine Meo – Enduro 1: “Of course I’m pleased that I finished on the podium on both days, but like always I’m trying to win. I was really close to winning on day one but I made a stupid mistake in the extreme test. Also on day two I was close to Mika Ahola and fighting for the second position and I made some mistakes. My speed has been good in all of the tests but I need to remove the mistakes from my riding if I am to have a good chance of winning. I’m happy with my speed. It wasn’t as hard a race as Portugal, but it was tough because of the mud. I was too aggressive in the morning of both days. But I am pleased with finishing third on both days.”

Bartosz Oblucki – Enduro 2: “It was great to be on the podium again on day one. I had a good day and didn’t make any major mistakes so everything went well. I felt good and having finished on the podium in Portugal it was good to be inside the top three again in different conditions. I knew that day two would be difficult because of the rain, but I also knew it was a good chance to improve my result from day one. The first extreme test went well but then my chain came off on the enduro test and I lost two minutes. There was no way I could finish on the podium after that, which was disappointing.”

Seb Guillaume – Enduro 3: “Considering the way the event started for me I am pleased with the way it finished with a second and fourth result. I crashed on the Friday night Super test, in the stones, and I injured my wrist. I lost 20 seconds to the fastest riders in the E3 class. It was difficult during the start of day one because of my wrist. Things got better and better as the day progressed and finally I managed to place second, which was great after a tough day. I had to take a lot of painkillers but I got through the day with a good result. Day two was hard for me. My wrist was painful and I felt tired in the morning. My first extreme test wasn’t great but slowly I managed to work my way forward. I was ninth on the first lap so although I’m disappointed that I didn’t get on the podium like I did on day one I’m pleased I was able to improve my result.”

2009 World Enduro Championship
Grand Prix of Spain – Day 1

Enduro 1 class
1. Mika Ahola (Honda) 38:28.75; 2. Simone Albergoni (KTM) 38:37.18; 3. Antoine Meo (CH Racing Husqvarna) 38:52.01; 4. Thomas Oldrati (KTM) 38:53.05; 5. Fabien Planet (KTM) 39:00.72; 6. Eero Remes (KTM) 39:01.18; 7. Marc Germain (Yamaha) 39:20.74; 8. Julien Gauthier (Honda) 39:49.42; 9. Xavier Galindo (KTM) 40:01.92; 10. Nicolas Paganon (Kawasaki) 40:25.26; 14. Marc Bourgeois (CH Racing Husqvarna) 41:40.30
Enduro 2 class
1. Johnny Aubert (KTM) 38:23.72; 2. Cristobal Guerrero (Yamaha) 39:01.47; 3. Bartosz Oblucki (CH Racing Husqvarna) 39:15.07; 4. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 39:27.45; 5. Oscar Balletti (Honda) 39:37.63; 6. Rodrig Thain (TM) 39:46.81; 7. Matti Seistola (CH Racing Husqvarna) 39:54.52; 8. Alessandro Belometti (KTM) 39:59.09; 9. Juha Salminen (BMW) 39:59.12; 10. Luca Cherubini (TM) 39:59.83
Enduro 3 Class
1. Ivan Cervantes (KTM) 38:40.52; 2. Sebastien Guillaume (CH Racing Husqvarna) 38:42.91; 3. Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas) 38:44.00; 4. Alessandro Botturi (KTM) 39:34.32; 5. Samuli Aro (KTM) 39:34.66; 6. David Knight (BMW) 39:43.62; 7. Marcus Kehr (KTM) 39:48.23; 8. Fabio Mossini (Honda) 39:49.90; 9. Bjorne Carlsson (Husaberg) 40:26.59; 10. Marko Tarkkala (BMW) 40:27.60
2009 World Enduro Championship
Grand Prix of Spain – Day 2

Enduro 1 class
1. Simone Albergoni (KTM) 50:04.91; 2. Mika Ahola (Honda) 50:22.34; 3. Antoine Meo (CH Racing Husqvarna) 50:36.56; 4. Eero Remes (KTM) 51:02.86; 5. Thomas Oldrati (KTM) 51:19.93; 6. Marc Germain (Yamaha) 51:37.18; 7. Fabien Planet (KTM) 52:19.32; 8. Marc Bourgeois (Husqvarna) 52:45.19; 9. Julien Gauthier (Honda) 53:11.94; 10. Xavier Galindo (KTM) 54:02.30
Enduro 2 class
1. Johnny Aubert (KTM) 48:40.02; 2. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 50:41.06; 3. Rodrig Thain (TM) 51:01.88; 4. Alessandro Belometti (KTM) 51:12.51; 5. Juha Salminen (BMW) 51:35.17; 6. Simo Kirssi (BMW) 52:20.61; 7. Cristobal Guerrero (Yamaha) 52:27.37; 8. Oscar Balletti (Honda) 52:29.37; 9. Bartosz Oblucki (CH Racing Husqvarna) 52:47.09; 10. Valtteri Salonen (Husaberg) 52:51.59; 12. Matti Seistola (CH Racing Husqvarna) 54:18.69
Enduro 3 Class
1. Ivan Cervantes (KTM) 50:27.01; 2. Samuli Aro (KTM) 50:55.02; 3. Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas) 50:55.77; 4. Sebastien Guillaume (CH Racing Husqvarna) 51:36.64; 5. Marcus Kehr (KTM) 51:50.39; 6. David Knight (BMW) 52:29.09; 7. Alessandro Botturi (KTM) 54:27.37; 8. Marko Tarkkala (BMW) 54:46.12. 9. Fabio Mossini (Honda) 55:39.74; 10. Mark Wassink (KTM) 56:53.88
Enduro Junior class
1. Oriol Mena (Husaberg) 52:08.49; 2. Benoit Fortunato (Yamaha) 52:50.01; 3. Victor Guerrero (Yamaha) 53:37.69; 4. Jeremy Joly (Honda) 54:03.30; 5. Antoine Basset (Husqvarna) 54:59.54; 6. Jonathon Manzi (CH Racing Husqvarna) 55:27.18; 7. Philip McLaughlin (TM) 55:27.18; 8. Romain Dumontier (Husqvarna) 55:27.35; 9. Elie Vecchi (Gas Gas) 55:48.36; 10. Pierre Pallut (Husqvarna) 56:41.22