Continuing to lead the world in their respective Enduro 1 and Enduro 2 championship standings Juha Salminen and Antoine Meo finished the second round of the ’11 Enduro World Championship series, the GP of Portugal held in Vale De Bravo, with much to be pleased about despite a tough two days of racing for both riders. Delivering victory to the Husqvarna CH Racing Monster Energy Team with an E1 class topping ride on day one, Salminen was his usual cool, calm, and collected self while many riders made costly mistakes on the challenging extreme test. For Meo the opening day ended with the E2 series leader finishing off the podium having failed to gel with the rough Portuguese terrain. Bouncing back on day two the ‘10 Enduro 1 World Champion claimed a hard-fought runner-up result.
Knowing that he had the beating of his Enduro 1 classmates on the GP of Portugal’s extreme test Juha Salminen remained relaxed throughout the opening day’s competition despite considerable pressure from team-mate Matti Seistola and countryman Eero Remes. Slightly off the pace on the motocross test, on the extreme test Juha was the rider to beat on all three laps ensuring he claimed his third consecutive day win of the series. Day two proved to be good but not quite as good as day one as after topping the opening enduro test Juha made several mistakes on the extreme test, which saw him fall behind countryman Remes. With three wins and one runner-up result to his credit Juha sits 15 points clear at the top of the Enduro 1 championship standings.
The GP of Portugal proved to be a mixed weekend for Matti Seistola as the hard charging Finn missed the podium by just one place on day one before disappointingly having to retire on day two. With too many mistakes on the extreme test preventing Matti from finishing higher on day one, he now sits fifth in the E1 series standings.
Juha Salminen – Enduro 1: ‘I was a kind of one test hero on day one because I was so strong on the extreme test. I felt really good on that test and although the other tests also went ok for me I was able to control my lead with good extreme tests. It was great to win again and, well, I didn’t really have any problems all day. It was a pretty straightforward day. The second day didn’t quite work out for me although I finished second, which isn’t too bad. I made too many mistakes on the extreme test and things just didn’t work out quite as well as they could have done. I knew Eero Remes would be fast because I spent a lot of time training with him before the start of the championship. He rode well and I made too many mistakes. But as far as the championship goes things have started really well and I’m very happy with everything.’
For Enduro 2 championship leader Antoine Meo day one f the GP of Portugal proved to be a tough one as he only managed t win one special test, failing to find his usual pace setting form. Not feeling at all like himself Antoine was unable to keep pace with eventual class winner Johnny Aubert but finished less than half a second behind the third placed rider. Day two saw a determined Meo produce a dramatically improved performance, despite falling twice in the enduro test on the final lap. Were it not for those mistake Antoine would have been well placed to challenge for the win. IN finishing as runner-up Meo placed eight seconds behind Aubert and now sits 10 points clear at the top of the Enduro 2 championship standings.
Although consistent throughout both days of competition Simone Albergoni endured a tough weekend placing sixth on both days.
Antoine Meo – Enduro 2: ‘I was terrible on the first day and made so many mistakes. Some times things just don’t go well for no reason, I felt like I’d never ridden a bike before at the start of the first day. I dropped a long way off the leading riders after the opening laps and then started to ride better. My biggest problem was the extreme test where I crashed a few times and just didn’t feel good. Day two started better than the first day. Johnny Aubert was really fast but I put two good laps together and things were going well. But I fell twice in the enduro test on the final lap, which lost me some time. I managed to come back and finish second and took some good championship points. Honestly, I didn’t feel on top form all weekend. We’re two races into the new championship now and I’m pleased with everything.’
For the Husqvarna CH Racing Monster Energy Team’s Enduro 3 class riders Seb Guillaume and Alex Salvini the GP of Portugal ended with both riders failing to finish one of the two days. With Guillaume placing a strong fourth on day one it was Salvini who was first to retire following a big crash on the enduro test. Thankfully not seriously injured the Italian was unable to continue but battled to a seventh place finish on day two. Day two ended shortly after it had begun to Guillaume as he also crashed on the enduro test, on lap one. Aggravating his shoulder the Frenchman was forced to retire. Seb now sits sixth in the Enduro 3 championship standings.
2011 Enduro World Championship
Grand Prix of Spain – Day 1
1. Juha Salminen (Husqvarna) 56.55:33; 2. Eero Remes (KTM) 57.01:84; 3. Rodrig Thain (Honda) 57.09:89; 4. Matti Seistola (Husqvarna) 57.22:83; 5. Thomas Oldrati (KTM) 57.32:03
1. Johnny Aubert (KTM) 55.46:01; 2. Pela Renet (Husaberg) 56.19:72; 3. Cristobal Guerrero (KTM) 56.41:61; 4. Antoine Meo (Husqvarna) 56.42:04; 5. Ivan Cervantes (Gas Gas) 57.27:62; 6. Simone Albergoni (Husqvarna) 57.48:48
1. David Knight (KTM) 56.31:93; 2. Mika Ahola (Honda) 56.36:12; 3. Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas) 56.40:40; 4. Seb Guillaume (Husqvarna) 57.47:51; 5. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 58.00:70;
1. Antti Helsten (KTM) 57.45:99; 2. Mari Roman (KTM) 58.20:91; 3. Benoit Fortunato (Yamaha) 58.23:23; 4. Jeremy Joly (Honda) 58.23:63; 5. Romain Dumontier (Yamaha) 58.24:02… 13. Giacomo Redondi (Husqvarna) 1.00:12.67
2011 Enduro World Championship
Grand Prix of Spain – Day 2
1. Eero Remes (KTM) 55.11:18; 2. Juha Salminen (Husqvarna) 55.37:55; 3. Rodrig Thain (Honda) 55.56:41; 4. Thomas Oldrati (KTM) 56.01:03; 5. Fabien Planet (Sherco) 56.21:53
1. Johnny Aubert (KTM) 54.39:62; 2. Antoine Meo (Husqvarna) 54.47:84; 3. Pela Renet (Husaberg) 54.50:46; 4. Cristobal Guerrero (KTM) 54.52:29; 5. Ivan Cervantes (Gas Gas) 55.29:51; 6. Simone Albergoni (Husqvarna) 56.19:11
1. Mika Ahola (Honda) 54.24:38; 2. David Knight (KTM) 54.41:49; 3. Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas) 54.47:18; 4. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 55.57:68; 5. Oriol Mena (Husaberg) 56.23:26
1. Antti Helsten (KTM) 56.11:98; 2. Jeremy Joly (Honda) 56.47:32; 3. Victor Guerrero (Yamaha) 56.57:45; 4. Romain Dumontier (Yamaha) 56.58:30; 5. Jonathan Manzi (KTM) 57.12:61… 13. Giacomo Redondi (Husqvarna) 58.12:95