Finns Juha Salminen and Matti Seistola claim a day win each in the Enduro 1 class while Frenchman Antoine Meo finishes 2/1 in Enduro 2
Husqvarna CH Racing Monster Energy Team
Enduro World Championship 2011 – Round 3
FRANCAVILLA DE SICILIA, ITALY, 13/14/15.5.2011
As far as being a successful ‘home’ round of the Enduro World Championship things couldn’t have gone much better for the Husqvarna CH Racing Monster Energy Team at round three of the ’11 EWC series, staged in Francavilla de Sicilia on the island of Sicilia. Starting the event as leaders of both the Enduro 1 and Enduro 2 world championship classes, the team not only enjoyed continued success thanks to the efforts of championship leaders Salminen and Meo, but also saw Matti Seistola claim his first ever world championship win with E1 class victory on day two.
Dominating the Enduro 1 class on day one Salminen and Seistola claimed an impressive one-two result at the head of the class as the two riders finished comfortably ahead of third placed Eero Remes. Winning eight of the day’s 12 special tests Salminen was in a class of his own, easing his pace as the day neared its close so as to ensure he didn’t make any costly mistakes. With Seistola again showing impressive pace the two riders finished 40 seconds apart to claim a well-deserved and memorable result.
On day two it was Seistola’s turn to shine as the Finn claimed his first ever EWC victory having turned in a near faultless performance. Pushed every step of the way by countryman Remes, Matti held his nerve to record a superb maiden victory and ensure Husqvarna once again finished at the head of the Enduro 1 class. For day one winner Salminen one fall on the motocross test proved costly as he dropped behind both Seistola and Remes to finish third, some 18 seconds behind winner Seistola. With his 1/3 result Salminen strengthens his lead at the top of the Enduro 1 world championship standings, now sitting 18 points ahead of runner-up Remes. Thanks to scoring his best results so far this season Seistola now sits third in the standings.
Juha Salminen – Enduro 1: ‘It helped that the other riders in the E1 class made a lot of mistakes and I didn’t make any on the first day, but I felt really good from the start of the day. It seems like I have an advantage when the track’s new, which I think showed on the first day. Then, when the other riders have learned how to ride the tests I have to really be on the gas. I made one costly mistake on the motocross test on the second day, in the stones, and that cost me some time. Without that crash I would have had to push hard to win. But I managed to finish third so it certainly wasn’t a disaster. I’m still leading the E1 championship, which is great, so I’m really happy with everything despite finishing third on day two.’
Matti Seistola – Enduro 1: ‘It feels really, really good to get my first win. I could see at the first world championship race in Spain that I had the speed to win and now that it’s finally happened I couldn’t be happier. Winning here in Italy makes it even better as it’s the Husqvarna team’s home race. I really enjoyed the tests this weekend, I decided after the fourth test on day two that I was going to push for the win. I pushed a little too hard during the first day and crashed. I was too aggressive, but I still finished third. The second day started really well and that’s when I knew I could push more and more. I was feeling really good at about the same time Juha made his mistake, which is when I took the lead. It was clear that the win would be between myself and Eero Remes as there was only one or two seconds between us on each test. I’m just pleased it was me that got the win. It feels great.’
For Enduro 2 world championship leader Antoine Meo the GP of Italy ended with a superb 2/1 result, but was it not for several small mistakes during the opening day’s competition the Frenchman could well have enjoyed a double class win. Second on day one, just under 10 seconds behind countryman Johnny Aubert, Antoine couldn’t quite find the consistency to challenge for the day win despite most definitely having the speed to top the podium. But what Antoine wasn’t able to secure on day one he most certainly was on day two as he dominated the proceedings to finish 36 seconds ahead of Spaniard Ivan Cervantes having topped seven of the day’s special tests. Antoine’s Enduro 2 class mate Simone Albergoni placed sixth on both days. Meo now sits 19 points ahead of Cervantes at the top of the Enduro 2 world championship standings while Albergoni holds fifth.
Antoine Meo – Enduro 2: ‘Nothing really changed between the first and second day for me, I guess things just fell into place on day two. On the first day I had some problems, made a lot of mistakes, and felt quite nervous in my riding – basically I wasn’t relaxed and didn’t ride at my best. I would push a little too hard and then make a mistake, and then have to push even harder to make up for the mistakes. My times were up and down, some good, others not so good. But day two was much better. The day started well and I felt good. It feels great to win again and to take more championship points.’
In the highly competitive Enduro 3 class Seb Guillaume secured Husqvarna’s best result on day one with the Frenchman placing fifth. With little to separated Seb from Joakim Ljunggren and Marko Tarkkala a slightly off the pace final special test saw Seb drop from third, the position he’d held for much of the day, to fifth. Alex Salvini finished two positions behind Seb in seventh. Notably Salvini finished as the fastest E3 class rider during Friday night’s Super Test. A big crash on day two derailed Guillaume’s hopes of a podium finish with the experienced EWC campaigner eventually finishing ninth. Stepping up to claim his best result of the season so far, Salvini claimed a creditable fifth having been locked in battle for fourth with Finn Marko Tarkkala. Fast and consistent throughout the day Alex finished just under four seconds behind Tarkkala and more than pleased with his performance. Guillaume and Salvini are placed sixth and 10th respectively in the Enduro 3 championship standings.
Alex Salvini – Enduro 3: ‘Generally, I’m very pleased with everything. I made a few too many mistakes during the first day, and crashed many times, but I still felt like it was a good day. Things started really well because I won the Friday night Super Test, which was a bit of a surprise. But with a few too many mistakes during the first day I wasn’t able to finish higher than seventh. Things really improved for the second day and although I made a big mistake on the first extreme test I came back strong. I spent the day fighting for fourth position with Marko Tarkkala and although I finished fifth I’m happy. I was only three seconds behind him so for me that’s a great result. Finishing on the podium isn’t going to be easy but I feel like I’ve taken a big step forward this weekend and really learned a lot.’
Seb Guillaume – Enduro 3: ‘I was in third for nearly all of the first day but I didn’t have a good final special test and finished fifth, which was disappointing. I hoped that I could improve on that result during day two but I crashed on the second special test and banged my head quite hard. I was seeing stars for a little while, as well as hurting my shoulder, which meant the rest of the day was really tough. It’s certainly not what I expected from the race.’
Enduro World Championship 2011
Grand Prix of Italy – Day one
1. Juha Salminen (Husqvarna) 1.08:24.24; 2. Matti Seistola (Husqvarna) 1.09:05.93; 3. Eero Remes (KTM) 1.09:27.45; 4. Lorenzo Santolino (KTM) 1.10:02.50; 5. Fabien Planet (Sherco) 1.10:02.54
1. Johnny Aubert (KTM) 1.07:37.69; 2. Antoine Meo (Husqvarna) 1.07:47.53; 3. Ivan Cervantes (Gas Gas) 1.08:13.80; 4. Pierre-Alexandre Renet (Husaberg) 1.08:26.51; 5. Cristobal Guerrero (KTM) 1.08:30.23; 6. Simone Albergoni (Husqvarna) 1.10:47.83
1. Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas) 1.07:28.32; 2. Mika Ahola (Honda) 1.07:40.56; 3. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 1.09:15.70; 4. Marko Tarkkala (Husaberg) 1.09:17.23; 5. Seb Guillaume (Husqvarna) 1.09:17.47… 7. Alex Salvini (Husqvarna) 1.10:14.74
1. Antti Helsten (KTM) 1.09:28.11; 2. Jeremy Joly (Honda) 1.10:00.92; 3. Jonathan Manzi (KTM) 1.10:13.96; 4. Romain Dumontier (Yamaha) 1.10:53.20; 5. Victor Guerrero (Yamaha) 1.10:53.45… 10. Giacomo Redondi (Husqvarna) 1.11:43.21
Enduro World Championship 2011
Grand Prix of Italy – Day two
1. Matti Seistola (Husqvarna) 1.06:37.35; 2. Eero Remes (KTM) 1.06:40.20; 3. Juha Salminen (Husqvarna) 1.06:55.47; 4. Thomas Oldrati (KTM) 1.07:02.16; 5. Lorenzo Santolino (KTM) 1.07:40.03
1. Antoine Meo (Husqvarna) 1.05:27.57; 2. Ivan Cervantes (Gas Gas) 1.06:03.94; 3. Cristobal Guerrero (KTM) 1.06:11.09; 4. Johnny Aubert (KTM) 1.06:43.34; 5. Pierre-Alexandre Renet (Husaberg) 1.07:18.59; 6. Simone Albergoni (Husqvarna) 1.07:26.51
1. Mika Ahola (Honda) 1.04:50.29; 2. Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas) 1.05:58.17; 3. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 1.06:56.85; 4. Marko Tarkkala (Husaberg) 1.07:13.10; 5. Alex Salvini (Husqvarna) 1.07:17.06… 9. Seb Guillaume (Husqvarna) 1.08:23.56
1. Benoit Fortunato (Yamaha) 1.07:43.98; 2. Jeremy Joly (Honda) 1.07:45.05; 3. Antti Hellsten (KTM) 1.07:51.33; 4. Jonathan Manzi (KTM) 1.08:26.46; 5. Giacomo Redondi (Husqvarna) 1.08:48.65