Continued WEC success for Husqvarna at GP of Slovakia

CH Racing Husqvarna Factory Enduro Team 2009
World Enduro Championship '09 - Round 5, Puchov, Slovakia, 20/21.6.2009

Husqvarna's Enduro 1 class rider Antoine Meo and Enduro 2 class competitor Bartosz Oblucki both had much to celebrate following the fifth round of the '09 World Enduro Championship, the GP of Slovakia staged in Puchov, as both riders claimed runner-up results in their respective classes. With Meo again making life difficult for defending E1 world champion Mika Ahola, Oblucki came closer than any other rider this season to beating E2 class leader Johnny Aubert on day one. Also joining the pair with a podium result was Seb Guillaume who claimed third in E3 on day two.

Although pleased to have claimed his second consecutive double runner-up result in Slovakia it was a bittersweet weekend for Meo, who came agonisingly close to beating current E1 championship leader Mika Ahola on both days. Although finishing 25 seconds behind the Finn on day one, Meo lost close to two minutes on the second extreme test when he got stuck on one of the ridiculously slippery log sections. Fighting back and winning the three final special tests were it not for his mistake he would have claimed a sizeable winning margin. On day two Meo was determined to claim victory but at the end of another hard day placed second, just three seconds behind Ahola. Antoine currently sits second in the E1 championship standings behind Mika Ahola, and ahead of Italian Simone Albergoni.

The second CH Racing Husqvarna team rider to come close to winning in Slovakia was WR250 mounted Bartosz Oblucki. Knowing that he would be able to perform well in the slippery conditions, on day one Bartosz attacked from the start of the day and topped both the first timed motocross and enduro tests. Maintaining his speed throughout the day he arrived at the final extreme test with victory within his sights. Frustratingly, several mistakes on the final special test resulted in Oblucki finishing second, just 10 seconds behind Aubert. Although a great result in itself, Bart' was disappointed he didn't win. Showing that his day one result wasn't a one-off Oblucki again pushed Aubert hard during day two and finished a close second to the E2 championship leader. Bartosz holds the runner-up position in the Enduro 2 world championship standings.

Still feeling the effects of his heavy crash during the final day's competition at the GP of Finland, Seb Guillaume was unable to perform at his best during the opening day's competition in Slovakia. In conditions where the Frenchman normally excels Seb could only manage a sixth place result. However on day two Seb bounced back and returned to the podium with a well-deserved third place finish. Seb is now fourth in the Enduro 3 world championship standings, just six points behind defending class champion Samuli Aro.

For Husqvarna's Matti Seistola and Marc Bourgeois the GP of Slovakia proved to be a disappointing event. With Seistola forced to retire on day one the Finn placed 19th in E2 on day two. Bourgeois was forced to retire on day one with a broken bone in his left hand.

Antoine Meo - Enduro 1: "I lost almost two minutes on one of the extreme tests on day one. At the end of the day Mika finished 25 seconds ahead of me. That was really disappointing. I pushed really hard after I made the mistake and rode really well, but it wasn't quite enough. I was pleased with the way I rode but not pleased that I didn't win. I made a lot of mistakes on day two and lost by just three seconds. I really wanted to win, but it didn't happen. My riding is good, my speed is good, all I need to do now is remove the small mistakes. The good thing is that I am second in the championship."

Bartosz Oblucki - Enduro 2: "It's been a great weekend, second on both days are results that I'm really pleased with. I am a little disappointed that I didn't win on day one. I really felt that I could have won, and should have won. From the start of the day I believed that I could win, but I lost about 20 seconds on each extreme test. I made a lot of big mistakes and crashes. I lost the win by 10 seconds so I felt like I gave away the win. On day two second was where I feel I should have finished. Aubert was really fast in two of the tests and took quite a lot of time from me. But I won three or four tests so I'm pleased about that."

Seb Guillaume - Enduro 3**: "It's been a really difficult event for me. On day one I wasn't really in the race. My body was fine but my head was not. I think that the crash I had on day two in Finland took a little more out of me that I realised and I just wasn't able to get myself going on day one. There seemed to be a delay between my mind and body. Day two was better. I started quite well but then made quite a lot of small mistakes, which cost me a lot of time. Third on day two is good, but I am disappointed about day one."
2009 World Enduro Championship
Grand Prix of Slovakia - Day 1**

Enduro 1 class
1. Mika Ahola (Honda) 42:50.83;** 2. Antoine Meo (CH Racing Husqvarna) 43:16.41;** 3. Simone Albergoni (KTM) 43:16.49; 4. Fabien Planet (KTM) 43:36.82; 5. Jeremy Joly (Honda) 44:02.82; 6. Thomas Oldrati (KTM) 47:30.27; 7. Felipe Zanol (Yamaha) 54:33.05; 8. Eero Remes (KTM) 55:43.12; 9. Maurizio Gerini (KTM) 1.02:26.95; 10. Jakub Horak (KTM) 1.18:01.03

Enduro 2 class
1. Johnny Aubert (KTM) 41:33.14; 2. Bartosz Oblucki (CH Racing Husqvarna) 41:43.15; 3. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 42:39.26; 4. Juha Salminen (BMW) 43:07.41; 5. Simo Kirssi (BMW) 43:22.36; 6. Cristobal Guerrero (Yamaha) 43:24.79; 7. Rodrig Thain (TM) 44:18.85; 8. Alessandro Belometti (KTM) 45:44.81; 9. Luca Cherubini (TM) 47:26.63; 10. Hans Vogels (Yamaha) 48:19.69
Enduro 3 Class**
1. Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas) 42:00.11; 2. Samuli Aro (KTM) 43:07.22; 3. Stefan Svitko (KTM) 44:10.40; 4. Marcus Kehr (KTM) 44:12.63; 5. Ivan Cervantes (KTM) 44:45.35; 6. Sebastien Guillaume (CH Racing Husqvarna) 47:36.63; 7. Zlatko Novosad (Gas Gas) 48:30.04; 8. Marko Tarkkala (BMW) 51:47.64; 9. Rudy Cotton (Beta) 56:15.74; 10. Michal Kadlecek (TM) 1.04:30.72

2009 World Enduro Championship
Grand Prix of Slovakia - Day 2

Enduro 1 class
1. Mika Ahola (Honda) 28:28.57; 2. Antoine Meo (CH Racing Husqvarna) 28:31.66; 3. Thomas Oldrati (KTM) 28:49.72; 4. Simone Albergoni (KTM) 28:49.86; 5. Julien Gauthier (Honda) 30:42.66; 6. Eero Remes (KTM) 31:07.15; 7. Felipe Zanol (Yamaha) 31:27.88; 8. Jordan Curvalle (Sherco) 32:29.06; 9. Maurizio Gerini (KTM) 33:04.09; 10. Jakub Horak (KTM) 34:55.84

Enduro 2 class
1. Johnny Aubert (KTM) 28:16.35; 2. Bartosz Oblucki (CH Racing Husqvarna) 28:38.83; 3. Juha Salminen (BMW) 29:21.21; 4. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 29:23.10; 5. Rodrig Thain (TM) 30:10.59; 6. Cristobal Guerrero (Yamaha) 30:15.77; 7. Simo Kirssi (BMW) 30:18.28; 8. Mike Hartmann (Husaberg) 30:31.82; 9. Valtteri Salonen (Husaberg) 30:39.79; 10. Fabrizio Dini (Beta) 30:59.23; 19. Matti Seistola (CH Racing Husqvarna) 36:34.30

Enduro 3 Class
1. Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas) 28:38.88; 2. Samuli Aro (KTM) 29:18.63; 3. Sebastien Guillaume (Husqvarna CH Racing) 29:25.08; 4. Marcus Kehr (KTM) 29.25.85; 5. Ivan Cervantes (KTM) 29:57.19; 6. Alessandro Botturi (KTM) 31:08.92; 7. Zlatko Novosad (Gas Gas) 31:28.31; 8. Marko Tarkkala (BMW) 32:20.77; 9. Michal Kadlecek (TM) 33:46.86; 10. Rudy Cotton (Beta) 38:43.48

Enduro Junior class
1. Oriol Mena (Husaberg) 29:44.84; 2. Mirko Gritti (Beta) 30:58.70; 3. Jeremy Joly (Honda) 31:07.37; 4. Benoit Fortunato (Yamaha) 31:31.31; 5. Victor Guerrero (Yamaha) 31:45.73; 6. Edoardo D'Ambrosio (KTM) 32:02.43; 7. Vanni Cominotto (KTM) 32:08.86; 8. Jonathon Manzi (CH Racing Husqvarna) 32:17.75; 9. Romain Dumontier (Husqvarna) 32:17.83; 10. Romain Boucardey (KTM) 32:26.98

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