Five podiums for Husqvarna at WEC GP of Finland

_CH Racing Husqvarna Factory Enduro Team 2009
World Enduro Championship '09 - Round 4, Riihimaki, Finland, 13/14.6.2009

Despite an eight-week break between the third and fourth rounds of the '09 World Enduro Championship CH Racing Husqvarna team riders Antoine Meo, Bartosz Oblucki and Seb Guillaume delivered continued WEC success for Husqvarna at the GP of Finland. With all three riders having spent the last two months training hard ahead of the Finnish event Meo and Oblucki finished on the podium on both days in the E1 and E2 classes respectively while Guillaume came close to topping the E3 class on day one before crashing heavily on day two. Team rider Matti Seistola also performed well on day one at his home round of the championship despite a recent knee injury and claimed fourth in E2, his best ever WEC result.

Continuing to keep up the pressure on current Enduro 1 championship leader Mika Ahola TE250 mounted Antoine Meo came painstakingly close to E1 class victory on day one. Finishing less than one-second behind Ahola and in second position Meo could easily have finished comfortably ahead were it not for a costly mistake on the opening day's first timed special test. Crashing and losing 20 seconds Meo spent the entire day catching back up to his E1 class rival. Frustratingly for Meo he wasn't quite able to claim victory but proved that he certainly had the speed to challenge Ahola.

Determined to win on day two having come painstakingly close on day one, Meo again placed second to Ahola following a big crash on the penultimate special test. Looking more than capable of victory Antoine had to accept the runner-up position, but as he did on day one showed that it won't be long before he takes the top step of the podium.

Looking like he would claim two podium results at the third round of the '09 WEC series in Sardinia only to finish second and fifth in the competitive E2 class, in Finland Bartosz Oblucki claimed his first double podium finish of the season aboard his WR250. Despite not feeling as if he was riding as well as he could Bartosz maintained third place throughout the opening day and comfortably claimed the final podium spot. On day two Oblucki again placed third behind Johnny Aubert and Juha Salminen. Come the end of the second day Bart' was just 20 seconds behind second placed Salminen.

Despite a recent knee injury Matti Seistola delivered further strong results in the E2 class on day one with a fine fourth place. His best WEC result to date, Matti rode well throughout the day. Frustratingly, day two ended early for Matti as damage to his bike following a crash resulted in him losing five minutes before a fall in the last enduro test saw him withdraw from the event.

In the hunt for Enduro 3 class victory throughout the opening day's competition Seb Guillaume missed out on the top step of the podium by less than four seconds. With defending E3 world champion Samuli Aro less than half a second ahead at the end of the day, were it not for a hand full of small mistakes Seb would likely have claimed his second class win of the series, but finished third. Day two ended far from well for Seb as a heavy crash on the day's penultimate special test saw him drop to seventh in class. Despite hitting his head hard Seb managed to finish the day and continues to hold the runner-up position in the Enduro 3 world championship standings.

Finding the Finnish terrain difficult Enduro Junior class rider Jonathan Manzi finished just outside the top 10 in 11th on day one before improving to ninth on day two aboard his WR125.


Antoine Meo - Enduro 1**: "The first day certainly didn't start how I hoped it would as I crashed on the Super Test on Friday night, so I was behind before the first full day had started. Then I crashed on the very first enduro test and lost another 20 seconds. I had only one option after that - I had to push as hard as I could. Although the day started badly I was really pleased with the way I rode and the way I was able to catch back up with the riders at the front of the class. I was less than one second behind the winner at the end of the day.

"I really wanted to win the second day, especially after coming so close on day one. I was riding well all day, but then I damaged my rear brake in the final motocross test. I also had a really big crash and was that. I was really close to Mika Ahola all day until I crashed, so I am pretty happy with second again."

Bartosz Oblucki - Enduro 2: "Although I finished on the podium and didn't have any big problems I wasn't really happy with my riding on day one. I was pushing hard but I just didn't have a good feeling on the special tests. I must have been riding ok because after two laps I was third and about 30 seconds ahead of fourth. I decided to keep my position and go for third.

"On day two I was able to push from the start of the day. I was able to get into a good rhythm and although the special tests were getting really rough I was able to hold third again. It got close towards the end of the race but I went all out on the final extreme test and won the test, which kept me in third. Getting two podiums is great. I'm really looking forward to the GP of Slovakia now."

Seb Guillaume - Enduro 3: "I made quite a lot of small mistakes on the first day, but it's hard not to with the rocky terrain in Finland. Generally I was pleased with my riding although a little disappointed that there was just four seconds separating the top three riders and I finished third. I don't remember too much of the second day. I crashed really badly on the last motocross test and hit my head hard. I lost a lot of time and dropped down the results. It's disappointing because the first day went well."

2009 World Enduro Championship
Grand Prix of Finland - Day 1

Enduro 1 class
1. Mika Ahola (Honda) 1.05:01.64; 2. Antoine Meo (CH Racing Husqvarna) 1.05:02.47; 3. Eero Remes (KTM) 1.05:45.06; 4. Simone Albergoni (KTM) 1.06:27.35; 5. Thomas Oldrati (KTM) 1.07:12.99; 6. Fabien Planet (KTM) 1.07:41.36; 7. Jari Mattila (Suzuki) 1.07:43.13; 8. Julien Gauthier (Honda) 1.07:56.83; 9. Xavier Galindo (KTM) 1.09:10.42; 10. Filipe Zanol (Yamaha) 1.09:45.38

Enduro 2 class
1. Johnny Aubert (KTM) 1.04:59.09; 2. Juha Salminen (BMW) 1:06.25.45; 3. Bartosz Oblucki (CH Racing Husqvarna) 1.07:21.33; 4. Matti Seistola (CH Racing Husqvarna) 1.08:02.86; 5. Simo Kirssi (BMW) 1.08:09.34; 6. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 1.08:11.89; 7. Rodrig Than (TM) 1.08:33.94; 8. Fabrizio Dini (Beta) 1.08:35.52; 9. Hans Vogels (Yamaha) 1.08:50.35; 10. Nicolas Deparrois (Gas Gas) 1.08:56.71
Enduro 3 Class**
1. Ivan Cervantes (KTM) 1.05:52.47; 2. Samuli Aro (KTM) 1.05:52.91; 3. Sebastien Guillaume (Husqvarna) 1.05:57.28; 4. Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas) 1.06:17.83; 5. Fabio Mossini (Honda) 1.07:29.69; 6. Marko Tarkkala (BMW) 1.07:36.51; 7. Marcus Kehr (KTM) 1.08:32.21; 8. Bjorne Carlsson (Husaberg) 1.10:05.25; 9. Gordon Clarke (TM) 1.15:39.52; 10. Antti Lehtonen (KTM) 1.21:02.04

Enduro Junior class
1. Oriol Mena (Husaberg) 1.07:45.43; 2. Benoit Fortunato (Yamaha) 1.07:47.97; 3. Mirko Gritti (Beta) 1.08:43.77; 4. John Christian Seljord (Honda) 1.09:26.62; 5. Calle Sjoo (Husaberg) 1.09:52.20; 6. Vanni Cominotto (KTM) 1.10:19.41; 7. Antti Hellsten (KTM) 1.10:25.80; 8. Adrien Metge (Husqvarna) 1.10:43.75; 9. Philip Mclaughlin (TM) 1.10:50.83; 10. Victor Guerrero (Yamaha) 1.10:53.70; 11. Jonathon Manzi (CH Racing Husqvarna) 1.10:55.25

2009 World Enduro Championship
Grand Prix of Finland - Day 2

Enduro 1 class
1. Mika Ahola (Honda) 1.04:47.82; 2. Antoine Meo (CH Racing Husqvarna) 1.05:28.03; 3. Eero Remes (KTM) 1.06:08.28; 4. Thomas Oldrati (KTM) 1.06:14.38; 5. Simone Albergoni (KTM) 1.06:44.58; 6. Fabien Planet (KTM) 1.07:44.24; 7. Jari Mattila (Suzuki) 1.08:24.38; 8. Julien Gauthier (Honda) 1.09:02.02; 9. Filipe Zanol (Yamaha) 1.09:33.31; 10. Jari Pulkkinen (Honda) 1.09:34.40; 11. Marc Bourgeois (CH Racing Husqvarna) 1.10:15.49
**Enduro 2 class

1. Johnny Aubert (KTM) 1.05:01.59; 2. Juha Salminen (BMW) 1.06:21.58; 3. Bartosz Oblucki (CH Racing Husqvarna) 1.06:42.50; 4. Valtteri Salonen (Husaberg) 1.06:53.84; 5. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 1.07:10.90; 6. Simo Kirssi (BMW) 1.07:50.18; 7. Rodrig Thain (TM) 1.09:05.70; 8. Mike Hartmann (Husaberg) 1.09:15.05; 9. Fabrizio Dini (Beta) 1.09:40.58; 10. Nicolas Deparrois (Gas Gas) 1.09:47.92

Enduro 3 Class
1. Ivan Cervantes (KTM) 1.05:44.30; 2. Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas) 1:05.53.40; 3. Samuli Aro (KTM) 1.06:32.48; 4. Fabio Mossini (Honda) 1.07:54.55; 5. Marcus Kehr (HTM); 6. Marko Tarkkala (BMW) 1.08:08.94; 7. Sebastien Guillaume (CH Racing Husqvarna) 1.08:50.98; 8. Gordon Clarke (TM) 1.16:42.77; 9. Antti Lehtonon (KTM) 1.18:24.08;
Enduro Junior class**
1. Oriol Mena (Husaberg) 1.08:02.96; 2. Jeremy Joly (Honda) 1.08:20.69; 3. Mirko Gritti (Beta) 1.08:35.87; 4. Benoit Fortunato (Yamaha) 1.08:41.70; 5. Victor Guerrero (Yamaha) 1.09:11.13; 6. Calle Sjoo (Husaberg) 1.09:50.43; 7. John Christian Seljord (Honda) 1.10:45.43; 8. Adrien Metge (Husqvarna) 1.10:55.99; 9. Jonathon Manzi (CH Racing Husqvarna) 1.10:56.63; 10. Lorenzo Santolino (KTM) 1.11:37.94

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