Mika Ahola Set for E3 Challenge

_____Honda Racing News Release
Date: 22/03/2011_

Honda's reigning World Enduro E2 Champion Mika Ahola is preparing for what could be the biggest and most challenging season of his career. The flying Finn is taking the step into E3 as he attempts to win the only world championship title that is missing from his impressive record.

E3 is unfamiliar territory for the 36 year-old who has been described as 'a fine wine that gets better with age'. World Champion in E1 in 2007 and 2008 and then again in E2 in 2009 and 2010, the E3 World Championship trophy is the only one still missing from the already well stacked trophy cabinet in the Ahola home.

But there is one man for certain who is standing in Ahola's way, reigning E3 World Champion David Knight. Ahola and Knight are widely regarded as two of the very best in the sport and to see them going head to head, in the same class, over the course of the season is a mouth-watering prospect!

Ahola and the Honda HM Zanardo team will be campaigning the newly developed HM CRE F480 R. The machine is based on the production CRF450R but the engine has been bored to 480cc and modified with involvement from the Italian company, Vertex.

With only two weeks to go before the start of the world championship, the stage is set and the battle is on but Ahola will have to fight as hard as he ever has before to take the spoils and the highly coveted E3 title.

Mika Ahola, Honda HM Zanardo
"I am feeling really good and having been training solidly in Spain for the last few months. We have been racing in the Italian Championship as part of our preparation; the last round was tough but a good challenge ahead of the season start. We have a few more tests to do with the bike but everything is progressing well and I am looking forward to get going in Spain. Moving into E3 is for sure a big challenge, David (Knight) is the man to beat but I am certainly up for the challenge ahead!"

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