BMW Make Encouraging Start To '08 WEC Series In Sweden - Dirt Rider Magazine

Seven-time World Enduro Champion Anders Eriksson got the BMW Motorrad Motorsport team'sparticipation in the '08 WEC series off to an extremely promising start at the GP of Sweden as thenewly signed team rider claimed two fourth place finishes in the competitive Enduro 3 class.Painstakingly close to finishing on the podium on day two having held the runner-up position formuch of the day, Eriksson eventually matched his day one result of fourth after falling during thevery last special test of the event. Despite his obvious frustration BMW nevertheless showed thatthey are ready to challenge for podium positions in what is their first full season in the WEC.Entering four riders into three classes in Sweden - Finn Simo Kirssi and Belgian Jeff Goblet inEnduro 2, Swede Anders Eriksson in Enduro 3 and German Bert Meyer in Enduro Junior, theopening round of the '08 WEC series was an important event for the BMW Motorrad Motorsportteam for several reasons. Having participated inselected rounds of the '07 series to further thedevelopment of the new 450cc sports enduro bike,in Sweden the emphasis was on competition. Withseven-time world champion Anders Erikssonleading the team's assault, the first round of theeight-event championship ended encouraginglywith the team's enduro newcomer Simo Kirssiplacing eighth on day two.But it was Eriksson, competing aboard a 480ccmachine in the Enduro 3 class, that showed thatBMW are more than ready to start challenging forpodium results this season. Hopeful of a top threeresult at his home round of the worldchampionship, Anders performed well on day onebut was unable to match the pace of the threeriders that eventually finished ahead of him. On daytwo it was a very different story. Fifth on theopening motocross test Eriksson then upped hispace and placed second in class on the long andtechnical enduro test. Backing that up with anotherimpressive time on the second enduro test, Andersheld the runner-up position as the day neared itsclose. On the final test of the event Anders saw his good work undone as a fall cost him eightseconds and with it his hopes of claiming BMW's first WEC podium result were ended.For Enduro 2 class riders Simo Kirssi and Jeff Goblet the GP of Sweden proved to be a challengingone. On day one Kirssi's bike failed to start, but with a new battery fitted the enduro newcomergained valuable experience ahead of day two. Riding a four-stroke in winter conditions for the firsttime Goblet placed 15th having seen his day spoiled by too many crashes. On day two Kirssiovercame a slow start to finish inside the top 10 on all but two special tests in the E2 class.Performing at his best on the enduro test the Finn claimed a well-deserved top 10 points scoringresult with eighth in class. Fast, but making a few too many mistakes as he did on day one, Gobletfinished 17th but having enjoyed himself in Sweden.In the Enduro Junior class Bert Meyer just missed out on scoring world championship points on dayone finishing 21st out of 36 finishers but placed 17th on day two. Part of the reason Meyer failed tobreak into the top 20 of the EJ class on day one was because he unselfishly stopped to help aninjured rider who had crashed ahead of him.Simo Kirssi - Enduro 2 class: "I really enjoyed my first World Enduro Championship race. We hadsome problems on day one as my bike didn't start in the morning but it was just a simple problem,which we fixed easily. Problems like that can happen in motorsport. I knew that I wouldn't be able toscore any points on day one, because I had to fit the new battery, but I rode anyway for most of theday to get some experience. I was pretty pleased with the way it went.""The second day went well. My bike was really good and I finished eighth, which for my first WECrace I'm pleased with. I made some mistakes, like most riders did, I got stuck behind some riders ona few tests, but yeah it was ok. The enduro test was difficult. It looked like it would be fast but it gotreally rough. I learned a lot about enduro from the weekend so lets see how things go in Portugaland Spain now."Jeff Goblet - Enduro 2 class: "It's been a good weekend for me in terms of what I've learned aboutracing a four-stroke in the snow, but not great in terms of my results. My main problem was that Icouldn't stop my eyes from watering, which meant that I couldn't see properly. It was a reallystrange problem. I was riding quite well but I made too many crashes, which spoiled my results. Iknow that my speed in the tests wasn't too bad in many sections but I always had some smallmistakes, which cost me a lot of time. If I can remove the mistakes I know I can get much betterresults because my bike is really good."Anders Eriksson - Enduro 3 class: "The first day was difficult because at the start I had to dosome work on my bike. A few people thought I'd received outside assistance, which I hadn't. Therewas talk that I might get disqualified, which effected my concentration a little. As things turned out Ihad done nothing wrong and I finished fourth, which I was quite pleased with. I wanted to be closerto the podium but it was a good start to the season."Day two didn't start that well as I was fifth on the first test, but things got better. Coming into thelast test I was second in class, but then I fell on the last test and dropped to fourth. I can't tell youhow disappointed I am. Not just because I made a stupid mistake, crashed and wasted a great resultbut because I should have given BMW their first WEC podium result."Wolfgang Fischer - BMW Motorrad Motorsport Team Manager: "It's been a good weekendbecause BMW showed that we are able to fight for podium positions. Anders was second going intothe final test on day two but crashed and dropped to fourth, which was disappointing. Neverthelessit shows that both he and the bike are performing well. Also Simo, Jeff and Bert learned a lot. It wasSimo's first ever WEC race, and only his second enduro, and he put in some strong test times. Weare all looking forward to the next two rounds of the championship so that we can continue to movethings forward in the right direction."Results Grand Prix of Sweden - Day 1****Enduro 2 class
1. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 1.01:10.08; 2. Jonny Aubert (Yamaha) 1.01:38.63; 3. JuhaSalminen (KTM) 1.01:50.26; 4. Valtteri Salonen (Husaberg) 1.01:55.44; 5. Antoine Meo (Husqvarna)1.01:56.22; 6. Rodrig Thain (TM) 1.04:47.20; 7. Alessandro Belometti (KTM) 1.04:47.20; 8. FritzAndersson (KTM) 1.05:19.95; 9. Fabrizio Dini (Yamaha) 1.06:00.97; 10. Daniel Persson (Husaberg)1.06:04.94; 11. Alessandro Zanni (Honda) 1.06:32.62; 12. Nicolas Deparrois (Gas Gas) 1.06:33.02;13. Torbjorn Back (Honda) 1.06:46.90; 14. Olle Lothman (KTM) 1.06:49.91; 15. Jean FrancoisGoblet (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 1.06:56.87; 16. Fabio Mossini (HM-Honda) 1.07:35.47; 17.Freddy Blanc (Suzuki) 1.07:53.73; 18. Rudy Cotton (HM-Honda) 1.07:58.68; 19. Aaron Bernandez(Husqvarna) 1.08:08.018; 20. Antti Lehtonen (KTM) 1.08:15.06Enduro 3 class
1. Samuli Aro (KTM) 1.01:23.92; 2. Marko Tarkkala (KTM) 1.01:33.85; 3. Bjorne Carlsson(Husaberg) 1.02:11.94; 4. Anders Eriksson (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 01.03:05.16; 5. SebastienGuillaume (Husqvarna) 1.04:00.30; 6. Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas) 1.04:57.97; 7. Marcus Kehr(KTM) 1.05:40.31; 8. Alessandro Botturi (Honda) 1.06:36.16; 9. Stefan Svitko (KTM) 1.06:52.58; 10.Daniel Johansson (Gas Gas) 1.06:59.24; 11. Xavier Galindo (KTM) 1.07:04.28; 12. Patrik Stahl(Husqvarna) 1.07:31.78; 13. Stefan Merriman (Aprilia) 1.08:36.15; 14. Ervin Plekkenpol (Honda); 15,Euan McConnell (TM) 1.09:08.54; 16. Jordi Figueras (KTM) 01.09:12.67; 17. Vita Kuklik (KTM)01.09:51.65; 18. Juraj Dozsa (GasGas) 1.10:36.47; 19. Juan Pedrero (Yamaha) 01.11:50.13Enduro Junior class
1. Roni Nikander (KTM) 1.03:26.23; 2. Marc Bourgeois (Husqvarna) 1.04:07.43; 3. Oskari Kantonen(KTM) 1.04:23.67; 4. Anti Hellsten (Husqvarna) 1.04:24.14; 5. Thomas Oldrati (KTM) 1.04:41.49; 6.Olli Turma (KTM) 1.05:13.57; 7. Jari Pulkkinen (Honda) 01.05:35.96; 8. Oriol Mena (KTM)01.05:39.85; 9. Ricard Wressel (Aprilia) 01.05:40.74; 10. Jens Westerlund (Honda) 1.06:10.81; 11.Robert Kvarnstrom (TM) 1.06:43.90; 12. Victor Guerrero (KTM) 01.07:08.27; 13. Michal Szuster(Yamaha) 01.07:11.84; 14. Oscar Balletti (Honda) 1.07:41.36; 15. Tomas Jansson (KTM)01.06:11.37; 16. John Christian Seljord (Honda) 1.08:17.48; 17. Martin Sundin (Husaberg)1.08:25.78; 18. Miko Mellin (KTM) 1.08:30.50; 19. Fredrik Berg (KTM) 1.08:33.01; 20. Kai Estola(KTM) 1.08:36.13; 21. Bert Meyer (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 1.08:59.07Results Grand Prix of Sweden - Day 2****Enduro 2 class
1. Juha Salminen (KTM) 49:34.02; 2. Joakim Ljunggren (KTM) 49:55.10; 3. Johnny Aubert(Yamaha) 50:04.54; 4. Valtteri Salonen (Husaberg) 50:15.31; 5. Jari Mattila (Honda) 50:18.90; 6.Antoine Meo (Husqvarna) 50:53.51; 7. Alessandro Belometti (KTM) 51:57.28; 8. Simo Kirssi (BMWMotorrad Motorsport) 52:10.95; 9. Rodrig Thain (TM) 52:23.23; 10. Fritz Andersson (KTM)52:29.92; 11. Daniel Persson (Husaberg) 53:38.44; 12. Fabrizio Dini (Yamaha) 53.:46.07; 13.Alessandro Zanni (Honda) 53:55.00; 14. Nicolas Deparrois (Gas Gas) 54:15.89; 15. Torbjorn Back(Honda) 54:40.71; 16. Ollie Lothman (KTM) 51:46.31; 17. Jean Francois Goblet (BMW MotorradMotorsport) 54:59.19; 18. Freddy Blanc (Suzuki) 55:26.38; 19. Antti Lehtonen (KTM) 57:13.11; 20.Sebastian Adielsson (Beta) 57:26.08Enduro 3 class
1. Samuli Aro (KTM) 50:01.17; 2. Marko Tarkkala (KTM) 50:38.54; 3. Bjorne Carlsson (Husaberg)50.50:95; 4. Anders Eriksson (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 50:54.89; 5. Sebastien Guillaume(Husqvarna) 51:57.01; 6. Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas) 52:18.32; 7. Alessandro Botturi (Honda)52:42.08; 8. Marcus Kehr (KTM) 53:10.17; 9. Euan McConnell (TM) 53:38.56; 10. Xavier Galindo(KTM) 54:15.38; 11. Stefan Svitko (KTM) 54:25.28; 12. Patrik Stahl (Husqvarna) 54:38.25; 13.Stefan Merriman (Aprilia) 55:34.78; 14. Daniel Johansson (Gas Gas) 56:29.25; 15. Ervin Plekkenpol(Honda) 56:33.79; 16. Juraj Dozsa (Gas Gas) 58:02.38; 17. Jordi Figueras (KTM) 1.03:4.43Enduro Junior class
1. Roni Nikander (KTM) 51:18.13; 2. Thomas Oldrati (KTM) 51:53.03; 3. Marc Bourgeois(Husqvarna) 51:33.06; 4. Oskari Kantonen (KTM) 52:13.69; 5. Anti Hellsten (Husqvarna) 53:07.40;6.Michal Szuster (Yamaha) 53:16.41; 7. Oriol Mena (KTM) 53:24.97; 8. Oscar Balletti (Honda)53:54.40; 9. Mirko Gritti (Beta) 54:05.10; 10. Tomas Jansson (KTM) 54:09.61; 11.Olli Turma (KTM)54:16.89; 12. Victor Guerrero (KTM) 54:24.53; 13. John Christian Seljord (Honda) 54:48.32; 14.Robert Kvarnstrom (TM) 54:42.78; 15. Kristoffer Jonsson (Gas Gas) 55.01.33; 16. Fredrik Berg(KTM) 55:16.79; 17. Bert Mayer (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 55:35.35; 18. Carl Svensson (KTM)56:05.22; 19. Martin Sundin (Husaberg) 56:27.86; 20.Carl Sjoo (KTM) 56:30.38