Meo Shakes Up WEC Establishment At GP Of Sweden While Bourgeois Makes Strong Start To EJ Campaign - Dirt Rider Magazine

It didn't end up being the fairytale debut the CH Racing Husqvarna Team hoped it would be but in his first outing in the World Enduro Championship as a full-time competitor Frenchman Antoine Meo certainly made his E2 class rivals sit up and take notice of his considerable talents. Competing in his first ever WEC winter race, having never used spiked tyres in competition before, yet as the rider that won the Genoa Indoor Enduro in early February, Meo very nearly did what many people thought would be impossible as he came close to topping the E2 class on day one. Winning five of the day's special tests Meo was the E2 class leader as he went into the final test but disappointingly saw his hopes of a maiden win disappear following a mistake while in sight of the finish.Despite things not working out quite as he or the CH Racing Husqvarna Team hoped they would, in his first WEC event Antoine Meo definitely showed that he has what it takes to perform well in the demanding enduro world championship. Winning on both the rough and rutted enduro special test and the fast and flowing motocross test Meo performed almost faultlessly but then saw his hopes of victory ended when he landed heavily on a rock from a high-speed jump. Crashing, losing close to one-minute, and damaging his factory Husqvarna Meo ended the day in an eventual fifth position. On day two Meo was unable to perform at his best, due largely to his damaged machinery, but placed sixth having again ridden well and placed as high as third in class on the motocross test.For the CH Racing Husqvarna Team's Enduro 1 class entrant Bartosz Oblucki the GP of Sweden ended painfully as the 250cc four-stroke mounted rider crashed en route to the finish and injured ligaments in his thumb. Sent flying over the handlebars having hit a soft section of ice and snow on one of the event's two frozen lake crossings, Oblucki ended day two able to do little more than just hold on during the final test of the event. He ended up placing eighth. On day one, having placed as high as third in class on one of the seven special tests, Bartosz placed in a strong fifth. Things now look uncertain for the Polish rider ahead of the second and third rounds of the WEC series, which take place in just a couple of weeks.Anything but a fan of the cold, wet, snow covered and icy conditions of the Swedish winter enduro Seb Guillaume rounded out the opening round of the season with a solid set of results in the Enduro 3 class. Finishing a comfortable fifth on day one Seb then repeated his result on day two having closed the gap between himself and the class winner Samuli Aro. Although hoping to be regularly challenging for podium positions this season Seb was pleased to have come through the GP of Sweden without incident or accident.The CH Racing Husqvarna Team's second French rider Marc Bourgeois started his '08 Enduro Junior campaign in style placing on the podium on both days. Attacking the slippery Swedish special tests in his normal aggressive style, Bourgeois placed as runner-up and 41 seconds behind day one winner Roni Nikander and then third and less than half a second behind Italian Thomas Oldrati on day two.Bartosz Oblucki: "I'm really disappointed that I injured my thumb. I'm not sure how bad it is but I've injured my other thumb before and that put me out of action for quite a while. I crashed on the track, where it crossed the lake. I was in fourth gear, hit a deep section of water, and went over the handlebars.
"Day one went quite well. I had some good tests and some not so good tests. At the end of the day I wasn't too far behind Germain in fourth. Day two was going well, apart from one bad motocross test, and I felt good. I just rode through the last test as I wasn't able to push at all."Antoine Meo: "I am really happy with the way the race has been for me. Fifth on day one and sixth on day is a great start to the championship. The first day was going really well, right up until the last test of the day. I landed heavily on a big rock and somehow twisted my bike's frame. That dropped me to fifth in the E2 class, and made things difficult on day two. When I landed it twisted the front wheel, which did something to the chassis. I was lucky that I didn't break the engine, but unlucky that my bike was a little second hand during day two.
"I trained hard and pushed really hard to get as good a result as I could but I wasn't expecting to be fast enough to lead for most of the first day like I did. The second day was hard. The team's mechanics worked hard to try and improve the bike for me but I wasn't able to compete with Salminen, Ljunggren or Aubert. All in all it has been a good weekend, although with a little luck it could have been better."

Seb Guillaume: "Racing a four-stroke for Husqvarna for the first time was really good, but competing in the snow was difficult for me. I found the first day easier than the second day - the terrain was easier, but I didn't feel really comfortable all weekend. Finishing fifth on both days isn't a great result but with four Scandinavian riders ahead of me it isn't too bad. It was just a case of doing as well as I could here in Sweden, now I am looking forward to the real start of the WEC in Portugal and Spain."2008 World Enduro Championship
Grand Prix of Sweden - Day 1****Enduro 1 class

1. Mika Ahola (Honda) 1.00:08.11; 2. Simone Albergoni (Yamaha) 1.01:51.23; 3.Eero Remes (KTM) 1.01:53.39; 4.Marc Germain (Yamaha) 1.02:28.23; 5. Bartosz Oblucki (Husqvarna) 1.02:41.89; 6. Ivan Cervantes (KTM) 1.02:53.48; 7. Maurizio Micheluz (Yamaha) 1.02:56.76; 8. Cristobal Guerrero (Yamaha) 1.03:57.56; 9. Niklas Gustafsson (Honda) 1.04:30.77; 10. Jordan Curvalle (Suzuki) 1.05:58.63; 11. Marko Leponiemi (Kawasaki) 1.06:09.00; 12. Damien Miquel (Suzuki) 1.06:30.58; 13. Luca Cherubini (TM) 1.07:17.43; 14. Daniele Tellini (Suzuki) 1.07:26.82; 15. Mike Hartmann (KTM) 1.07:57.57; 16. Tobias Burman (KTM) 1.09:10.78; 17. Fernando Ferreida (Yamaha) 1.09:29.30; 18, David Cadek (KTM) 1.09:55.66; 19. Jakub Horak (KTM) 1.11:31.25; 20. Waclaw Skolarus (Yamaha) 1.12:53.99Enduro 2 class
1. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 1.01:10.08; 2. Jonny Aubert (Yamaha) 1.01:38.63; 3. Juha Salminen (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. Fritz Andersson (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 Francois Goblet (BMW) 1.06:56.87; 16. Fabio Mossini (Honda) 1.07:35.47; 17. Freddy Blanc (Suzuki) 1.07:53.73; 18. Rudy Cotton (HM-Honda) 1.07:58.68; 19. Aaron Bernadez (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) 01.03:05.16; 5. Sebastien Guillaume (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 (GasGas) 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 Plenkkenpol (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 (Gas Gas) 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 Wasteland (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;

2008 World Enduro Championship
Grand Prix of Sweden - Day 2****Enduro 1 class

1. Mika Ahola (Honda) 49:15.05; 2. Ivan Cervantes (KTM) 50:59.63; 3. Simone Albergoni (Yamaha) 51:18.37; 4. Eero Remes (KTM) 51:23.04; 5. Niklas Gustafsson (Honda) 51:36.33; 6. Marc Germain (Yamaha) 52:20.19; 7. Maurizio Micheluz (Yamaha) 52:29.48; 8. Bartosz Oblucki (Husqvarna) 52:45.61; 9. Cristobal Guerrero (Yamaha) 53:06.10; 10. Fredrik Georgsson (KTM) 53:12.33; 11. Marco Leponiemi (Kawasaki) 53:27.85; 12. Jordan Curvalle (Suzuki) 53:37.44; 13. Mike Hartmann (KTM) 54:33.72; 14. Luca Cherubini (TM) 55:44.87; 15. Daniele Tellini (Suzuki) 56:37.52; 16. David Cadek (KTM) 56:41.78; 17. Jakub Horak (KTM) 58:00.07; 18. Fernando Ferreida (Yamaha) 59:37.26; 19. Waclaw Skolarus (Yamaha) 1.02:49.54; 20. Eemeli Muraja (Yamaha) 1.06:12.87Enduro 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 (BMW) 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) 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) 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) 55:35.35; 18. Carl Svensson (KTM) 56:05.22; 19. Martin Sundin (Husaberg) 56:27.86; 20.Carl Sjoo (KTM) 56:30.38