The first day of the GREECE MAXXIS GRAND PRIX was spent watching the rising stars of each category, however, this Sunday the Championship leaders decided to take destiny into their own hands. Starting with Antoine MEO (FRA-HVA) in the small bikes of Enduro 1. After abandoning the race the day before, the Frenchman maybe didn’t know as much as his opponents, but his physical energy was undeniable. A real asset because once again temperatures in Serres soared to over 40°C.
Johnny AUBERT (FRA-KTM) rejoined the competition as the offical Husqvarna, battled hard and did the Enduro Test justice. Faster in his second round, Meo took a small advantage and Aubert failed to catch back up. At the finish, the championship leader reassured himself with a 19.93 second advantage ahead of his rival. Eero REMES (SF-KTM) didn’t get into the rythm of the two Frenchmen in the first trials. He suffered an attack from Cristobal GUERRERO (ESP-YAM) who took the last podium place ahead of him by 69 hundreths. Next to him, Maurizio MICHELUZ (ITA-TM) was forced to retire with a nose injury.
For Ivan CERVANTES (ESP-KTM), who has never lost on Greek soil, the race did not play out well. With his teammate Thomas OLDRATI (ITA-KTM), the Spaniard took a three minute lead and was heavily penalised. It is certainly a real setback in the title race for Cervantes, who had made this race ‘Operation last chance’. The errors of the KTM riders left the red carpet to HM Honda et Mika AHOLA (SF-HM). Deprived of direct opponents, the Finns won the day and made a decisive step towards a new Enduro 2 world title.
Mika AHOLA: "I saw Ivan engage in the Enduro Test well before me, so I knew he was ahead on points. It’s the kind of mistake that I committed earlier in my career, and I imagine they will be asking themselves questions now. For my part, I simply tried to apply myself to get a good time because you never know what can happen, there are still four days of competition left in the championship. I managed to stay focused and I’m really happy with this victory. »
This second round was also an opportunity to witness the return of Juha SALMINEN (SF-HVA) to the competition. After disappearing from three championship races due to a foot injury. He provided the Husqvarna 449 a first Grand Prix podium place as he took second. Pierre-Alexandre RENET (FRA-KTM) also had a smile under his helmet. On the third day, he also returned to the E2 podium. His success MX3 World Champion, making him one of the most sought after drivers by team managers in the transfer period. Plagued with shock problems since the start of the weekend, Rodrig THAIN (FRA-TM) was forced to retire. The Frenchman is rumoured to be following Mika Ahola next season.
In the Juniors, the leader and winner of the day Lorenzo SANTOLINO (ESP-KTM) made mistakes on the second day. He fell repeatedly and damaged his handlebars. Jeremy JOLY (FRA-HM) had a quiet day leading the Junior category, but the HM Honda rider lost his concentration and points. Disillusioned, he benefited from the poor form of his rivals and fell into 6th place. The victory of the day was played out between Antti HELLSTEN (SF-KTM) and Joshua GREEN (AUS-TM) suprisingly to the benefit of the Australian who was as happy as any to get a first win in the Grand Prix.
Pictures and highlights of the GREECE MAXXIS GRAND PRIX will be shown on Eurosport 2 at 17:00 on September 9.