A few days after the GP Maxxis in Chile, the Maxxis FIM Enduro World Championship is now on Argentinian soil, in San Juan, after crossing the Cordillera of the Andes at an altitude of 4000 metres.
For the first time in EWC history, a Grand Prix will be taking place in Argentina. For this season, the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) entrusted MasEventos, as organizers, and the Confederación Argentina de Motociclismo Deportivo (CAMOD) with the responsibility for staging a GP event. The organizers, chaired by David ELI, are not new to sports event organization. MasEventos has regularly organised World Rally Championship (WRC) stages and also many Dakars for a good many years now.
The EWC at the foot of the Andes!
For this Grand Prix Maxxis of Argentina, MasEventos has set up a 50-kilometre track to cover 4 times a day, with two time checks. The paddock will be situated at Predio Ferial, in the heart of San Juan. The Enduro Test will take place at Rivadavia, the Cross Test at Ullum and the Xtreme Test next to the Autodromo El Zonda, where one of the time checks will be held. Friday night’s KTM Super Test will be run next to the paddock in Predio Ferial. As in Chile, the tracks, trails and special tests are expected to be very dusty, dry, rocky and challenging.
San Juan is situated in the province of the same name and in the Capital department, in the Tulum Valley, to the west of the San Juan river. This charming city at the foot of the Cordillera of the Andes has over 110 000 inhabitants and boasts a lot of tourist attractions such as the Santo Domingo convent, the Juan Victoria Auditorium (one of the most imposing concert venues in the world), its baths, and also a very nice lake in Ullum and the Ischigualasto natural park that is a UNESCO world heritage site. San Juan is only 175 kilometres South of Mendoza and 1111 kilometres from the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires. Just like Talca in Chile, San Juan is a wine-growing region.
With 145 entries, the Grand Prix Maxxis of Argentina will start at the foot of the Cordillera of the Andes on Friday, 30 March with the KTM Super Test that will take place in Predio Ferial at 19.00 hours.
Lots of action for the local crowds!
After his great debuts in Chile with his KTM 250 EXC-F, Antoine MEO (F – KTM) will be keen to confirm his two good places while trying to dominate the E1 class more and more. His compatriot Rodrig THAIN (F – HM Honda), in good form on the Chilean course, will do his utmost to stay close to the official KTM. “Surprises” Simone ALBERGONI (I – HM Honda), Marc BOURGEOIS (F – Yam) and Jeremy JOLY (F – Yam) will be trying to confirm their brilliant results of last weekend, but we are expecting more from Matti SEISTOLA (SF – HVA) and Eero REMES (SF – KTM), who were clearly distanced in Talca.
In Enduro 2, there should be a thrilling race for first place. Pierre-Alexandre RENET (F – Husaberg) and Juha SALMINEN (SF – HVA), both winners in Chile, will be trying to repeat their good performances, while Ivan CERVANTES (E – Gas Gas), first in the rankings, hopes to finally offer Gas Gas his first personal victory. The other Spaniard Cristobal GUERRERO (E – KTM) still remains one of the favourites for the title on a track that should be good for him. Alex SALVINI (I – HVA) and the astonishing Oscar BALLETTI (I – Beta) will be aiming to give the Italian colours back their lustre while Johnny AUBERT (F – KTM) must absolutely win if he is not to fall way behind in the race for the title.
In the E3 class, we can expect a tough duel between NAMBOTIN and KNIGHT. The British rider, in difficulties last weekend, now has a nice chance to get his revenge on his KTM team mates. But Christophe NAMBOTIN impressed all the observers in Talca and the triple World Champion will have to be in top form to block the man from France. Aigar LEOK (EST – TM), a surprising 2nd in the rankings, has shown that he is a force to be reckoned with. He will certainly be trying to confirm this form. Disappointing in Chile, Joakim LJUNGGREN (S – Husaberg) must absolutely react if he doesn’t want to lose his title hopes. Oriol MENA (E – Husaberg), back in good fettle (and spirits?) is a solid outsider in the big-cylinder class. At his side, the new official Beta, Marko T ARKKALA (SF) will be looking to give the Tuscany-based firm a result that will sustain its hopes.
In unbeatable form last weekend, Mathias BELLINO (F – Husaberg) is expected to confirm in the Junior class. But prospects Danny MCCANNEY (GB – Gas Gas), Victor GUERRERO (E – KTM), Alexandre QUEYREYRE (F – Yam) and also Jonathan MANZI (I –KTM) are showing more and more ambition after a promising first Grand Prix. Local lad Kevin BENAVIDES (ARG – KTM) will be one of the favourites in front of his home crowd while in the FIM Youth Cup 125cc, the duel that began last weekend between Giacomo REDONDI (I – KTM) and Benjamin HERRERA (CL – TM) should be awesome…
This Grand Prix Maxxis in Argentina is a long-awaited “first” in South America. Without a doubt, the thousands of spectators expected to turn out for the occasion will be vocal in their encouragement for the World Enduro elite in San Juan. And we can be sure that the organizers MasEventos have put all the right ingredients into the mix to offer the Enduro World a truly international stage…