The French continue to deliver winning results in the Maxxis FIM Enduro World Championship as Antoine MEO, Pierre-Alexandre RENET and Christophe NAMBOTIN secure victory on Day Two at the GP of Euskadi in Munitibar, Spain.
With heavy overnight rain ensuring a physical and demanding day of racing, it was once again the French that claimed victory in the Senior classes. However the day was also one to remember for exceptional results and costly retirements. Making his EWC debut, Britain’s Jordan ROSE claimed an incredible result in Enduro 2 by finishing fifth. In Enduro 1 the day ended prematurely for championship contenders Marc BOURGEOIS (F - Yamaha) and Finland’s Eero REMES (KTM). With both riders pushing for a podium result, BOURGEOIS crashed heavily on the second Enduro Test while REMES was forced to retire due to a technical fault with his bike.
France’s Christophe NAMBOTIN (KTM) continues to remain unbeatable in Enduro 3. Making short work of the slippery early morning special tests, the KTM rider quickly edged out a sizeable advantage over his nearest rivals. Again producing some of the fastest times of the day on the all-important Enduro Test, NAMBOTIN secured his sixth victory of the season.
“It’s been yet another fantastic day for me,” confirmed NAMBOTIN. “I was able to set a fast pace in the morning and open up a nice lead. From there I tried to build on it throughout the day to win.”
With NAMBOTIN setting a blistering pace out front, it was the duel behind him for second that stole most of the focus. Starting the morning in a determined fashion, Sweden’s Joakim LJUNGGREN (Husaberg) was able to hold off a challenge from Britain’s David KNIGHT (KTM) to finish as runner up. Struggling to match the pace of his rivals in the muddy conditions, KNIGHT dropped back to finish in third place. Germany’s Marcus KEHR (KTM) produced his best ride of the season so far to secure fourth while Spain’s Oriol MENA (Husaberg) finished less than 20 seconds behind KEHR to complete the top five.
Working hard to overcome a difficult start to the day, France’s Antoine MEO (KTM) once again topped the Enduro 1 standings. Crashing twice in the opening Cross Test, MEO set about working his way back to the front. Securing the fastest times on both the technical Enduro Test and the rutted Extreme Test, he took control of proceedings to claim his sixth win of the season.
“I’m so happy with my result today,” remarked MEO. “This morning I crashed in the Cross Test and it set me back. I had to work hard to overcome that and thankfully was able to win again.” Recording his best result of the season so far, Italy’s Thomas OLDRATI (KTM) was second in Enduro 1. Taking advantage of the retirement by both REMES and BOURGEOIS, the KTM rider fended off a challenge by Italy’s Simone ALBERGONI (HM Honda) to finish as runner up. ALBERGONI improved on his previous day’s result of fourth to secure his fourth podium result in 2012 with third.
Sherco’s Fabien PLANET (F) put in a strong ride to place fourth while France’s Nicolas DEPARROIS (Kawasaki) benefitted from his early morning pace to finish in fifth.
France’s Pierre-Alexandre RENET (Husaberg) rejoiced in the muddy Spanish conditions to claim his second victory of the weekend in Enduro 2. Engaged in a fierce battle with Spain’s Cristobal GUERRERO (KTM), RENET was able to hold off the advances of the KTM rider to capture his third victory of the season and with it the championship lead in Enduro 2.
“The conditions suited me perfectly this weekend,” commented RENET. “I felt very comfortable on the bike in the muddy ruts and could maintain a strong pace. It was a good battle with GUERRERO for victory and I’m happy to have won.”
Keen to impress at his home Grand Prix, GUERRERO held a slender lead after the second Extreme Test. Making a costly crash on the final Enduro Test, he eventually had to settle for second place. Finland’s Juha SALMINEN (Husqvarna) delivered a better result on day two to finish in third. France’s Johnny AUBERT (KTM) recovered from a poor start to his morning to finish fourth. Recording one of the standout performances of the day, Britain’s Jordan ROSE (TM) placed fifth in his debut race in the EWC.
In Enduro Junior France’s Mathias BELLINO (Husaberg) claimed a double victory at the GP of Euskadi. Facing a stiffer challenge from his class competitors, his winning margin was much tighter on Day Two. Battling back from a crash on the second Extreme Test, Italy’s Jonathan MANZI (KTM) pipped Britain’s Danny MCCANNEY (GAS GAS) by one-second to secure the runner up position. MCCANNEY returned to the podium for the third time this season to finish in third.
Hampered by his 10-second morning penalty, Britain’s Alex ROCKWELL (Husaberg) ended his day fourth while Argentina’s Kevin BENAVIDES (KTM) completed the top five. Italy’s Giacomo REDONDI (KTM) recorded a comfortable win in the Enduro Youth Cup with Matteo BRESOLIN (I - Husaberg) finishing second with Guido CONFORTI (I - Yamaha) in third.
In the Womens Cup Spain’s Laia SANZ (Gas Gas) produced yet another winning performance. Taking a clear victory on day two, the multiple trials world champion has made the perfect start to the season in her bid to win this year’s world title. Again France’s Ludivine PUY (Gas Gas) finished in second while Blandine DUFRENE (F – Husaberg) completed the top three.
The Maxxis FIM Enduro World Championship continues next weekend with the GP Polisport of Portugal in Torres Vedras on May 12/13.