Holidays are indeed finished for the best world enduro riders. The MAXXIS FIM ENDURO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP is coming back with the 6th of the 8 event of the season. On August 28/29, the stars of Enduro refund one of the great tracks of the championship, the GRAND PRIX MAXXIS OF GREECE in Serres. During last years, the track had not very changed, and riders knew each rock, and each root. So, the dynamic Motor club of LAMS decided to create a new track especially for EWC.
“In fact almost the entire track changed, explains Christos Konstantinidis, the manager of the Greek organization. We added an extreme sector and especially we wanted to improve the access to the special tests. Two of them will be located close of the city center, so the public can come there and move there more easily. Unfortunately we will not benefit of freshness in the mountains, which obliged us to make a detour of 56 kilometers. But I think that this new layout around Serres, will be rockier and more attractive for riders and the public.” More difficult also. With its many canyons and a certain riding freedom, Greek Macedonia is a place of dream for the Enduro practice. It is also one of the hottest areas of Europe. Maybe scorching, and even stifling, the heat should be the principal adversary of riders. “The weather condition is a real problem for us because the thermometer oscillates between 40 and 42°C every day, says Christos Konstantinidis. A little rain would contribute to the good organization of the event, if not, we will have to face a very dusty test. »
Specialists in hard grounds as concrete, which they trained this summer in the South of Spain, France or Italy, enjoy riding in the Greek blaze. And that is good because the Spanish Torito really wants to come back in the title competition.
Ivan CERVANTES (ESP-KTM) upset the new routine this summer by announcing his engagement with GAS GAS for 2 seasons. But before seeing the alliance 100% Spanish at the top, the four times World Champion is always engaged with KTM until the end of the season. And this Grand Prix MAXXIS of Greece will be his last chance, if he wants to reduce the gap of 21 points between the leader of the championship Mika AHOLA (SF-HM) in the Enduro 2 class.
The versatility of the Finnish with the grinta of the Spanish: this new confrontation is announced promising. The Grand Prix MAXXIS of Greece will also be marked by the coming back of Juha SALMINEN (SF-HVA). Injured at the foot and absent from the last three event, the most titled Enduro rider is in a hurry to join again with the competition with the new Husqvarna-BMW.
“I am very motivated to come back in the championship, declares Juha Salminen. I unfortunately could not return before, it was impossible for me to ride. This injury at the foot spent much more time than I hoped to be restored. I am today able to ride at 100%, even if it makes me suffer in race end. The next events will prove especially more on my competition level with the new Husqvarna with the union of BMW. Since my injury, I took part only in one event in Sweden, and everybody knows that the level is not the World one. There are finally few differences with the old BMW and after all it is not that most important. I need simply competition to know where we are. »
Antoine MEO (FRA-HVA) in Enduro 1 as David KNIGHT (GB-KTM) in Enduro 3 have an important advance on their adversaries. It will be thus interesting to see how leaders of the championship approach this Greek event without pressure.
Regarding the Junior class and its particular rule (only the 12 best results are counting), the battle between Lorenzo SANTOLINO (ESP-KTM) and Jérémy JOLY (FRA-HM) are so intense that each second will be decisive in the world title.
Nearly 20 Greek riders will join these very good world endure riders. Even if it is a private sport, the Enduro in Greece recently showed an increase in the World, and particularly since the organization of the 2008 ISDE. We will have look on the young local champion of motocross who will join the MAXXIS FIM EWC for the first time.