After an exciting weekend of racing, Day Two brings the opening round of the 2012 Maxxis FIM Enduro World Championship to a close in Chile. In what turned out to be an unpredictable race, the series witnessed some closely fought racing as riders battled for victory under the hot Chilean sun in Talca.
With another hard day of enduro to contend with, KTM’s Antoine MEO (F) secured his second victory in Enduro 1. Pierre-Alexandre RENET (F – Husaberg) was the winner of Enduro 2 while Christophe NAMBOTIN (F – KTM) won in Enduro 3. Mathias BELLINO (F – Husaberg) also claimed victory in the Enduro Junior class, marking a French clean sweep of the top step of the podium in each of the four premier classes.
Husaberg’s Pierre-Alexandre RENET (F) put the disappointment of Day One behind him to claim an incredible victory in Enduro 2. Finishing the first Cross Test of the morning only two seconds behind the previous day’s winner Juha SALMINEN (FI – Husqvarna), RENET was clearly focused on putting in a winning performance. Winning all but the final Enduro Test, the Frenchman secured a well-deserved victory.
“Today was a much improved result over yesterday,” remarked RENET. “Yesterday I made too many mistakes but today I was able to ride strong and fast to get the win. It’s been a great end to a tough weekend’s racing.”
Chasing RENET home for second, Spain’s Ivan CERVANTES (Gas Gas) finished as runner up in the GP of Chile. Recording consistently fast special test times throughout the day, the Spaniard then set the fastest time on the final Enduro Test to finish as runner-up, 25 seconds behind Renet. A victim of numerous crashes during Day One in Chile, Italy’s Alex SALVINI (Husqvarna) recovered strongly to claim his first podium result of the year. Competing in only his second season of enduro, the 2011 Rookie of the Year ends his GP of Chile in high spirits.
Cristobal GUERRERO (E – KTM) once again rode well with another fourth place result. Looking to add another win to his tally, Day One winner, Juha SALMINEN was unable to repeat his victory and settled for fifth on the day. Completing the top six was Italy’s Oscar BALLETTI (Beta).
Yet again it was the two-time world champion Antoine MEO that led the way in Enduro 1 in Chile. Starting the morning’s opening Cross Test in top form, the Frenchman quickly set about establishing himself at the front of the field by posting the fastest special test time. Losing out on the slow and technical Enduro Test, MEO once again found his stride by the middle of the day and upped his pace to set the fastest times in the five remaining special tests. Claiming a 30-second victory over Simone ALBERGONI (I – HM Honda) in second, MEO leaves Chile with a maximum points haul.
“This has been a dream set to the championship,” confirmed a delighted MEO. “My times were good all day and I was able to push hard for the win. Hopefully I can continue these results next weekend in Argentina.”
After a disappointing tenth on Day One, HM Honda’s Albergoni delivered a flawless performance on Day Two to place second behind MEO. Performing at his best on the Enduro Test, the Italian finished 21 seconds in front of his teammate Rodrig THAIN (F – HM Honda). Following his second place result on Day One, France’s THAIN capped off an impressive weekend in Chile by earning another podium result for the HM Honda team with third on Day Two.
Behind THAIN the current Enduro Junior world champion Jeremy JOLY (F – Yamaha) made an excellent start to his season with a fourth place result. Improving on his previous day’s result, Finland’s Matti SEISTOLA (Husqvarna) finished fifth. Marc BOURGEOIS (F – Yamaha) was unable to repeat his podium result from Day One and he ended his day in sixth.
Christophe NAMBOTIN (F –KTM) continued his winning ways in Chile to record another dominant victory in Enduro 3. Fastest in all but two of the day’s eight timed special tests NAMBOTIN’S only mistakes of the day came when he crashed in the final two Cross Tests. However having built up a comfortable advantage over second place rider David KNIGHT (GB – KTM), the Frenchman still claimed a 38-second victory.
“I knew coming into Chile that if I wanted to fight for the title then I needed to win here,” said a pleased NAMBOTIN. “I’ve never won the opening round of the championship before so to come away with two victories is the best start that I could have hoped for. Hopefully I can continue to be this strong next weekend in Argentina.”
Improving on his Day One result of fourth, British rider David KNIGHT (KTM) fought back in style to finish as runner up to NAMBOTIN. Finding conditions more to his liking the KTM rider was able to maintain second position throughout the day to finish in front of TM Racing’s Aigar LEOK (EST). Continuing on from his second place finish on Day One, the former GP motocross rider is proving to be a strong contender in Enduro 3. Finishing third on Day Two, LEOK was the surprise performer in the GP of Chile.
Husaberg’s Joakim LJUNGGREN (S) just missed out on a podium result to finish in fourth, less than three seconds behind LEOK. Unable to match his podium finish on Day One, Spain’s Oriol MENA (Husaberg) ended his GP of Chile in fifth. Marko TARKKALA (FI – Beta) rounded out the top six.
Mathias BELLINO (F – Husaberg) was once again the top performer in Enduro Junior. Winning all but two of the day’s special test he finished over one-minute clear of second placed Victor GUERRERO (E – KTM). As runner-up to BELLINO on Day Two, GUERRERO ended his weekend in Chile on a high note. Behind the leading two, British rider Danny MCCANNEY (Gas Gas) continued to impress in the dry and dusty conditions of Chile with third.
Italy’s Giacomo REDONDI (KTM) claimed a convincing victory in the 125 Youth Cup. Chile’s Benjamin HERRERA (TM) finished in second while Santiago ISAZA (Col – KTM) was third.
The Maxxis FIM Enduro World Championship continues with the GP of Argentina in San Juan on March 31/April 1.