-- World Enduro Wraps up in France
The final day of the 2012 Maxxis FIM Enduro World Championship was one of highs and lows as the second day of the GP of France saw the crowning of Enduro 2 World Champion Pela RENET (Husaberg) and Enduro Woman’s World Champion Laia SANZ (Gas Gas). Disappointingly, the event started in the worst possible way for Enduro 1 class riders Matti SEISTOLA (Husqvarna), Lorenzo SANTOLINO (Husqvarna) and Rodrig THAIN (Honda), with all riders having had their bikes stolen from the parc ferme on Saturday night.
With Pela RENET focused on putting the finishing touches to his Enduro 2 World Championship campaign on day two of the GP of France it was Johnny AUBERT (KTM) who topped the results, just as he had on day one. Making a strong start to the day Aubert quickly built up a commanding lead, one that he maintained during the second and third laps before going on to claim his third day win of the season. Husqvarna mounted Finn Juha SALMINEN ended the day as runner-up coming out on top of a close battle with Pela RENET. In placing third Renet did more than enough to claim his first Enduro World Championship, Husaberg’s first senior class title in 14 years. Spaniard Cristobal GUERRERO placed fourth to claim second in the Enduro 2 World Championship.
Ludivine PUY (Gas Gas) claimed victory in the Enduro Woman’s class, just as she did on day one. More than one-minute ahead of her closest challenger Laia SANZ (Gas Gas), Lulu ensured her home fans had much to celebrate. But it was SANZ, who came into the GP of France leading the EW championship standings, who was crowned champion with her two runner-up results enough to claim her first Enduro World Championship title. Third on day two went to Australian Jessica GARDINER (Yamaha). Third in the EW championship was secured by France’s Audrey ROSSAT.
Christophe Nambotin claimed his 14th day win of the season in the Enduro 3 World Championship. Placing close to two minutes ahead of Joakim LJUNGGREN (Husaberg), NAMBOTIN once again proved too fast for his class rivals. Third on the final day of the championship went to TM’s Aigar LEOK. Arguably the most improved rider this season LEOK also placed third in the E3 championship with LJUNGGREN claiming the runner-up position.
In the Enduro 1 class Antoine MEO once again ruled supreme but due to the theft of the three Enduro 1 class bikes from the parc ferme during Saturday night the final day of the series didn’t count towards the final championship standings. Riding ‘just for fun’ Meo topped the class ahead of Husaberg’s Thomas OLDRATI with Fabien PLANET (Sherco) third. With MEO already crowned 2012 Enduro 1 World Champion Honda’s Rodrig THAIN secured the runner-up position ahead of Thomas OLDRATI in third.
Mathias BELLINO (Husaberg) claimed his 12th day win of 2012 in the Enduro Junior class, comfortably beating this year’s Enduro Youth champion Giacomo Redondi, who moved up into the EJ category for the GP of France. With BELLINO winning all but one of the day’s 12 special tests, the Husaberg rider brought his championship campaign to a perfect close where he was joined on the podium by REDONDI and Spain’s Victor GUERRERO (KTM). Britain’s Danny MCCANNEY, who placed second on day one, crashed out of the event but still claimed third in the EJ championship standings. Italian Jonathan MANZI, who placed 10th on day two, secured the runner-up position behind BELLINO.
Jamie MCCANNEY (Husaberg) put in another solid performance in the Enduro Youth class and for much of the second day’s competition looked as if he would claim victory as he had on day one. But despite starting the final special test with a six-second advantage over Portugal’s Luis OLIVEIRA he found himself beaten into the runner-up position by the Yamaha mounted Portuguese rider. Third went to Davide SORECA (Yamaha). In the Enduro Youth World Championship Mateo BRESOLIN (Husaberg) finished as runner-up behind REDONDI with MCCANNEY third.
-- KTM Report
The KTM Enduro Factory Team wrapped up the 2012 season in the same style as they had begun – with a raft of victories on the final weekend of racing at Brignoles in France.The team arrived with the E1 and E3 world titles already in the bag thanks to superb riding by Antoine Meo and Christophe Nambotin who rose to the occasion to deliver two more exciting rounds and victories on Saturday and Sunday in front of their loyal supporters. The only senior title left to decide was in the E2 category but with the leading KTM rider Cristobal Guerrero of Spain not fully recovered from a dislocated shoulder in the International Six Days Enduro in Germany last month, the team’s chances were narrowed.
Both Guerrero and his teammate Johnny Aubert put in an inspired joint effort to prevent the leader Pierre-Alexandre Renet from taking the title. The gap between Guerrero and Renet was narrowed to 15 points after Saturday’s round but even though Aubert took the win on Sunday, Renet finished third to Guerrero’s fourth to secure the victory.
To the excitement of the many French fans, Nambotin and Meo engaged in a personal competition on Sunday and team boss Fabio Farioli said they had been so evenly matched that before the final test there had been less than a second between them.
Aubert also had a great last round and was extremely fast on Sunday, Farioli said.“This has been a great year for us,” Farioli said. He said his riders and support staff had made a great effort to vault the factory team back into the spotlight following a season of bad luck and injuries in 2011.
Reflecting on the 2012 season, Farioli also praised the efforts of Giacomo Redondi, the young Italian rider who had a brilliant overall victory in the Youth Cup. On Sunday Redondi moved up to the EJ class and also finished second.
Enduro World Championship Rd. 16 at Brignoles France, Final Round
E1 Standings after Rd. 16
E2 Results Sunday
E2 Standings after Rd. 16
E3 Results Sunday
E3 Standings after Rd. 16
EJ Results Rd. 16
EJ Standings after Round 16
Youth Cup, Results Round 16
Youth Cup Standings after Round 16
Mika Ahola “Brave One” Trophy (awarded for skills in the Enduro test)
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