FIM Maxxis Enduro World Championship GP of Finland – Day One – Home Win For Remes In Finland
TM’s Eero REMES secured an important home victory on day one at round four of the FIM Maxxis Enduro World Championship GP of Finland to take the top step of the Enduro 1 podium. At the end of a tough and challenging opening day in Heinola there was also success for Pela RENET (Husqvarna) and Matt PHILLIPS (KTM) as they won their respective Enduro 2 and Enduro 3 categories. Danny MCCANNEY (Beta) returned to the top step of the Enduro Junior podium while Laia SANZ (Honda) won the Women’s Cup.
However, the biggest news from day one in Heinola was the early exit by Enduro 2 class leader Antoine MEO (KTM). Despite nursing a broken thumb entering Heinola, the Frenchman was holding onto third position until a crash on the third enduro test forced him to retire.
After his victory in the super test, KTM’s Christophe NAMBOTIN led early in the Enduro 1 classification. But an on-form Eero REMES (TM) quickly took the fight to the Frenchman. Hungry to secure a home win, REMES battled back and forth with NAMBOTIN before eventually claiming the top step of the podium. “It’s brilliant to win my home race,” told REMES. “It took a couple of tests to get going but once I found my rhythm I fought hard with Nambotin and took the victory.” Facing his toughest challenge of the series, NAMBOTIN finally conceded defeat to Remes when he crashed on the final enduro test and placed second. In the race to claim the bottom step of the podium, Spain’s Cristobal GUERRERO (KTM) steadily worked his way clear of France’s Anthony BOISSIERE (Sherco) to finish third. Italy’s Thomas OLDRATI (Husqvarna) ended his day in fifth.
In the Enduro 2 class France’s Pela RENET (Husqvarna) secured a start-to-finish victory. Intent on capitalising on MEO’s injury, RENET did exactly that and stormed ahead to record a convincing win. “It’s been a good day, I had no major problems and I’m happy to win,” commented RENET. “But it’s also disappointing to see Antoine start with an injury and then crash out. I was hoping for another good battle with him. I hope he’s ok.” Behind RENET the fight for the final two spots on the podium was played out between MEO and Italy’s Alex SALVINI (Honda) until the Frenchman crashed out. With a good cushion over the chasing Johnny AUBERT (Beta), SALVINI placed second. Benefitting from MEO’s early exited, AUBERT improved one position to take third. Delivering his best ride of the series to date, Spain’s Lorenzo SANTOLINO (Sherco) ended his day two tenths shy of a podium result in fourth while Oriol MENA (S-Beta) completed the top five.
Claiming his second victory on the bounce, Australia’s Matt PHILLIPS (KTM) led home the Enduro 3 class on day one. Highly motivated following his win last time out at the GP of Greece, PHILLIPS secured an important victory over point’s leader Ivan CERVANTES (S-KTM). “It feels to great to get another win in the bag,” smiled PHILLIPS. “I’m beginning to find my feet in this class. I felt comfortable with my speed and didn’t make any real mistakes that cost me a lot of time.” On damage limitation duty following his ankle injury from Greece, CERVANTES dug deep to stay within range of PHILLIPS. Holding off the hard charging Finn Matti SEISTOLA (Sherco), CERVANTES secured a much needed runner-up result. Unable to split the KTM duo, SEISTOLA had to settle for third. France’s Mathias BELLINO (Husqvarna) had a lonely ride for fourth while Portugal’s Luis CORREIA (Beta) recorded another top five result in fifth.
Returning to the top of the Enduro Junior rankings, Britain’s Danny MCCANNEY (Beta) claimed a confident race win on day one in Heinola. Just off the pace set by McCanney, it was France’s Loic LARRIEU (Husqvarna) who ended the day with the runner-up result. Favouring the rugged Finnish terrain, Sweden’s Oliver NELSON (KTM) recorded his debut EJ podium with third and pushed Jamie MCCANNEY (GB-Husqvarna) back to fourth. Struggling to find his winning form from Greece, Italy’s Giacomo REDONDI (Beta) rounded out the top five.
Finally claiming his first victory since the 2013 season ending GP of France, Sweden’s Albin ELOWSON (Husqvarna) placed an impressive 67 seconds clear of runner-up Davide SORECA (I-Yamaha) in the 125 Youth Cup. Finishing eight seconds behind SORECA, Italy’s Matteo BRESOLIN (KTM) was third. Sweden’s Jesper BORJESSON (Husqvarna) and Jeremy MIROIR (F-Yamaha) placed fourth and fifth.
In the Women’s category Spain’s Laia SANZ (Honda) eased her way to a commanding victory. Britain’s Jane DANIELS (Husqvarna) placed as runner-up to SANZ albeit finishing nearly two minutes behind the Spaniard. Sweden’s Emelie KARLSSON (Yamaha) capitalised on a big mistake from Jessica GARDINER (AUS-Sherco) to take third.
FIM Maxxis Enduro World Championship GP of Finland – Day One – Renet Leads The Way On Day Two In Finland
Pela RENET (Husqvarna) and Matt PHILLIPS (KTM) made it two wins from two starts with victory in their respective classes on day two at round four of the FIM Maxxis Enduro World Championship GP of Finland in Heinola. With tight racing across all classes the rugged and rocky Finnish terrain pushed the competitors of the EWC their maximum. With RENET and PHILLIPS winning the Enduro 2 and Enduro 3 categories, Christophe NAMBOTIN (KTM) returned to the top of the Enduro 1 class while Danny MCCANNEY (Beta) hung on to win the Enduro Junior classification. Laia SANZ (Honda) was best of the Women’s Cup and Albin ELOWSON (Husqvarna) led home the 125 Youth Cup for the second day in a row.
Firmly squashing Eero REME’s hopes of a double home win in Heinola, France’s Christophe NAMBOTIN (KTM) claimed the Enduro 1 class win on day two. Capitalising on a crash by REMES on the opening enduro test, NAMBOTIN took control of the race lead and was never headed. “It’s fantastic to get back on the top step of the podium,” told NAMBOTIN. “Yesterday I made too many mistakes, today was much better.” A big mistake on lap one from REMES knocked the Finn off his rhythm and handed the lead to NAMBOTIN. Unable to regroup, the TM rider was forced to settle for second place. In the fight for the final step of the podium, Spain’s Cristobal GUERRERO (KTM) held off France’s Jeremy TARROUX (Sherco) by three seconds to take third. With TARROUX fourth, France’s Anthony BOISSIERE ensured a successful end to the GP of Finland for Sherco by placing fifth.
Making it two wins from two starts in the Enduro 2 category, France’s Pela RENET took the victory on day two. But the Husqvarna rider didn’t have an easy time of things. Challenged by a highly motivated Johnny AUBERT (F), the Beta rider looked on course to take his first win of the season until a crash on the penultimate special test allowed RENET to sneak through for the win. “Johnny was riding really strong and I didn’t have an answer for him this morning,” admitted RENET. “But in the afternoon I found some more speed and clawed the time back to win. I’m really happy for this victory.” With AUBERT dropping back to second on the final lap, Italy’s Alex SALVINI (Honda) ended his day 31 seconds behind AUBERT in third. The battle for the final top five positions was a Spanish affair with Beta’s Oriol MENA holding off an attack by Jonathan BARRAGAN (Husqvarna) to take fourth. Continuing to adapt well to EWC life by recording his debut special test win, BARRAGAN finished six seconds behind MENA in fifth.
Fastest out of the traps, Australia’s Matt PHILLIPS (KTM) blitzed the first five special tests to take an early lead in the Enduro 3 classification. Opening up a 22-second cushion over Ivan CERVANTES (S-KTM) in second place, PHILLIPS controlled the race lead to secure his third consecutive victory. “I’m delighted to take three wins on the bounce,” commented PHILLIPS. “Today went better than I expected. I attacked hard from the beginning to build up a lead and then made sure I rode steady in the afternoon to win.” Despite struggling in the rocky terrain with an injured ankle, CERVANTES delivered another solid ride to finish second and kept his championship lead intact. Spurred on by topping three of the final five tests, France’s Mathias BELLINO (Husqvarna) returned to the podium with third. Matti SEISTOLA’s hopes of another podium result at his home race took a dent when he crashed on the second cross test. The Sherco rider recovered to finish fourth. Securing yet another top five result, Portugal’s Luis CORREIA (Beta) ended his race in fifth.
In the Enduro Junior class, the fight for victory went right down to the wire between Beta’s Danny MCCANNEY (GB) and Husqvarna mounted Loic LARRIEU (F). Edging out LARRIEU by just half a second, MCCANNEY secured a nail-biting win. Continuing to impress in the rugged Finnish terrain, Sweden’s Oliver NELSON (KTM) claimed three special test wins to take a well-deserved third. Italy’s Giacomo REDONDI (Beta) was fourth while Tommy SJOSTROM (SWE-Gas Gas) recorded his best result of the series with fifth. Sweden’s Albin ELOWSON (Husqvarna) continued to lead the way in the 125 Youth Cup class and claimed his second win of the weekend. Helped in part by the early retirement of championship leader Davide SORECA (I-Yamaha), Matteo BRESOLIN (I-KTM) placed second with Josep GARCIA (S-Husqvarna) recording his first ever EWC podium in third. Jesper BORJESSON (SWE-Husqvarna) and Benjamin HERRERA (CHL-TM) completed the top five.
Topping the Women’s Cup for the second day in a row, Spain’s Laia SANZ (Honda) left the GP of Finland with maximum points. Placing as runner-up to SANZ – but this time reducing the deficit to her rival – Britain’s Jane DANIELS (Husqvarna) finished just over one minute behind. Making amends for her previous day’s misfortune, Australia’s Jessica GARDINER (Sherco) claimed the final step of the podium.
The FIM Enduro World Championship continues with the GP of Sweden in Enköping on June 14/15.