The FIM Maxxis Enduro World Championship GP Acerbis of Italy drew to a celebratory close with both Christophe NAMBOTIN and Pela RENET crowned Enduro 1 and Enduro 2 World Champions. With Day Two in Lumezzane greeted with torrential rain and thunderstorms it was in fact both NAMBOTIN and RENET who weathered the storm best to clinch their respective titles. There was also delight for the home crowd as outgoing Enduro 2 champion Alex SALVINI (Honda) picked up his second victory of the weekend.
With the E1 and E2 titles decided there was relative drama in the Enduro 3 category. After storming his way to victory on day one, championship leader Matt PHILLIPS (AUS-KTM) was dealt a cruel blow on lap one when a piece of metal sliced his boot resulting in a broken foot. Forced out of the race, that threw open the doors for a new winner to emerge. Immediately taking the advantage, Italy’s Oscar BALLETTI (KTM) found himself with the race lead and went on to win the day. “This in an incredible result for me,” exclaimed the Italian. “It’s my first ever in the EWC – I’m so, so happy.” Joining the EWC for Lumezzane, former Enduro 3 World Champion David KNIGHT (KTM) also carded a surprise result on day two. Despite not contesting the EWC in almost 12 months – KNIGHT placed a brilliant runner-up to BALLETTI on Day Two. In a close finish to the day, France’s Jeremy JOLY (KTM) chased KNIGHT home for third. Securing his best result of the season, Italy’s Simone ALBERGONI (KTM) was fourth. Unable to capitalise on championship rival PHILLIP’s shock exit, Spain’s Ivan CERVANTES (KTM) ended his day in fifth.
With Phillips forced out of the day two proceedings Ivan Cervantes closed to within 11-points of E3 Championship leader Phillips. The Enduro World Championship does not reconvene until the weekend of September 13-14 in France thus Phillips has more than six weeks to recover before attempting to back up his 2013 Enduro Junior World Championship with this year’s E3 Title.
Matt Phillips – “I had a nice really smooth near perfect first special test and finished just over a second behind Cervantes.
“But in the second special on this uphill I had thought I cleared concrete block a enough but hit what I think was a piece of Iron attached and smashed my left foot.
“I tried to push on and had a crash in the river and had to put my foot down a few times in a very difficult trail section, I was yelling and trying to push through the pain.
“I discussed with my mechanic Cenz at the Cross section and I could see blood coming out of the hole in my boot, and wanted to tape up, continue on and finish Cross stage but an Ambulance was waiting and now I could see bone and flesh sticking out of my left boot. So I called it a day, not a good day.”
Phillips was rushed to the local Hospital and had his surgery before the days racing had completed, Doctors found several fractures and have wired and secured them back in place. He will remain in hospital for a week to ensure no infection.
Needing just a handful of points to secure the E1 title, NAMBOTIN didn’t have to fight for the victory. But determined to end his weekend on an absolute high he did exactly that. Winning all bar one of the day’s nine special tests, the Frenchman ended his day as the winner and world champion. “This is a very special moment for me,” told the newly crowned E1 champ. “Racing E1 was a big challenge for me – it was tough – but I always gave 100 per cent effort. To secure the title here in Italy is superb.” With NAMBOTIN disappearing off into the distance, Spain’s Cristobal GUERRERO added to the KTM celebrations by finishing as runner-up. Claiming his first podium result of the season – and doing so on home turf – Italy’s Thomas OLDRATI (Husqvarna) claimed a well-deserved third. Sherco’s Jeremy TARROUX (F) picked up fourth with Jaume BETRIU (S-Husqvarna) completing the top five.
In the Enduro 2 class it was Alex SALVINI (Honda) who bagged his second victory of the weekend to cap off a memorable home race. “It’s been a perfect weekend,” said SALVINI. “Conditions were tough but I kept my focus and did what I needed to do to win. Congratulations also to Pela on winning the title – he’s had a great year.” Enjoying the best ride of his career, Spain’s Lorenzo SANTOLINO (Sherco) built on his previous day’s result of third to finish second. Knowing he just needed to finish to secure the title, RENET delivered a championship-winning ride on day two to place third. “No words can describe this moment,” declared RENET. “Today was tough with the rain but I just concentrated on racing for the title. It’s my second world championship and it’s fantastic.” Delivering yet another competitive ride in his rare EWC appearance, KTM’s Taddy BLAZUSIAK (PL) took fourth with Oriol MENA (S-Beta) one place behind in fifth.
In the Enduro Junior class it was Daniel MCCANNEY’s (GB-Beta) turn to climb to the top step of the podium. Edging out his championship rival Giacomo REDONDI (I-Beta) for first, the Manxman denied REDONDI another possible home race win. With REDONDI second, France’s Loic LARRIEU (Husqvarna) made no mistakes this time around to place third. Recording a career best result, Great Britain’s Jack ROWLAND (Husqvarna) was fourth with Guido CONFORTI (I-KTM) fifth. Securing a runaway victory in the 125 Youth Cup, Italy’s Davide SORECA (Yamaha) topped the category by a massive three minutes. Matteo BRESOLIN (I-KTM) improved to take second while Chile’s Benjamin HERRERA (TM) completed the top three. Michele MARCHELLI (I-KTM) and Albin ELOWSON (SWE-Husqvarna) were fourth and fifth respectively.
The 2014 FIM Maxxis Enduro World Championship concludes with the GP AMV of France on September 13/14.
There was plenty of reason for celebration within the Bel-Ray Husqvarna Factory Racing team at the sixth and penultimate round of the FIM Enduro World Championship in Lumezzane, Italy where Pela Renet secured the 2014 Enduro 2 title.
Entering the race with a 34-point championship advantage, Renet was confident he could deliver the goods in Italy. Simply needing to twice place in front of his closest rival Johnny Aubert, the Husqvarna rider set about doing exactly that. Ending Day One in second the Frenchman put himself in a prime position to wrap up the championship on Day Two.
With torrential rain ensuring difficult conditions it was a nervous time for all. Battling the elements, the pressure was lifted when Aubert exited the race early in the day. Pushing on, Renet put in a smart and calculated performance on his FE 450 to place third and with it clinch the Enduro 2 title.
Adding to the occasion, there was further reason for Husqvarna to celebrate when Thomas Oldrati secured his first podium result of the season in the Enduro 1 category. Just missing out on a top three result on Day One, the Italian got the job done on Day Two to take third overall in front of his home crowd.
For Loic Larrieu the weekend was up and down. Picking up a time penalty on Day One, Larrieu missed out a potential runner-up result in the Enduro Junior category and finished fourth. Making amends for his loss, the Husqvarna rider rode hard in the muddy conditions to take third on day two.
Unable to repeat his winning results from Sweden, Albin Elowson placed fourth and fifth in the 125 Youth Cup.
The FIM Enduro World Championship concludes with the final round of the series in France on September 13/14.
Pela Renet: “It’s a fantastic feeling to win the E2 title. I knew the championship was possible this weekend and really wanted to get it done before France. For some reason I wasn’t riding too good. Maybe I was thinking about the title. Coming into Day Two I knew I just needed to beat Johnny Aubert to win it. Unfortunately he stopped after the first special test and that let the pressure off me a bit. But in a way it was harder because the day felt so long waiting and waiting. Finishing the final special test was a massive relief. After missing out on the championship last year it’s great to get it back. But it’s been a huge team effort from all the guys at Husqvarna – I can’t thank them enough for their support.”
Thomas Oldrati: “I always enjoy a home GP so to end it on the podium is fantastic. Day one started good but I just missed out on third by about 10 seconds. On Day Two I really wanted a top three result but in the second extreme test I made a big mistake in the uphill and thought it was lost. On the last lap I gave it everything and fought back to third. I’m very happy with this.”
Loic Larrieu: “Day One was a strange day. I got stuck on one of the time controls and got a one-minute penalty. There were two E2 riders in front stuck and I had to wait before I could get up the hill. Then I crashed again in a test and finished fourth. On Day Two I finished third. It was better but I’m unhappy. I made some mistakes in the Cross Test and in the Enduro Test I wasn’t fast enough.”