Meo Wins Day One at GP Polisport of Portugal

Tough conditions ensure non-stop race action on day one at the FIM Maxxis Enduro World Championship GP Polisport of Portugal in Vale de Cambra. With the tough and technical Portuguese terrain challenging the world’s best enduro riders to their limits, it was Christophe NAMBOTIN (KTM) that won the Enduro 1 category. Antoine MEO (KTM) edged out Pela RENET (Husqvarna) to claim victory in Enduro 2 while Ivan CERVANTES (KTM) led home the highly competitive Enduro 3 class.

Continuing their duel at the front of the Enduro 2 class, France’s Antoine MEO (KTM) and Pela RENET (Husqvarna) fought for the victory. Holding the race lead for the majority of the day, RENET lost out on his chance of winning when MEO attacked hard on the final lap to top the standings. “That was a tough day but a great battle for the victory,” told MEO. “Conditions were difficult and I had to work hard to overcome a slow start in the morning. Pela was riding very strong but luckily I just beat him on the final lap to win.” Unable to hold off the late charge from MEO, RENET was forced to settle for the runner-up result. Slowly recovering from his recently broken thumb, defending champion Italy’s Alex SALVINI (Honda) beat Beta’s Johnny AUBERT (F) to secure his first podium result of the season. With AUBERT fourth, Spain’s Oriol MENA (Beta) completed the top five.

Recording his third victory of the series, Spain’s Ivan CERVANTES (KTM) won the Enduro 3 category. Trailing early pace setters Mathias BELLINO (F-Husqvarna) and teammate Matt PHILLIPS (AUS), CERVANTES gained control of the race lead at the midway point in the day to secure a 28-second margin of victory. “On lap one both Mathias and Matt were riding very fast but once I settled in to the race my speed got better,” explained CERVANTES. “I found some nice lines and got into the lead to win.” Ensuring a KTM 1-2 on day one in Portugal, PHILLIPS finished as runner-up to CERVANTES. Despite getting his day off to a fast start, a couple of mistakes d ropped BELLINO back to third overall. Missing out on a top three result by just six tenths of a second, Finland’s Matti SEISTOLA (Sherco) was fourth. Sixteen seconds adrift of Seistola, Estonia’s Aigar LEOK (TM) took fifth.

Forced to overcome a costly mistake on the opening extreme test, France’s Christophe NAMBOTIN (KTM) fought his way back into contention to win the Enduro 1 class. Marching on to record a comfortable victory, NAMBOTIN remains the rider to beat in 2014. “Of course I’m happy to have won but I also made a lot of mistakes,” commented NAMBOTIN. “I crashed too many times on the first two laps and just wasn’t feeling comfortable. The victory is great but I need to work on a few things for day two.” Behind NAMBOTIN the battle for the remainder of the podium was fought out between Finland’s Eero REMES, Cristobal GUERRERO (S-KTM) and France’s Anthony BOISSIERE (Sherco). Beating his rivals on the final extreme test, REMES was rewarded with the runner-up result while GUERRERO narrowly finished ahead of BOISSIERE to snatch third. With the Sherco rider forced to settle for fourth, Jeremy TARROUX (F-Sherco) rounded out the top five.

Maintaining his 100 per cent winning streak in this year’s championship Britain’s Danny MCCANNEY (Beta) secured his third victory in the Enduro Junior class. Ending his day as runner-up to MCCANNEY, Italy’s Giacomo REDONDI (Beta) was second.  Visiting the podium for the first time this season, 2013 125 Youth champion Jamie MCCANNEY (GB-Husqvarna) beat Loic LARRIEU (F-Husqvarna) by three seconds to finish in third. Close behind LARRIEU, Italy’s Nicolo MORI (KTM) was fifth. In the 125 Youth class a new winner emerged with Italy’s Nicolas PELLEGRINELLI (KTM) topping the classification. France’s Jeremy MIROIR (Yamaha) delivered a solid result to take second while Chile’s Benjamin HERRERA (TM) was third.

E1 Day One Results

  1. NAMBOTIN Christophe FRA KTM
  2. REMES Eero FIN TM
  3. GUERRERO Cristobal ESP KTM
  4. BOISSIERE Anthony FRA SHERCO
  5. TARROUX Jeremy FRA SHERCO
  6. BETRIU Jaume ESP HVA
  7. MICHELUZ Maurizio ITA SUZUKI
  8. HUEBNER Edward DEU
  9. ROHMER Kévin FRA YAMAHA
  10. MORONI Rudi ITA KTM
  11. DEPARROIS Nicolas FRA HM HONDA

E2 Day One Results

  1. MEO Antoine FRA KTM
  2. RENET Pierre Alexandre FRA HVA
  3. SALVINI Alex ITA HONDA
  4. AUBERT Johnny FRA BETA
  5. MENA Oriol ESP BETA
  6. SANTOLINO Lorenzo ESP SHERCO
  7. LEWIS Jamie GBR
  8. BARRAGAN Jonathan ESP
  9. REIS Goncalo PRT
  10. DUMONTIER Romain FRA YAMAHA
  11. GRITTI Mirko ITA KTM
  12. MONNI Manuel

E3 Day One Results

  1. CERVANTES Ivan ESP KTM
  2. PHILLIPS Matthew AUS KTM
  3. BELLINO Mathias FRA HVA
  4. SEISTOLA Matti FIN SHERCO
  5. LEOK Aigar EST TM
  6. BASSET Antoine FRA GAS-GAS
  7. JOLY Jérémy FRA KTM
  8. ALBERGONI Simone ITA KTM
  9. CORREIA Luis PRT BETA
  10. BALLETTI Oscar ITA KTM
  11. ROMAN Mario ESP
  12. PHILIPPAERTS Deny ITA BETA
  13. LJUNGGREN Joakim SWE HVA
  14. EDLUND Johan SWE HVA
  15. PLANET Fabien FRA SHERCO

Meo, Cervantes and Nambotin Deliver The Goods On Day Two In Portugal

Day two of the FIM Maxxis Enduro World Championship GP Polisport of Portugal delivered yet another scorching day of race action.  Snatching victory from Pela RENET (F-Husqvarna) in the final moments, KTM’s Antoine MEO (F) took a thrilling victory in the Enduro 2 category. Ivan CERVANTES (KTM) won the Enduro 3 class to remain unbeaten so far this series while Christophe NAMBOTIN (KTM) was the runaway victor in the Enduro 1 category.

Continuing their epic battle from day one, both MEO and RENET set a stunning pace out front in the E2. Leading for the majority of the race, RENET appeared set to take the victory. But by delivering a stunning time in the final extreme test, MEO bettered his rival by four seconds to record the win. “I gave it everything I had on that final test and it worked out for me,” laughed MEO. “That was an unbelievable race with Pela – we pushed each other so hard. It’s been brilliant to win both days here in Portugal because this was such a tough race.” Despite his best efforts, RENET was unable to hold the hard charging MEO at bay and was pushed back to the ru nner-up result. In the fight for the final step of the podium Italy’s Alex SALVINI (Honda) beat Beta’s Johnny AUBERT (F) by 10 seconds to secure third. With AUBERT in fourth, Spain’s Jonathan BARRAGAN (Husqvarna) recorded his second top five result of the season with fifth.

Firmly establishing himself as the rider to beat in Enduro 3, Ivan CERVANTES (S) recorded his fourth consecutive victory. Building his advantage as the race passed the halfway point, the Spaniard claimed a healthy 17-second margin of victory. “Winning my fourth victory is incredible. I never expected this before the season started,” commented CERVANTES. “The conditions were really tough so to come away with the win is fantastic.” Behind CERVANTES, Matti SEISTOLA (FIN-Sherco), Matt PHILLIPS (AUS-KTM) and Portugal’s Luis CORREIA (Beta) fought for the final steps of the podium. Edging early leader PHILLIPS out by just over one second, SEISTOLA secured the runner-u p result. With PHILLIPS third, CORREIA frustratingly placed less than one second behind the Australian in fourth. France’s Mathias BELLINO (Husqvarna) completed the top five.

Perfect grand slam for Ivan CERVANTES
Perfect grand slam for Ivan CERVANTES

In the Enduro 1 category, the day belonged to France’s Christophe NAMBOTIN (KTM). Growing in confidence, NAMBOTIN recorded a massive 80-second win over runner-up Eero REMES (FIN-TM). “Today was much better for me,” told NAMBOTIN. “I was disappointed with how I rode yesterday and wanted to improve. It’s still only my fourth race in E1 but already things are coming good. It was nice to win by a big margin today.” Unable to respond to NAMBOTIN’s pace, REMES instead battled with Spain’s Cristobal GUERRERO (KTM) for the runner-up result. Holding off the Spaniard, REMES took second with GUERRERO third. Placing a further one-minute b ehind, France’s Anthony BOISSIERE (Sherco) was fourth with his teammate and countryman Jeremy TARROUX fifth.

For the fourth time in a row, Britain’s Danny MCCANNEY (Beta) remained the rider to beat in the Enduro Junior class. Fastest in six of the day’s 12 special tests, MCCANNEY comfortably recorded the victory. Claiming his second runner-up result of the weekend, Italy’s Giacomo REDONDI (Beta) was second with France’s Loic LARRIEU (Husqvarna) completing the top three. Unable to repeat his podium result from day one, Britain’s Jamie MCCANNEY (Husqvarna) finished fourth with Italy’s Nicolo MORI (KTM) rounding out the top five. Proving unpredictable as ever a new winner emerged in the 125 Youth Cup with Sweden’s Mikael PERSSON (KTM) taking his debut EWC victory. Ensuring a Swedish 1-2, Husqvarna’s Albin ELOWSON was second with Italy’s Davide SORECA (Yamaha) third.

E1 Day Two Results

  1. NAMBOTIN Christophe FRA KTM
  2. REMES Eero FIN TM
  3. GUERRERO Cristobal ESP KTM
  4. BOISSIERE Anthony FRA SHERCO
  5. TARROUX Jeremy FRA SHERCO
  6. BETRIU Jaume ESP HVA
  7. MICHELUZ Maurizio ITA SUZUKI
  8. MORONI Rudi ITA KTM
  9. HUEBNER Edward DEU
  10. ROHMER Kévin FRA YAMAHA

E2 Day Two Results

  1. MEO Antoine FRA KTM
  2. RENET Pierre Alexandre FRA HVA
  3. SALVINI Alex ITA HONDA
  4. AUBERT Johnny FRA BETA
  5. BARRAGAN Jonathan ESP
  6. MENA Oriol ESP BETA
  7. SANTOLINO Lorenzo ESP SHERCO
  8. LEWIS Jamie GBR
  9. MONNI Manuel ITA HVA
  10. REIS Goncalo PRT
  11. DUMONTIER Romain FRA YAMAHA

E3 Day Two Results

  1. CERVANTES Ivan ESP KTM
  2. SEISTOLA Matti FIN SHERCO
  3. PHILLIPS Matthew AUS KTM
  4. CORREIA Luis PRT BETA
  5. BELLINO Mathias FRA HVA
  6. JOLY Jérémy FRA KTM
  7. ALBERGONI Simone ITA KTM
  8. BASSET Antoine FRA GAS-GAS
  9. LEOK Aigar EST TM
  10. PHILIPPAERTS Deny ITA BETA
  11. PLANET Fabien FRA SHERCO
  12. EDLUND Johan SWE HVA
  13. BOTTREL Romulo BRA

The FIM Maxxis Enduro World Championship continues with round three in Greece on May 10/11.

Danny MCCANNEY has dominated the class during this Iberic tour
Danny MCCANNEY has dominated the class during this Iberic tour

Husqvarna Report

With his day two Enduro 2 class victory at last week’s GP of Catalunya still very much fresh in his mind, Bel-Ray Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Pela Renet was determined to deliver yet another winning result at round two of the EWC series in Portugal. Favouring the tough and rugged terrain, Renet again fought for his place at the top of the standings with close rival Antoine Meo.

On day one, Renet narrowly missed out on the victory to Meo but with a strong start to day two he looked on course for the win. Controlling the race lead throughout the morning, the Husqvarna rider steadily increased his advantage. Frustratingly mistakes on the penultimate special test reduced his advantage. With everything to play for on the final test, Renet – despite his best efforts – saw his chance of victory slip from his grasp. Nevertheless he still claimed a highly impressive E2 runner-up result.

In the highly competitive Enduro 3 category, Mathias Bellino produced another solid performance. Unlucky not to win day one, the Frenchman lost 35 seconds on the extreme test when a stricken rider blocked his path on a steep hill climb. Fighting his way to third, he hoped to make amends for his misfortune on day two. Again proving fast on both the extreme and cross tests, it was the technical enduro test that cost him time. Unable to match the pace of the leaders, Bellino reluctantly ended his day fifth overall.

Still in pain from a knee injury sustained at the GP of Catalunya, Joakim Ljunggren had a disappointing outing in Portugal. Finishing 13th on day one, despite being unable to put his foot on the ground, the Swede was forced to stop on day two.

For Enduro Junior class riders Loic Larrieu and Jamie McCanney their efforts were rewarded with a podium result each. On day one, McCanney enjoyed his first top three result by finishing in third. But with his recently broken wrist still causing problems on day two he placed fourth.

Still in pain from his Super Test crash at last weekend’s race, Larrieu delivered another heroic performance – despite his injuries. Fourth on day one, the Frenchman claimed a well-deserved third on day two.

In the 125 Youth Cup class, Swede Albin Elowson’s GP of Portugal was one of mixed results. Ninth on day one, he improved to place second on day two.

The GP of Portugal ended abruptly for Enduro 1 class rider Thomas Oldrati when he was forced to retire due to a shoulder injury on the opening lap of day one.

The FIM Enduro World Championship continues with the GP of Greece on May 10/11.

Pela Renet: “Despite getting two second place results here in Portugal I’m disappointed with myself for losing out on winning day two. With two tests to go I had a 12-second lead but mistakes on the cross test cost me some time and then Antoine set a really good time on the last extreme test to beat me. I can only blame myself – I shouldn’t have let it happen. I really want to win and will try to make up for my errors in Greece.”

Mathias Bellino: “Day one was up and down for me. I led early on but unfortunately got stuck behind a fallen rider on the extreme test and lost 35 seconds. That cost me the victory but thankfully I recovered to finish third. Day two was strange. My speed was good on both the cross test and extreme test but not on the enduro test. I was loosing too much time there. The best I could do was fifth.”

Loic Larrieu: “I’m still hurting from my crash during last weekend’s race in Catalunya so this weekend was a damage limitation exercise. Fourth on day one but third on day two is good points for the championship. I’ll take some time now to recover from my injuries and prepare for the next race in Greece.”

Jamie McCanney: “Finishing on the podium on day one in third was brilliant. I only started to ride again two weeks ago following my broken wrist so it’s good to know that my speed is returning. Day two was hard – conditions were tough – and I just didn’t have enough energy to fight for a top three result.”