— 2013 World Enduro Championship – E1 Class Preview
The Maxxis FIM Enduro World Championship resumes at the Grand Prix Acerbis of Chile in Talca (Maule Region) for the second consecutive year. Just two weeks before the start, here is comprehensive overview of the Enduro 1 class, which is mainly composed of 250cc 4T bikes.
The favourites – From Antoine MEO (FRA – KTM) to Juha SALMINEN (FIN – HVA) through Thomas OLDRATI (I – Husaberg) and Cristobal GUERRERO (ESP – KTM) here are the top favourites in this category:
– Antoine MEO (FRA – KTM): The Current World Champion. The French rider should be ready to face increased competition and without a doubt, MEO will be physically stronger and wants to build on his series of three consecutive titles. Undoubtedly, the KTM rider will again be the rider to beat in E1!
– Juha SALMINEN (FIN – HVA): The eight times World Champion comes from third place in the Enduro 2 class in 2012. 2011 E1 World Champion aboard the TE 250, the Finnish rider is back to a motorcycle and category that he likes and will force himself to be the main rival for MEO. At 37 years old, the ‘Flying Finn’ still has all the skill to pick up a ninth world title and add to his domination in Enduro.
– Cristobal GUERRERO (ESP – KTM): The Second Factory KTM rider, the 2005 Junior World Champion has been consistent for two years, finishing second in E2 in 2011 and 2012. GUERRERO is viewed at 29 years old, as a serious contender for the world title in his return to a category where he has excelled in the past. Having had surgery for a broken collarbone in early December, the Andalusian will not arrive in best condition for the opening round of the Championship; a serious handicap…
– Matti SEISTOLA (FIN – HVA): Juha SALMINEN’s teammate in the CH Racing team, SEISTOLA struggled in 2012 to confirm the speed and technique he displayed in 2011 despite a good end of season. Now relieved from leadership pressure, the Finn will no doubt have a word to say in the title race, in an important season for the rest of his career!
– Thomas OLDRATI (I – Husaberg): The New Husaberg rider with a great 2012 season, where he claimed a great “comeback” ending on the third step of the E1 podium. In total “renaissance” last year, the young rider from Bergamo will have to confirm everything in 2013 and could pose himself as a serious contender on the new FE 250 with confidence and improved morale.
Juha SALMINEN (SF – HVA)
Outsiders seeking revenge…
These riders could create a surprise by testing the favourites and looking for a win on some race days…
Simone ALBERGONI (I – HM Honda)
– Eero REMES (SF – TM): The Finnish rider has changed teams for this season. From KTM to TM, REMES will quickly have to adapt to his new bike in order to compete effectively with the five aforementioned drivers. But will the Finn bounce back after three seasons with KTM?
– Simone ALBERGONI (I – HM Honda): The Italian is the only racer to have challenged Antoine MEO in 2012 and continues in E1 on the HM Honda. ALBERGONI is undoubtedly talented and hopes to fight for the Top 5 … But going even higher up the steps however, seems a challenge for Simone!
– Jeremy JOLY (F – Honda): The 2011 Junior World Champion is back on a Honda. After a difficult year in 2012 as a private rider marred by injuries, JJ joins the Johansson MPE team and can therefore only focus on racing. He must focus quickly if he wants to be in the Top 5 at the end of the season…
– Jeremy TARROUX (F – Sherco): 2013 began badly for the New Sherco rider. With a shoulder injury, he has already been forced to draw a line under the South American tour. Upon his return TARROUX could do it. Though. Just like his podium in Portugal in 2012 … if the physical improvement follows!
We can’t forget them…
In the category of “small bike”, we can’t forget:
– Anthony BOISSIERE (F – Sherco): Ex-Motocross and a full season in Enduro; should be a serious contender for the Rookie of the Year!
– Marc BOURGEOIS (F – Yam) and Sebastien BOZZO (F – Sherco) who will not participate in the entire Championship, but have the potential to produce surprising bursts of speed.
– Nicolas DEPARROIS (F – Yam) An encouraging but frustrating 2012 season, but looking to rebound with the Ina TV Racing team colours.
– Maurizio MICHELUZ (I – Suzuki) who joined the Rigo Racing team and will compete on a Suzuki…
The 2013 season promises to be much more intense than 2012, when Antoine MEO flew in this category. With rivals like Juha SALMINEN, Cristobal GUERRERO, Matti SEISTOLA and Thomas OLDRATI, the Alligator will have to be at the top of his game to claim a fourth consecutive title. Juha SALMINEN will be seeking a ninth title so undoubtedly; spectators will have an opportunity to enjoy a performance year in the Enduro 1 class…
E1 Champions since 2004
2012 : MEO (KTM – France)
2011: SALMINEN (HVA – Finland)
2010: MEO (HVA – France)
2009: AHOLA (Honda – Finland)
2008: AHOLA (Honda – Finland)
2007: SALMINEN (KTM – Finland)
2006: CERVANTES (KTM – Spain)
2005: CERVANTES (KTM – Spain)
2004: MERRIMAN (Yamaha – Australia)
— KTM Enduro Season Preview – KTM Enduro Factory Team Ready to Win in 2013
The KTM Enduro Factory Team start the World Championship season in 2013 in top shape and determined to continue the form they showed last season that rewarded them with two World Titles: E1 with French rider Antoine Meo and E3 with his compatriot Christophe Nambotin.
But team boss Fabio Farioli knows that the challenge to stay on top is never easy. “2012 was an amazing season for us,” he said. “Now what we have to do to achieve success in 2013 is to work hard, use the best materials, have the best support of everybody involved and always push hard.
Meo and Guerrero in E1
The team goes into the season with five top riders in the classic Enduro World Championship disciplines. In E1, Meo and Spanish rider Cristobal Guerrero, who was Vice-World Champion in E2 last year will be riding the KTM 250 EXC 4-stroke machines and will prove tough competition both with each other and in the E1 class. Meo will be out to prove he is the undisputed king of the class after a copybook 2012 season where he took 13 victories and two second-place finishes. Guerrero will be at a slight disadvantage in the early rounds as he is still recovering from a shoulder injury that eventually needed corrective surgery. He will however be looking to pick up as many points as possible in the first races and will then challenge for the top spot on the podium.
Cervantes joins Aubert in E2
The factory team welcomes back Spanish rider Ivan Cervantes to join Frenchman and team regular Johnny Aubert in E2. Ivan returns to his familiar team after a two-season outing with a Spanish-based team and is happy to be back under the Orange brand. “Being back with KTM gives me a great feeling. For nine years I raced for them and we enjoyed many great times together.” Cervantes won four world titles and was the overall winner in the International Six Days Enduro on KTM. He will ride the KTM 350 EXC.
Teammate Johnny Aubert, also a double world title winner says he has trained hard all winter with his two coaches. “The first round of the Enduro World Championship is only a few weeks away now, and to be completely honest, I can’t wait for this new season to begin,” he said recently, indicating that he will be trying to add another crown in 2013. Johnny will be on board the KTM 450 EXC. Aubert and Cervantes are teammates and rivals and this will add another dimension to an already competitive E2 class.
Nambotin the man to beat in E3
Christophe Nambotin of France will again be the man to beat in the E3 class. In 2012 he clinched the world title with three rounds still in hand and won a remarkable 14 of 16 rounds. In the two remaining rounds he finished second, proving that he was the man to beat, regardless of terrain and conditions. Christophe will be riding the KTM 300 EXC. The French rider is known for his professional approach and his dedication and has, according to Fabio Farioli worked extremely hard on his preparation for the 2013 season. “Last year Christophe was incredible – I am sure he will want to be every bit as strong again this season,” he said.
Enduro World Championships 2013
The classic Enduro season in 2013 is made up of 14 GPs, starting with the first four rounds in Chile and Argentina before returning to Spain and Portugal, Greece and Romania before concluding in France at the beginning of September. The other highlight of the season will be the 2013 International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) that is being hosted by Sardinia from September 30 to October 5, 2013 when the KTM riders will commit to winning for their various national teams.
Blazusiak on the Extreme attack
It is no secret that Red Bull KTM rider Taddy Blazusiak is at the top of his game in Endurocross and SuperEnduro. But this year, the Polish rider will face more challenges because of additional EnduroCross events on the calendar with the X-Games going global. Spurred on by the growing popularity of the sport that brings the thrill of Enduro into the arena and makes it accessible to a worldwide TV audience has resulted in scheduled events in Brazil (April), Spain (May), Germany (June) and Los Angeles (August). Taddy also goes into the final round of the three-round FIM SuperEnduro Championship as the table leader when the competition wraps up in Tours, France on March 9, 2013. He will again defend his EnduroCross title in the seven round competition from May to November 2013, beginning and ending in Las Vegas. Taddy has made a good recovery from a shoulder injury at the close of the 2012 season and goes into 2013 with only one goal. “I race to win,” he says. “That’s always the goal”.
Jonny Walker, the young Extreme challenger
Meanwhile 22-year-old Jonny Walker, signed in 2012 as a full Red Bull KTM factory rider has already contested the classic Extreme events The Tough One and Hells Gate and has a daunting year ahead of him with a full calendar. The British rider, who is getting ever closer to challenging the dominance of veteran Graham Jarvis, will race the final round of SuperEnduro, the four X-Games EnduroCross and the British Enduro Championship. He hopes to gather experience in classic Enduro at the GPs of Spain, Greece, Romania and France. He will also contest the infamous Erzberg Rodeo in Austria, the Red Bull Romaniacs in Romania and the Red Bull Sea to Sky in Turkey.