Husqvarna dominates Enduro 1 class at GP of Turkey
Juha Salminen and Matti Seistola claim a win a piece to continue their supremacy in E1 while E2 championship leader Antoine Meo also secures podium-topping result…
Husqvarna CH Racing Monster Energy team riders Juha Salminen, Matti Seistola and Antoine Meo continue their impressive results in the ’11 Enduro World Championship with all three riders enjoying victory during the fourth round of the series, the GP of Turkey held in Fethiye. Continuing the impressive form that saw all three riders stand on top of the podium at the team’s home round of the series just four weeks ago, in Turkey it was business as usual for respective Enduro 1 and Enduro 2 class leaders Juha Salminen and Antoine Meo with both riders standing firm at the top of their championships.
Filling the top two spots in the Enduro 1 class ensured it was a perfect event for Husqvarna. With little to separate battling Finns Juha Salminen and Matti Seistola on either day, it was Salminen who first got to stand on the top step of the podium when he finished two seconds ahead of Seistola to claim the win on day one. Winning five of the day’s 12 special tests Juha remained mistake free to claim his fifth win of the series so far. Unable to match Salminen’s pace on a number of the day’s earlier tests Seistola upped his pace as the day progressed and ensured a well-deserved Husqvarna one-two result.
Just as at the third round of the ’11 EWC series in Italy day two in Turkey saw Seistola and Salminen reverse their day one finishing order with Seistola victorious after a thrilling day-long battle. Just as on day one only two seconds separated the two riders, but with Seistola claiming the win second time around. Winning the day’s first seven special tests a mistake mid-way through the day saw Seistola fall behind Salminen but in winning the final four tests he returned to the top of the E1 class results to claim his second career victory.
With Salminen holding strong at the top of the E1 championship standings and enjoying a 29-point advantage, Seistola sits third just four points behind current runner-up Eero Remes.
Juha Salminen – Enduro 1: ‘It’s been a great weekend with no problems for me. I don’t have too much to say because everything went really well. It was good to be fighting with my team-mate Matti on both days, and I got the win on day one and he got the win on day two. It’s certainly been a great event for Husqvarna. I liked the race a lot. There wasn’t too much time between each of the three special tests and although it was a seven-hour day it didn’t seem that long. It was a physical day and you had to make sure that you were always thinking. I’m looking forward to Greece next weekend now.’
Matti Seistola – Enduro 1: ‘I’ve really enjoyed myself this weekend, and winning the second day is great. I struggled a little in the morning on the first day. The first four or five tests were really slippery and with no lines I couldn’t find my pace properly. But after that, for the rest of the first day and all of the second day, I felt really good. I pushed as hard as I could during the second half of the first day and finished just a couple of seconds behind Juha, which I was pleased with. The second day started really well. I was up to 10 seconds ahead of Juha but then I crashed on the enduro test and lost all of my advantage. There was only a few hundredths of a second between us as we started the last lap so to get the win is great. It’s been a really good weekend. I’m feeling really confident now, I just need to be a little faster at the start of the first day.’
The GP of Turkey is an event that Enduro 2 championship leader Antoine Meo was expecting to be tough. Unable to completely master the slippery, dry terrain in ’10, this year he battled hard to claim two podium results including victory on day two. With numerous small mistakes hampering his performance during the opening day’s competition Antoine topped three special tests yet placed just 10 seconds behind eventual winner Cristobal Guerrero in third. Day two saw some of the closest competition between the top riders in the E2 class this season. Come the end of the day just 10 seconds separated the top four riders, with Antoine taking the win. Winning just two special tests the Frenchman remained fast throughout the day to place four seconds clear at the top of the results. Antoine now sits 24 points clear at the top of the E2 championship standings.
For Meo’s E2 team-mate Simone Albergoni the GP of Turkey proved to be a tough one with the Italian finishing in ninth position on day one before improving to seventh on day two.
Antoine Meo – Enduro 2: ‘It’s been a tough weekend for me with many crashes and mistakes, especially on the first day, so I was happy to finish third on the first day. It’s not the result I wanted, but after everything it was ok. The first lap of the second day was ok but then I crashed again, made some mistakes again, and things became very close at the top of the results. There was only a few seconds between four or five riders and it’s hard to really push hard when you know another mistake could damage your result. I was pushing hard, taking some risks, and things worked out well. I don’t know why but I just didn’t have a good feeling with the terrain. But as far as the championship is concerned it’s been a good weekend for me with a third and first place result.’
For Husqvarna’s Enduro 3 class riders Seb Guillaume and Alex Salvini the Turkish event ended with Frenchman Guillaume having not quite been able to match the pace of the class front runners while Salvini came close to claiming his first ever EWC podium on day two. Placing in fifth on day one was the highlight of the event for Seb, who dropped to seventh in class on day two. Finishing down in eighth position on day one wasn’t a result that reflected Salvini’s pace on the majority of the day’s special tests, but off the pace performances on the extreme tests prevented him from finishing higher. Starting day two by recording the fastest time on the opening motocross test Salvini remained in contention with the E3 class front runners, performing well on all tests throughout the day. Sitting in second position as he started the last lap four crashes on the final enduro test cost him precious time, dropping him to fourth.
The Husqvarna CH Racing Monster Energy Team now heads to the GP of Greece, June 18/19, round five of the 2011 Enduro World Championship.
Enduro World Championship 2011
Grand Prix of Turkey – Day one
1. Juha Salminen (Husqvarna) 51:46.37; 2. Matti Seistola (Husqvarna) 51:48.47; 3. Rodrig Thain (Honda) 51:55.21; 4. Eero Remes (KTM) 52:24.03; 5. Lorenzo Santolino (KTM) 53:07.61
1. Cristobal Guerrero (KTM) 51:15.01; 2. Ivan Cervantes (Gas Gas) 51.23:68; 3. Antoine Meo (Husqvarna) 51:33.73; 4. Johnny Aubert (KTM) 51:38.72; 5. Pela Renet (Husaberg) 52:48.25… 9. Simone Albergoni (Husqvarna) 54:00.90
1. Mika Ahola (Honda) 51:43.37; 2. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 52:11.30; 3. Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas) 52:20.01; 4. Marko Tarkkala (Husaberg) 52:22.22; 5. Seb Guillaume (Husqvarna) 52:39.38… 8. Alex Salvini (Husqvarna) 53:08.72
1. Mario Roman (KTM) 52:14.72; 2. Antti Hellsten (KTM) 52:22.17; 3. Benoit Fortunato (Yamaha) 52:22.23; 4. Romain Dumontier (Yamaha) 52:32.66; 5. Jeremy Joly (Honda) 52:36.58… 11. Giacomo Redondi (Husqvarna) 53:12.38;
Enduro World Championship 2011
Grand Prix of Turkey – Day two
1. Matti Seistola (Husqvarna) 1.00:15.31; 2. Juha Salminen (Husqvarna) 1.00:17.90; 3. Rodrig Thain (Honda) 1.00:40.12; 4. Eero Remes (KTM) 1.00:51.04; 5. Lorenzo Santolino (KTM) 1.01:34.27
1. Antoine Meo (Husqvarna) 59:37.70; 2. Pela Renet (Husaberg) 59:41.90; 3. Cristobal Guerrero (KTM) 59:44.97; 4. Ivan Cervantes (Gas Gas) 59:48.66; 5. Aigor Leok (TM) 1.01:58.42… 7. Simone Albergoni (Husqvarna) 1.02:38.22
1. Mika Ahola (Honda) 1.00:14.56; 2. Marko Tarkkala (Husaberg) 1.00:50.37; 3. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 1.00:55.19; 4. Alex Salvini (Husqvarna) 1.01:22.63; 5. Fabio Mossini (Beta) 1.01:36.47… 7. Seb Guillaume (Husqvarna) 1.01:44.60
1. Mario Roman (KTM) 1.10:20.61; 2. Romain Dumontier (Yamaha) 1.01:31.88; 3. Jeremy Joly (Honda) 1.01:39.80; 4. Benoit Fortunato (Yamaha) 1.01:51.67; 5. Jonathan Manzi (KTM) 1.02:10.65… 17. Giacomo Redondi (Husqvarna) 1.04:17.60