Battling his way through a challenging 86th edition of the FIM International Six Days Enduro Marko Tarkkala claims a well-deserved Enduro 3 class victory for Husaberg
At the end of a challenging six days of racing Husaberg Factory Team riders Marko Tarkkala and Mathias Bellino were among those with the most to celebrate with Tarkkala a member of the winning Finnish World Trophy team and ISDE first timer Bellino a part of the victorious French Junior World Trophy team. Despite the 86th running of the FIM International Six Days Enduro in Kotka, Finland being an extremely tough event both riders reached the finish without problems.
For Tarkkala the fact that this year’s ISDE was a home race made it extra special. With the Finnish World Trophy team expected by just about everyone to top the class, Tarkkala’s goal, aside from helping Finland meet people’s expectations, was to finish at the top of the Enduro 3 category. Doing exactly that, and doing it in style, he took to the front of the E3 class on day one and never looked back. Opening up a 26 second lead ahead of Spain’s Ivan Cervantes, by winning day two by almost the same amount it was clear that the 300cc two-stroke mounted rider was going to be hard to beat. Day three saw a new course and another 20 second winning margin from Tarkkala.
But it was on day four that Marko delivered his most impressive result, placing more than one-minute ahead of Cervantes. By the time day five drew to a close yet another winning performance meant that the quiet Finn was more then three minutes ahead. With his TE300 performing faultlessly throughout the event, knowing that the class win was his for the taking Marko opted not to even try and win his final day motocross race, instead settling for third. The dominant rider in his class Marko claimed a well-deserved Enduro 3 victory.
“Things went well all week for me,” explained Tarkkala. “Despite the difficult conditions I didn’t have any problems with my bike, all I had to do was change tyres and brake pads. I had a few small falls, but that’s normal at the six days, and I was able to help the Finnish World Trophy team win. That’s the most important thing for me – that we won as a team. Things have been going well in the Enduro World Championship but I really wanted to win the Enduro 3 class here. To have done that is great.”
For Mathias Bellino the 2011 ISDE was a baptism of fire. Never before competing in the event, the French youngster endured a tough week but improved with each passing day. Not liking the rocky special tests early on in the week Mathias placed 24th in class but jumped to 14th on day two. Again improving on day three, on day four Mathias broke inside the top 10 of the E2 class for the first time with an eighth placed result.
Understanding more and more about the event and even starting to enjoy the challenging Finnish terrain, Bellino delivered a stand out performance on day five by finishing in fourth position, just 37 seconds behind the day’s winner. In doing so he lifted himself into 10th overall in E2. Despite getting caught up in a first corner pile-up at the start of his day six motocross race Bellino showed just how fast he is around a motocross track with his efforts being rewarded with an overall ninth place E2 class result.
“Things seemed to get better for me day after day,” explained a thrilled Bellino following his final motocross race. “It was my first six days and it’s been tough. But I made it to the end of the race with no mechanical or physical problems, so I am happy with that. My best day was day five, when I finished fourth. The first day was hard – I had some small crashes, and didn’t like the tests with the rocks. I didn’t have a good feeling at the beginning of the week, but once there were no tests with rocks I started to enjoy things more and more. I’m really pleased to win the Junior Trophy class with France and get a gold medal at my first ISDE.”
With both Marko Tarkkala and Mathias Bellino enjoying a successful 86th ISDE things didn’t work out as planned for Swede Joakim Ljunggren. Arriving in Finland after racing in the opening round of the US Endurocross series one week earlier, Joakim made a strong start to the week but saw his race cut short on day four. Third in E3 by just one tenth of a second on day one, Ljunggren placed as runner-up to Tarkkala on days two and three and sat second overall in E3 at the mid way stage of the event. But on day four a heavy crash in one of the time controls put the Swede out of the event. Hit in the leg by his handlebars Joakim was unable to continue.
“It’s really disappointing because I was having a great race,” commented Joakim. “I’m not sure exactly what happened but when I crashed my handlebars hit me in the leg, which gave me a dead leg. I’m lucky that it wasn’t too serious but it was so difficult to ride and incredibly painful. I was riding well, I felt good, and was looking forward to the second half of the week. But there’s always next year.”
Spanish World Trophy team rider Oriol Mena was anther Husaberg Factory Team rider who endured a tough week, but despite coming close to crashing out of the event on day three the plucky Enduro 3 class riders bounced back to finish as high as fifth in class and in an eventual 18th overall in E3. With Spain claiming a creditable runner-up position in the World Trophy class, Oriol ended the race pleased to have got to the end of the sixth and final day.
“The first and second day were good for me, I finished quite close to the front of the class,” explained Mena. “On the third day I crashed really hard in the first special test. I broke some parts on my bike and had a lot of pain all over my body. I took about 20 minutes of penalty but finished the day. I started day four as the last rider in the class and had a difficult day. Things improved on day five, I finished fourth and I made it through the final motocross ok. It’s been tough but I’m pleased to have finished.”
Husaberg supported rider Hans Vogels crashed heavily on the very first test of the event, knocking himself out. Remembering little of what happened the Dutch World Trophy team rider managed to finish the first day before working his way up the Enduro 2 class results. Sixth in class on day five Hans went on to finish in an eventual 10th in the overall E2 class results. Digging deep to finish the event Hans’ performance, added to those of Britain’s Si Wakely and Frenchman Mathias Bellino, ensured that the Husaberg 2 team placed as runners up in the Manufacturers team classification.
Proving just how durable and reliable Husaberg’s production bikes are Czech Republic Club team Husaberg-Czech enjoyed a trouble free week, finishing close to five minutes ahead of their closest rivals. With all three team riders signing up to the Husaberg bike rental programme, Michal Cadlecek not only ended the week as the fastest Enduro 3 mounted Club team riders, but also as the overall fastest Club team rider.
Results – 2011 International Six Days Enduro, Kotka, Finland
1. Finland, 17.11:11.66; 2. Spain, 17.41:54.43; 3. USA, 18.05:34.86; 4. Sweden, 18.20:34.23; 5. The Netherlands, 18.33:29.28; 6. Germany, 19.34:44.40…
Junior World Trophy
1. France, 10.47:34.11; 2. Sweden, 11.00:47.31; 3. Great Britain, 11.05:16.50; 4. USA, 11.34:06.87; 5. Australia, 11.41:28.41; 6. Spain, 11.47:21.61…
1. Marko Tarkkala (Husaberg) 3.25:23.78; 2. Ivan Cervantes (Gas Gas) 3.28:27.86; 3. Valtteri Salonen (TM) 3.33:24.57; 4. Jonny Walker (KTM) 3.38,57:02; 5. Jonas Karlsson (KTM) 3.39:20.90… 6. Karl Svensson (Husaberg) 3.39:54.50; 9. Amel Advokaat (Husaberg) 3.43:29.44; 11. Geoff Braico (Husaberg) 3.49:44.33; 13. Sebastien Krywult (Husaberg) 3.53:03.92; Jakob Morhed (Husaberg) 3.53:06.57; 15. Wim Vanderheyden (Husaberg) 3.53:13.67; 18. Oriol Mena (Husaberg) 4.03:58.73; 23. Stefan Gunnarsson (Husaberg) 5.49:22.21…
1. Kurt Caselli (KTM) 3.25:44.67; 2. Luis Correia (Yamaha) 3.28:12.83; 3. Cristobal Guerrero (KTM) 3.29:30.31; 4. Toby Price (KTM) 3.29:47.85; 5. Matthew Phillips (Yamaha) 3.30:00.59… 9. Mathias Bellino (Husaberg) 3.35:09.52; 10. Hans Vogels (Husaberg) 3.35:17.81; 13. Alex Rockwell (Husaberg) 3.40:08.72; 21. Martin Sundin (Husaberg) 3.43:41.80; 25. Daniel Persson (Husaberg) 3.47:01.38; 30. Si Wakely (Husaberg) 3.49:01.94…