Lots of Action in the Enduro World Championship Already
Eero Remes looks to get back on top
The 2012 World Enduro season is just kicking off, but there is already so much to talk about. After just two rounds, both of which were held in Latin America, winners and losers are already starting to come out.
KTM is the most obvious winner so far. After getting skunked on any class championships in 2011, big orange comes out swinging, having hired almost every heavy hitter available. In 2011 Antoine Meo had his way with the E2 class on his Husqvarna, now he is doing the same on the KTM in E1. He has won all 4 days so far. In the E3 class is looks like it will only be a question of which KTM rider will win, David Knight or Christophe Nambotin. So far it has been all Nambotin and his 300 two stroke. In the E2 class Johnny Aubert is struggling to find form after last years injury. A mechanical DNF on day 2 in Argentina did not help. Christobal Guererro is right in the hunt also for E2.
HM Honda – With Albergoni and Thain sitting in the second and third positions of E2, the team looks good. They are going to have to rely on consistency to look for a championship. The class is stacked with talent that these two may have trouble beating on any given day.
Gas Gas – A day one win in Argentina gave Ivan Cervantes his first win on the Gasser. He is riding the EC450 Yamaha powered bike, the Yamagas as I like to call it. As far as I know it is the first time in over ten years of producing four strokes that Gas Gas has won a major event on one, anywhere. Ivan comes away from the first two rounds with the points lead. It is mostly due to his strong rides, but also partially due to a dnf by Juha Salminen in Argentina.
Juha Salminen – He will probably go down as one of the very best of all time. It is hard to believe that it has been 5 seasons since he left the US scene. He just keeps pounding out the wins. After a disappointing dnf on day 1 in Argentina, he came back to demolish the entire field on day two to take the scratch win.
Two Strokes- In the hands of Nambotion, the KTM 300 has seen all gold. It will be interesting to see if he can hold off Knight and his 500exc as the season progresses.
Husqvarna – The most notable is Husky. They look like the team that won the Superbowl and then couldn’t afford to keep the team around for another year. With the exception of Juha in E2, they are struggling. After such a strong performance in E1 last year, non-podium finishes by riders Santolino, Seistola and Dietrich look like major disappointments. I am not surprised by Ricky, it is very difficult to get up to speed in EWC. None of the American riders have been able to make a mark during their limited appearances. I am sure it will come with time. With the loss of Sebastian Guillaume to GG, they also have no presence in E3.
Sebastian Guillaume – Suffering from a chronic respiratory infection, Sebastian is not able to fly. He missed the first two rounds of the championship. He will make his Gas Gas debut at the next round.
Eero Remes – After such a strong 2011 season, he seems oddly off the pace so far this season. I am not sure if he has any injuries.
Husaberg – I am not sure to go thumbs up or down for Berg. They have some strong riders and getting good finishes, but probably not really quite ready to challenge for wins. When it comes it will be with Ljunggren, but he has to face the world’s best in the E3 class.
Sherco/Beta/TM – Each has some good riders, but again probably not going for wins.