CH Racing Husqvarna Factory Enduro Team 2008 World Enduro Championship ’08 – Round 6, Uzerche, France, 26/27.7.2008
Carrying his good form from the GP of Wales into his home round of the ’08 World Enduro Championship CH Racing Husqvarna rider Seb Guillaume has claimed yet another Enduro 3 class win, this time at the GP of France. Placing as a very close runner-up to countryman Christophe Nambotin on day one Seb then went one better on day two and claimed his third victory of the season and in doing so climbs to third in the E3 world championship standings, just six points behind second placed rider Marko Tarkkala.
But Seb’s performances weren’t the only impressive result to come from the CH Racing Husqvarna team at the GP of France as enduro newcomer Antoine Meo again showed his unquestionable talents by finishing fourth and as the highest placed two-stroke mounted rider on day one in the Enduro 2 class before finishing in third and on the podium on day two.
Expecting and expected to produce a good result in front of his home supporters Seb Guillaume came frustratingly close to claiming his first double class win of the season in France but was also lucky to finish the first day’s competition at all. While locked in a three-rider battle for the E3 class win a mistake mid-way through the opening day saw the Frenchman’s bike end up at the bottom of a river, and under one-metre of water. Hauling his bike out before being forced to turn it upside down to drain the water from the engine, Seb put the incident that occurred during one of the day’s time controls out of his mind and finished just four seconds behind winner Nambotin.
On day two there was no stopping Seb as he topped three of the opening four special tests to open up a comfortable lead at the top of the Enduro 3 class. Once happy that his hard work had put him just out of reach of his E3 class rivals he eased his pace to ensure that he didn’t make any unnecessary mistakes. Although only winning one further test Seb placed 17 seconds ahead of Marko Tarkkala to claim a well-deserved victory.
Making what will likely be his final outing on a 250cc two-stroke in ’08 Antoine Meo put in a largely mistake free ride during day one to place just off the podium in fourth. Battling against countryman Rodrig Thain, Meo posted the third fastest E2 class time on two special tests to finish just under two minutes behind eventual day one winner Michael Pichon. On day two Meo again found himself locked in a battle with Thain and just as he did on day one managed to outpace his E2 class rival. In doing so Antoine placed himself on the podium having finished in third position.
Aggravating the thumb he injured at the opening round of the ’08 WEC series CH Racing Husqvarna team’s Enduro 1 class rider Bartosz Oblucki was unable to perform at his best in France but still claimed two top 10 results aboard his 250cc two-stroke.
Seb Guillaume: “I had a great fight on day one with Christophe Nambotin and Stefan Merriman, we were battling each other on all the special tests. But on the final extreme test I crashed and lost nine seconds, which cost me the win. That certainly wasn’t good for my championship. I was lucky to finish the first day because I made a big mistake and my bike ended up at the bottom of a river. I had to empty the water from the engine and luckily it started and ran perfectly. I pushed really hard at the start of day two and finished the first test 10 seconds ahead Marko Tarkkala and 29 ahead of Nambotin. I knew then that I could win so I made sure that I didn’t make any mistakes. I didn’t push at 100 per cent – I just did enough to stay ahead.”
Antoine Meo: “It’s been a good weekend for me – to finish on the podium on day two on the 250cc two-stroke is great. Also the support I received from the French spectators was amazing, I really enjoyed the race although it was very difficult. I was happy with the way I rode on day one but the three riders ahead of me were a little bit too fast for me to fight with. Day two was really good though, although it was again impossible to fight with Salminen and Aubert. I am happy with my results.”
Bartosz Oblucki: “The first day started quite well although I didn’t do too well on the first two special tests. I tried to push harder on the second lap to make up for those two tests but I crashed on the enduro test and hurt my thumb a bit. It was really difficult to push after that so I just tried my best without making any more mistakes. I didn’t get the results I know I can but I scored points on both days, with my thumb that’s not so bad.”
2008 World Enduro Championship
Grand Prix of France – Day 1
Enduro 1 class
1. Ivan Cervantes (KTM) 50:28.47; 2. Mika Ahola (Honda) 50:49.42; 3. Marc Germain (Yamaha) 50:56.58; 4. Cristobal Guerrero (Yamaha) 51:16.17; 5. Simone Albergoni (Yamaha) 52:12,39; 6. Maurizio Micheluz (Yamaha) 52:28.57; 7. Julien Gauthier (Honda) 52:28.79; 8. Tom Sagar (KTM) 52:39.92; 9. Bartosz Oblucki (CH Racing Husqvarna) 52:42.18; 10. Jordan Curvalle (Suzuki) 53:05.62; 11. Mike Hartmann (KTM) 53:09.30; 12. Luca Cherubini (TM) 54:29.69; 13. Daniele Tellini (Suzuki) 54:33.55; 14. Jakub Horak (KTM) 57:10.49; 15. Francois Coignac (KTM) 59:56.90; 16. Miguel Maroto (Husqvarna) 1:17:25.91
Enduro 2 class
1. Michael Pichon (KTM) 50:02.44; 2. Johnny Aubert (Yamaha) 50:07.97; 3. Juha Salminen (KTM) 50:28.28; 4. Antoine Meo (CH Racing Husqvarna) 51:54.26; 5. Rodrig Thain (TM) 52:04.92; 6. Alessandro Belometti (KTM) 52:22.32; 7. Fabio Mossini (Honda) 52:24.02; 8. Simo Kirssi (BMW) 52:30.36; 9. Nicolas Deparrois (Gas Gas) 52:31.07; 10. Nicolas Paganon (Aprilia) 52:41,84; 11. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 52:54.70; 12. Fabrizio Dini (Yamaha) 53:09.20; 13. Jari Mattila (Honda) 53:27.13; 14. Valtteri Salonen (Husaberg) 53:40.68; 15. Filipe Zanol (Yamaha) 54:00.05; 16. Rudy Cotton (Beta) 54:06.23; 17. Aaron Bernardez (Husqvarna) 54:29.20; 18. David Fretigne (Yamaha) 54:48.02; 19. Vincent Turpin (Honda) 56:03.31
Enduro 3 Class
1. Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas) 51:08.26; 2. Sebastien Guillaume (CH Racing Husqvarna) 51:12.22; 3. Stefan Merriman (Aprilia) 51:16.77; 4. Samuli Aro (KTM) 52:24:04; 5. Marko Tarkkala (KTM) 52:30.85; 6. Xavier Galindo (KTM) 52:39.03; 7. Alessandro Botturi (Honda) 52:49.99; 8. Fabien Planet (KTM) 52:54.39; 9. Bjorne Carlsson (Husaberg) 52:56.20; 10. Anders Eriksson (BMW) 53:07.73; 11. Antoine Letellier (Aprilia) 53:31.37; 12. Jordi Figueras (KTM) 54:19.19; 13. Marcus Kehr (KTM) 54:19.89; 14. Stefan Svitko (KTM) 54:32.29; 15. Euan McConnell (TM) 54:49.85; 16. Joan Jau (Honda) 54:57.32; 17. Erwin Plekkenpol (Honda) 57:15.84; 18. Kevin Hamard (Sherco) 59:18.66; 19. Gordon Clarke (TM) 59:43.85
2008 World Enduro Championship
Grand Prix of France – Day 2
Enduro 1 class
1. Ivan Cervantes (KTM) 59:48.64; 2. Mika Ahola (Honda) 1:00:40.26; 3. Cristobal Guerrero (Yamaha) 1:00:51.30; 4. Marc Germain (Yamaha) 1:00:53.33; 5. Simone Albergoni (Yamaha) 1:01:40.73; 6. Tom Sagar (KTM) 1:02:17.18; 7. Maurizio Micheluz (Yamaha) 1:02:25.53; 8. Jordan Curvalle (Suzuki) 1:03:07.61; 9. Mike Hartmann (KTM) 1:03:17.01; 10 Bartosz Oblucki (CH Racing Husqvarna) 1:03:34.19; 11. Julien Gauthier (Honda) 1:03:43.90; 12. Luca Cherubini (TM) 1:04:13.19; 13. Kevin Gauniaux (KTM) 1:04:35.24; 14. Damien Miquel (Yamaha) 1:05:37.41; 15. Jakub Horak (KTM) 1:07:33.20
Enduro 2 class
1. Juha Salminen (KTM) 58:55.72; 2. Johnny Aubert (Yamaha) 59:50.69; 3. Antoine Meo (CH Racing Husqvarna) 1:01:43.35; 4. Rodrig Thain (TM) 1:01:47.71; 5. Simo Kirssi (BMW) 1:02:11.19; 6. Alessandro Belometti (KTM) 1:02.42.31; 7. Jari Mattila (Honda) 1:03:03.85; 8. Nicolas Paganon (Aprilia) 1:03:31.91; 9. Emmanuel Albepart (Kawasaki) 1:03:58.27; 10. Fabrizio Dini (Yamaha) 1:04:14.40; 11. Filipe Zanol (Yamaha) 1:04:16.94; 12. Aaron Bernardez (Husqvarna) 1:04:34.43; 13.David Fretigne (Yamaha) 1:05:02.34; 14. Amel Advokaat (KTM) 1:05:55.83; 15. Olivier Pain (Yamaha) 1:07:50:59; 16. Valtteri Salonen (Husaberg) 1:08:23.86
Enduro 3 class
1. Sebastien Guillaume (CH Racing Husqvarna) 1:00:55.42; 2. Marko Tarkkala (KTM) 1:01:12.55; 3. Stefan Merriman (Aprilia) 1:01:17.13; 4. Markus Kehr (KTM) 1:01.27.63; 5. Xavier Galindo (KTM) 1:01:44.45; 6. Samuli Aro (KTM) 1:01:56.66; 7. Fabien Planet (KTM) 1:02:01.26; 8. Alessandro Botturi (Honda) 1:02:39.34; 9. Anders Eriksson (BMW) 1:03.21.11; 10. Antoine Letellier (Aprilia) 1:03:30.75; 11. Euan McConnell (TM) 1:04:45.73; 12. Joan Jou (Honda) 1:05:07.09; 13. Stefan Svitko (KTM) 1:05:08.53; 14. Erwin Plekkenpol (Honda) 1:06:33.64; 15. Jordi Figueras (KTM) 1:07:01.38; 16. Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas) 1:09:36.91; 17. Kevin Hamard (Sherco) 1:13:18:39