Enduro Italian Championship 5th round

Enduro Italian Championship 5th round

Press Release

Varese, 1st July 2002

Enduro Italian Championship
Cascina Terme (PI) ? 5th round

HUSQVARNA 2002 WORLD CHAMPION LEADS THE ITALIAN ENDURO CHAMPIONSHIPS

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The small Tuscan village of Peccioli played host to the third round of the Italian Enduro Championships on the weekend. Husqvarna?s recently crowned 2002 World Champion, Samuli Aro continued his hunt for another title, The 2002 Overall Italian Enduro Champion. Aro extended his lead on the weekend over Husqvarna teammate?s, Merriman and Bazzurri and Finnish rival, Mika Ahola.

Despite days of hot, dry weather and dusty conditions leading up to the race, the riders were taken by surprise when a thunderstorm erupted at 5am on race day. The one-day event was characterized by unrelenting, thundery showers, which turned the surface of the dusty specials to slippery mud. The conditions were so bad that the first cross test, situated on the slope of a hill of harvested crop, was cancelled for the first two loops. The enduro test on a fast single track in the forest produced some mixed results, as almost half the field crashed during the test on the first loop. Several riders were taken away by ambulance with injuries. Both Aro and Merriman crashed on this test, as they failed to turn on a tight corner in the forest and hit an overhanging tree. Merriman lost his goggles and stalled the bike, loosing over 30 seconds in one test to his rivals. Aro also lost time and struggled to make up the difference in the following tests.

The rain continued into the afternoon and a section of trail had to be cut out of the loop on the final lap, as it wasn?t possible for the riders to pass on a muddy uphill. The riders then progressed to the first cross test, where they waited for 20 minutes at the time check to continue. Within 10 minutes the rain stopped and the clouds cleared away to reveal a clear, sunny sky allowing the first cross test to be raced for the first time that day. The 125cc riders struggled to match the speed of the latter riders, who benefited from the track drying out and ruts forming. Merriman made up for some time lost after crashing in the first three tests, but was unable to finish in the top 10 of the overall classification. However Husqvarna?s Aro managed to move up the field of leading 125cc riders to finish second overall on the day, behind fellow countrymen Mika Ahola. Aro retains the lead in the title chase, and there are three remaining rounds left.

Overall Classification ? Italian Enduro Championships
1.Mika Ahola (VOR) 30:10.83 25pts
2.Samuli Aro (HUSQUARNA) 30:15.44 20
3.Stefano Passeri(YAMAHA) 30.18.99 16
4.Jarno Boarno (HONDA) 30:37.65 13
5.Alex Zanni (HONDA) 30:37.96 11
6.Roberto Bazzuri (HUS) 30:39.98 10
7.Simone Albergoni (KTM) 30:41.73 9
8.Mario Rinaldi (YAMAHA) 30:47.02 8
9.Giuseppe Gallino (HONDA) 30:48.02 7
10.Giovanni Sala(KTM) 30:58.32 6
11.Marc Germain (YAM) 31:07.04 5
12.Stefan Merriman (HUS) 31:07.39 4

The current point Standings in the Italian Enduro Championships
1.Aro (Husqvarna WR250) 103 pts.
2.Ahola 97 pts.
3.Merriman (Husqvarna TE400) 64 pts.
4.Bazzuri (Husqvarna WR125) 55 pts.

 

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