KTM Enduro Factory Racing Team Manager Fabio Farioli talks to KTM Racing about the coming season.

Fabio Farioli talks about the coming season

What are your expectations for the 2008 Enduro season?
We go into this season with very good riders (as usual…) in all three classes. We want to be consistently on the podium and I believe we have a good chance of finishing with some titles. That is what we will be working towards.
 
What are your impressions of the calendar this year?
There are no events in North America this year so it is quite compact here in Europe. During the break in the season the riders will be busy with national competitions and other important events, so this gives them continuity on the bikes and in competition. I am looking forward to the opening event in Sweden where it is the one opportunity for us to tackle the snow and to use spiked tyres. This really suits our Finnish riders of course but the other KTM guys are also getting much more confident on this type of track. It should be a great start to the season.
 
We see some changes in the line-ups for each class this year. Why is that?
This is important to give the riders new challenges and to keep them motivated. I think we have very strong contenders for this season in each class and we decided (together with riders) to use different bikes in the two biggest classes. KTM is producing very good 2-stroke bikes and we trust a lot in them, for this reason we will have both bikes – 2 and 4 stroke – competing in the same class. It is going to be a good fight…
 
Talking first about E1, you have some established talent and a title winner and a new young rider. What do you expect from them?
Ivan Cervantes is riding back in E1. He will be very fast on his KTM 250-4stroke. It’s a bike that suits his style and he is very confident riding it. Ivan is also very popular with the fans and we will see some great riding from him this year. He particularly likes the hard, dusty surfaces like the ones he is used to at home in Spain.
 
In E1 we also have British rider Tom Sagar riding a KTM 250-4stroke. We like to invest in talented young riders and last year he was one of the top three in the world in the Junior Class. Tom will be able to learn a lot from Ivan and this year will be an important one where he can gain a lot of good experience.
 
And Juha Salminen is riding in E2 in 2008?
Salminen is very motivated going into E2. A change in class gives him a new challenge. He definitely wants to go for the title and for sure he has the skills to do it. This year he is riding a KTM 450-4-stroke and it’s a machine that he trusts a lot. He has spent some time in Spain training together with Marko Tarkkala and is completely fit again after injuring his collarbone at the end of the 2007 season.
 
Alessandro Belometti will be riding with Juha in E2 this year and he will be onboard the KTM 250-2-stroke bike. He’s also very motivated and likes his new bike a lot. He’s preparing for the season in the south of Italy and I think he is definitely also a podium contender
 
And how is it with E3?
This year we have an all-Finnish team for the big bikes with Marko Tarkkala and Samuli Aro. Again, it gives the riders new challenges to be in different classes. Marko is a very big guy so he will be on the KTM 530-4-stroke machine. Samuli will be on the KTM 300-2-stroke and this really suits his riding style. They will definitely be good rivals for each other this season in the E3 class. As I said, Marko has been in Spain with Salminen preparing for the season. Aro has had an operation on his knee and he will be back on the bike at the beginning of February. I am sure he will be in excellent shape for the first event in Sweden.

Fabio Farioli
KTM Enduro Factory Racing
KTM Enduro Factory Racing
KTM Enduro Factory Racing

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