KTM Offroad Newsletter: All The Updates You Need From Europe

Double E3 victories for Cervantes on home territory

KTM Enduro factory rider Ivan Cervantes rose to the occasion in Igualada, Spain this weekend to score a double victory in Rounds Three and Four of the E3 Word championships.

Obviously at ease in front of his home crowd in Spain, Cervantes doubled his points score after a great opening last weekend in Portugal where he also won both of the opening rounds.
‘Last weekend Ivan won his races with a small margin and he had four or five small crashes,’ said team boss Fabio Farioli. ‘But this weekend he seemed to go into a different gear. He fought hard and had two good victories even though the conditions were tough and slippery with all the rain and the mud.
Reigning E1 world champion Samuli Aro also lifted his game with another second place following the same result in Round One in Portugal last weekend. Aro was fifth on Saturday but rose to the occasion and tackled the tough conditions to be second behind Cervantes on Sunday. ‘Aro is very good when the conditions are hard and muddy,’ Farioli said. He is a very smooth rider.
The KTM factory riders now return to their home countries to train and to prepare for the next two rounds in on the island of Sardinia from April 17-19.
E 3 Saturday Round Three
1. Ivan Cervantes, Spain, KTM
2. Sebastien Guillaume, France, Husqvarna
3. Christophe Nambotin, France, Gas-Gas
4. Alessandro Botturi, Italy, KTM
5. Samuli Aro, Finland, KTM
E 3 Sunday Round Three
1. Ivan Cervantes, Spain, KTM
2. Samuli Aro, Finland, KTM
3. Christophe Nambotin, France, Gas-Gas
4.  Sebastien Guillaume, France, Husqvarna
5. Markus Kehr, Germany, KTM
Standings after Round Four
1. Ivan Cervantes, Spain, KTM, 100
2. Christophe Nambotin, France, Gas-Gas, 80
3. Sebastien Guillaume, France, Husqvarna, 80
4. Samuli Aro, Finland, KTM, 78
5. Mossini, San Marino, Honda, 60
6. Markus Kehr, Germany, KTM, 56
Perfect score card for KTM’s Johnny Aubert in E2 in Spain
When it comes to good results, it doesn’t get much better that four straight wins. Johnny Aubert, new to the KTM Enduro Factory Team, took two more victories in Spain this weekend for a very impressive start to the E2 season.
Already on Saturday Aubert was getting down to business even though he was the first rider into the extreme test when it started to rain and was very slippery. He still won from Cristobal Guerrero of Spain with an impressive gap.
Overnight rain made conditions very tricky on Sunday for Round Four, the second race at Igualada, west of Barcelona. Aubert’s straight wins here in Spain, following on from his double last weekend in Portugal has made a contribution to nine possible podiums out of 12 up for grabs so far this season, a result that makes team boss Fabio Farioli a happy man. ‘Johnny has just won everything,’ he said. ‘He is so much faster than anyone else and he rides in such a relaxed way.
KTM Factory teammate Alessandro Belometti was also on the ball, coming in eighth on Saturday and vaulting four places up the order to be just off the podium on Sunday. Aubert now goes to the next race in Sardinia (April 17-19) with a 27-point lead in the standings on second placed Frenchman Rodrig Thain and Cristobal Guerrero of Spain.
E2 Saturday Round Three
1. Johnny Aubert, France, KTM
2. Cristobal Guerrero, Spain, Yamaha
3. Bartosz Obluki, Poland, Husqvarna
4. Joakim Ljunggren, Sweden, Husaberg
5. Oscar Balletti, Italy, Honda
8. Alessandro Belometti, Italy, KTM
E2 Sunday Round Four
1. Johnny Aubert, France, KTM
2. Joakim Ljunggren, Sweden, Husaberg
3. Rodrig Thain, France, TM,
4. Alessandro Belometti, Italy, KTM
5. Juha Salminen, Finland, BMW
Standings after Round Four
1. Johnny Aubert, France, KTM, 100
2. Rodrig Thain, France, TM, 73
2. Cristobal Guerrero, Spain, Yamaha, 73
4. Alessandro Belometti, Italy, KTM, 71
5. Joakim Ljunggren, Sweden, Husaberg, 70
Second place for KTM’s Jeremy van Horebeek at mud-soaked Faenza
On a day when the real winner was the weather – and so was any rider who survived to see the chequered flag – it was KTM Factory Junior Racing Team’s Jeremy van Horebeek who came home in second place at the MX2 GP of Italy.
In scenes similar to the mud bath at Belpuig, Spain in 2008, organisers called a halt to the season’s opener at the half way mark after riders struggled, many in vain, to stay upright in clinging mud that sucked them and their bikes down into its depths. The prevailing colour at the track on Sunday was definitely mud grey.
First ever GP Podium for Jeremy van Horebeek
It was a big day for the young Belgian who races for the KTM Factory Junior Racing Team under the guidance of Jacky Martens and he was understandably delighted to take his first ever MX2 GP podium. ‘For sure it was a very tough race today,’ he said. ‘I didn’t have a very good start and came out of that at eleventh place. I slowly managed to close the gap until I was third, then suddenly I saw on the pit board that I was in front so I decided just to try to concentrate and stay on the bike.’ With riders going down all around him and conditions deteriorating by the minute, it was the only sensible tactic. Jeremy was overtaken by Paul Gautier in the final lap but under the circumstances it was a huge achievement for the junior rider of the KTM factory team to be there at the finish. Van Horebeek’s KTM Factory Junior Racing Team teammates Joel Roelants and Valentin Teillet also did very well to finish fifth and ninth respectively.
Simpson looks ahead to next weekend
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Shaun Simpson who came in at eleventh said he just tried to make the best of a bad job.  He had a good start then just minutes later the mud grabbed hold of his KTM as he accelerated up a hill and he took a dive. Simpson tried to wrestle the bike out of the grip of the mud and eventually restarted from put lane. The Scottish rider, who has had a great start in pre-season events and has grabbed the attention as a strong contender this season then made a heroic ride back through the pack. ‘I just decided to stay on two wheels and try to get some points’ he said. ‘I am not really that satisfied with the way things turned out this weekend but now I’ll focus on looking forward to the next GP in Bulgaria.
Mixed fortunes for Rui Goncalves
KTM factory rider Rui Goncalves also had a mixed weekend but came out of it ready to brush it off and head to Bulgaria with confidence for the second GP next weekend. Things started to go wrong for Rui already on Saturday afternoon following on from a good start and a fourth place in the free practice. He also made a good start in the qualifying race then someone touched his wheel and he crashed out, sustaining a nasty blow to the head and abdomen. Doctors cleared him to race on Sunday and he was still confident after a good a warm-up session. ‘I got a top ten start but the weather was so bad I had to make a stop in the pit lane,’ he said. ‘I was still in the top 10 when I came out but then I crashed on the big hill and the bike had so much mud on it and was so heavy, I couldn’t get it started again. Now I’ll just put this weekend behind me and make it my goal to put in two good races in Bulgaria. I know my speeds are good and after all the hard work I did in winter, I am still very confident.’
Results (only one moto)
1. Paul Gautier, France, Kawasaki
2. Jeremy van Horebeek, Belgium, KTM
3. Marvin Musquin, France, Honda
4. Davide Guarneri, Italy, Yamaha
5. Joel Roelants, Belgium, KTM
Other KTM
9. Valentin Teillet, France, KTM
11. Shaun Simpson, Britain, KTM
14. Ceriel Klein Kronhof, Netherlands, KTM
16. Marcus Schiffer, Germany, KTM
17. Stephen Sword, Britain, KTM
24. Rui Goncalves, Portugal, KTM
27. Arnaud Tonus, Switzerland, KTM
1. Paul Gautier, France, Kawasaki, 25
2. Jeremy van Horebeek, Belgium, KTM, 22
3. Marvin Musquin, France, Honda, 20
4. Davide Guarneri, Italy, Yamaha, 18
5. Joel Roelants, Belgium, KTM, 16
Other KTM
9. Valentin Teillet, France, KTM, 12
11. Shaun Simpson, Britain, KTM, 10
14. Ceriel Klein Kronhof, Netherlands, KTM, 7
16. Marcus Schiffer, Germany, KTM, 5
17. Stephen Sword, Britain, KTM, 4
Top ten finishes for KTM’s Nagl and Barragan on mud-soaked opening MX1 GP
KTM factory riders Max Nagl of Germany and Spaniard Jonathan Barragan managed to survive a rain and mud soaked attempt at the season’s first MX1 GP both finishing with top ten places.

Weather conditions were so bad that the organisers at Faenza Italy were forced to halt the event after just one moto in conditions that rivalled similar conditions in Bellpuig, Spain last season. On a day where it was practically impossible to stay upright on two wheels and where the entire circuit was a quagmire of treacherous sticky mud, it was already an achievement to finish the race. The rain started on Saturday evening and continued through Sunday as the track disintegrated under the wheels of the riders.
Another excellent start by Nagl
Nagl, of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team was already nursing an injured thumb, an older injury that was aggravated during a crash in the second half of Saturday’s program. In some ways the bad conditions proved to be an advantage for Nagl. If the track had been as hard and fast as it had been on Saturday morning it would have been difficult for him to ride at all. It was however still a very tough ride for the German. The crash in the qualifying race on Saturday had left him at the back of the field for the start of the first moto but he still managed to put down one of his now hallmark racing starts and almost took the holeshot. As riders went down all around him Max managed to stay in second place for the first half of the race but then crashed and got stuck in the ever deepening ruts. He managed to restart the bike again and had to go via the pits to exchange gloves and goggles and in the end was quite satisfied to come out of the mud bath with a creditable finish . ‘I tried to listen to Stefan’s (Stefan Everts, the factory team boss) advice when he told me to set two lines so if someone took one I would always have the other to use. But it was raining so hard and the lines were filling up with water and mud so quickly that there weren’t any left at all,’ Nagl said after the exhausting day’s ride.
Barragan looks forward to the hard fast racing at Bulgaria
Jonathan Barragan was hardly more fortunate. He had a good start but ploughed into a hole and had trouble restarting the mud caked KTM. He worked his way into sixth place then the bike stopped again. ‘After that I just decided to try to stay on the bike and see it out to the end of the race. The first moto was bad but if they had run the second moto, it would have been even worse,’ The Spaniard, who rides for Team Silver Action said he is now looking forward to the next GP in Bulgaria next weekend. ‘I love hard tracks land ones with big jumps like they have in Bulgaria,’ he said. I will try to make a podium there.’ Barragan already has four MX1 GPs to his credit, all last season when he won in Belgium, South Africa, Sweden and Britain.
 Results (One moto only)
1. Tanel Leok, Estonia, Yamaha
2. Ken de Dyker, Belgium, Suzuki
3. Clement Desalle, Belgium, Honda
4. Aigar Leok, Estonia, TM
5. Antonio Cairoli, Italy,
Other KTM
7. Max Nagl, Germany, KTM
10. Jonathan Barragan, Spain, KTM
22. Gert Krestinov, Estonia, KTM
Standings after GP of Italy
1. Tanel Leok, Estonia, Yamaha, 25
2. Ken de Dyker, Belgium, Suzuki, 22
3. Clement Desalle, Belgium, Honda, 20
4. Aigar Leok, Estonia, TM, 18
5. Antonio Cairoli, Italy, 16
Other KTM
7. Max Nagl, Germany, KTM, 14
10. Jonathan Barragan, Spain, KTM, 11

KTM’s Marc Coma secures third Desert Classic victory
KTM Factory rider Marc Coma rode a masterly tactical race to top the podium in the 2009 Desert Classic on the sands around Abu Dhabi. KTM teammate Cyril Despres was second and Norway’s Pal-Anders Ullesvalseter third place gave KTM a clean sweep.

It was the Spanish rider’s third win in the United Arab Emirates event in four years and follows on from his Dakar 2009 triumph, the first time the legendary classic was run in South America in January of this year.
Coma, who assumed the lead on Thursday over his teammate Despres, took advantage of a new regulation that allows the race leader to choose a starting position for the final stage. Marc opted to start in fourth place on a day that presented strong winds and where shifting sands reduced visibility. He was able to follow the tracks of those in front and had extended his lead by over two and a half minutes at the first checkpoint. Coma eventually finished five minutes 42 seconds ahead of Despres with Ullesvalseter joining the world’s two best rally riders on the podium. All three were onboard KTM 690 R machines.
Sébastien Husseini came in as the leading Quad in ninth place overall in the bike category riding a KTM 525 XC therefore achieving his ambition of a top ten place.
Slim first stage lead for Despres
The race was launched in earnest on Monday after Sunday’s super special with riders being hampered by strong winds, occasional restricted visibility and shifting sands with Despres arriving at the Tal Mureeb bivouac with a slim 41 seconds edge on Coma after the 442.36km of high speed sand flats and sabkas (salt flats). Ullesvalseter of Norway settled in behind the two KTM factory riders in third place.
Coma in front after stage two
Low-lying fog delayed the start on Tuesday where riders had to tackle soft sand and high temperatures but Coma struck back during the 296.75 km desert loop, setting the stage for what was to be a tactical game by the world’s two top riders. The Spaniard was a 1m 39 s faster over Despres at the first passage control and finished the day’s ride with a 1m 25s lead. Ullesvalseter, second over the stage retained his third overall place behind Coma and Despres.
Cat and mouse in third and fourth stages
The overall lead reverted to the Frenchman Despres in stage three, a 340 km loop in what was regarded as the most difficult stage of the rally. He slipped past his arch rival but admitted there was still a lot of work to do. ‘This is typical for the Desert Challenge. It is never easy,’ By the end of the day over the tricky dunes Coma had narrowed the deficit to the slimmest 22 second margin. Then, on the penultimate day, beset by strong winds and hampered visibility, Coma again reclaimed the lead from Despres to set up a gladiatorial battle on the final day.
Coma the master tactician
With the weather a major factor on the final day, all that was left was for Coma to play his ace card, choose his starting position carefully and go out and finish the job. He closed out the race in third place in the final stage, and with Despres coming in at fifth, the prize again went to KTM’s Spanish rider.
‘It’s a great feeling to take a second win of the season and to keep up that winning run,’ Coma told reporters, ‘Today was very difficult. The first part of the stage was in a sand storm and you couldn’t see the dunes or the track too well. The last section was faster, but there were some difficult sand spits to deal with.’
Overall Results
1. Marc Coma, Spain, KTM, 20h 18m 00s
2. Cyril Despres, France, KTM, 20h 23m 42s
3. Pal-Anders Ullesvalseter, Norway, KTM, 20h 25m 36s
4. Sean Gaugain, South Africa, Honda, 20h 46m 11s
5. Mark Ackerman, South Africa, KTM, 20h 49m 53s
6. Jakub Przygonski, Poland, KTM, 20h 50m 32s
7. Dave McBride, Britain, Honda, 20h 58m 38s
8. Jacek Czachor, Poland, KTM, 21h 56m 33s
9. Sébastien Husseini, Netherlands, KTM 525 XC, 22h 02m 36s* (top Quad)
10. Sean Linton, Britain, Honda, 22h 11m 50s


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