Salminen misses E1 in Slovakia; Bellometti fourth on Saturday
The penultimate round of the E1 Enduro World Championship was missing the dominant rider of the season, the KTM Enduro Factory Team’s Juha Salminen.
The absence of the injured Finn may have allowed someone else a place on to top podium but he still leads the points.
Salminen has won every race this season up to this weekend’s event in the Slovakian ski resort of Krompachy but he broke a collarbone competing in a race in Britain three weeks ago and decided to sit out this weekend to give his injury another two weeks to heal. He returns to the circuit for the last event in France, which will hopefully also wrap up the title in his favour.
‘It might have been possible for Juha to race here but he decided not to take any risk so that he would be 100 percent fit for the last races,’ said KTM team boss Fabio Farioli. ‘I think that was the right decision.’
Salminen may have let someone else enjoy the top spot this weekend but he still has a commanding lead in the championships. Meanwhile his KTM teammate Alessandro Belometti came in fourth on Saturday behind Cristobal Guerrero, Simone Albergoni and Marc Germain, leaving the points order unchanged.
The 55km of trail, covered three and a half times each day of this two day event making up the Grand Prix of Slovakia, offered a good mix of surfaces and was very competitive for the riders. They did have to contend with a big downpour of rain in the last lap, which added another edge to the competition.
1. Cristobal Guerrero, Spain, Yamaha
2. Simone Albergoni, Italy, Yamaha
3. Marc Germain, France, Yamaha
4. Alessandro Belometti, Italy, KTM
5. Bartosz Oblucki, Poland Husqvarna.
belometti on his way to 4th place
Aro denied victory after crash in last E2 Test in Krompachy
KTM Enduro Factory Team’s Samuli Aro fought strong and hard against arch rival and Finnish countryman Mika Ahola in E2 action in Slovakia on Saturday but was denied victory after losing time in a crash in the last test.
‘Samuli was very fast today and he really fought hard against Ahola,’ said team boss Fabio Farioli of the first day’s action at the Grand Prix of Slovakia being battled out in the Tatra Mountains. ‘There was only one second difference going into the final test and then Samuli crashed and lost some seconds.’
Aro, the reigning champion, also wrenched his knee in the crash and Farioli said that although he expected him to race again on Sunday, he may not be at 100% fitness. Aro’s teammate Fabien Planet put in a solid performance for fifth place.
Saturday’s race still leaves the four leading riders in the same order in the season’s standings with Ahola holding a 21-point advantage over Aro and another 75 points still up for grabs in the three remaining races of the season.
1. Mika Ahola, Finland, Honda
2. Jonny Aubert, France, Yamaha
3. Samuli Aro, Finland, KTM
4. Stefan Merriman, Aprilia, Australia
5. Fabien Planet, France, KTM
Samuli Aro third in Slovakia
Planet comes home fifth
Cervantes takes first E3 race at Krompachy
KTM Enduro Factory Team’s Ivan Cervantes showed he was the boss of the big Enduros on Saturday at the first of two E3 World Championship races at this Slovak ski resort.
Cervantes reigned supreme over the 55 km trail on a circuit covered three and a half times on Saturday for the Grand Prix of Slovakia. A huge downpour in the last hour also added another dimension to what was already a competitive and fast track.
After the tests, the Spanish KTM rider came home almost 13 seconds ahead of his nearest rival Sebastien Guillaume to be the undisputed winner and to add another 25 points onto his lead in the championship standings. KTM Teammate Marko Tarkkala was not so fortunate. He crashed about half way through the race and eventually finished in fourth place. A bang on the head during the crash gave him some discomfort but team boss Fabio Farioli said he was confident that Tarkkala, hell bent on closing the 35-point gap between himself and Cervantes, would be back in the saddle for Sunday’s race. The two KTM riders are fighting out the title between them but there is still another 75 points up for grabs and their rivals are close.
1. Ivan Cervantes, Spain, KTM
2. Sebastien Guillaume, France, Husqvarna
3. Bjorne Carlsson, Sweden, Husaberg
4. Marko Tarkkala, Finland, KTM
5. Marcus Kehr, Germany, KTM