CH Racing Husqvarna team rider Antoine Meo has continued his impressive form in the ’08 World Enduro Championship with a double podium finish in the Enduro 2 class at the GP of Spain. Putting his disappointing results at the recent GP of Portugal behind him Antoine finished as runner-up to Frenchman Johnny Aubert on day one and in third place on day two behind Aubert and Juha Salminen. Joining Meo in claiming podium results for Husqvarna at the third round of the ’08 WEC series were Seb Guillaume, who placed third in the Enduro 3 class on day one, and Marc Bourgeois, who placed third in the Enduro Junior class on day one. Disappointingly for the CH Racing Husqvarna team Enduro 1 class rider Bartosz Oblucki was a non-starter in Spain due to the hand injury he sustained at the opening round of the championship in Sweden.
With conditions extremely dry and dusty at the GP of Spain Meo made just two mistakes on day one – both of which on the extreme test. Not letting his lack of experience hamper his performance Antoine showed as he did in both Sweden and Portugal that no matter what the terrain or conditions he has what it takes to finish on the Enduro 2 class podium. Putting in a solid opening lap on day one before losing time to his E2 class rivals on the second and third runs through the extreme test, Antoine ended the first day by topping the last special motocross test to claim an eventual runner-up result behind E2 world championship leader Johnny Aubert.
Confident that he could again finish on the podium on day two Meo placed a lowly 12th in class on the opening extreme test before bouncing back to finish second on test two. Failing to master the extreme test on day two just like on day one Antoine’s performances on the fast forest based enduro test and rutted and dusty motocross tests more than made up for his poor start to the day as he claimed a well deserved third place result finishing over one-minute ahead of the fourth placed rider. After three rounds of the ’08 WEC series, and having scored no points at the GP of Portugal, Antoine currently sits eighth in the Enduro 2 world championship standings.
In the Enduro 3 class Seb Guillaume finished in a solid third place on day one before falling to fifth on day two. Starting in the worst possible way on day one with 14th in class on the opening extreme test Seb fought back during the remaining nine special tests and despite a second mistake in the fourth and final extreme test claimed a deserved third place finish behind Samuli Aro and Christophe Nambotin. Again seeing his worst special tests performances come on the extreme test, and his best on the motocross and enduro tests, Seb placed fifth on day two. Were it not for his two costly mistakes on the extreme test Seb would likely have claimed a podium finish on day two, as he did on day one.
Finishing in third position in the Enduro Junior class on day one Marc Bourgeois performed well at the GP of Spain, despite narrowly missing out on a podium result on day two. Fast on all of the event’s three special tests Marc saw three crashes stop him from finishing as runner-up on day one as he missed the second step of the podium by less than three seconds. On day two Marc missed the podium by just five seconds and were it not for mistakes on four of the day’s special tests would likely have finished as runner-up.
Antoine Meo: “I’m really happy with my weekend. I hoped to take some good points so to finish on the podium on both days is great for me. I still have to do some work on my bike, to make it better, but I am pleased with my two podium results. I crashed five times on day one, twice in the same place on the extreme test, and one on the motocross and one on the enduro test. But I was able to come back strong during the end of the day. Day two was better because I didn’t make so many mistakes but I dropped one position to third. But two podium results is great.”
Seb Guillaume: “Day one was good but I made too many mistakes on the extreme test. On both days I had problems there and that stopped me finishing on the podium on day two. It was tough for me because I was riding well on the enduro and motocross tests, I just made too many mistakes on the extreme test. I’m pleased with third on day one but I wanted to finish on the podium on day two.”
Marc Bourgeois: “It’s not been a great weekend for me. On day one I wasn’t fast enough on the first and second laps. I didn’t make any real mistakes but I just wasn’t able to be as fast as I needed to be. The third lap wasn’t so bad but after two not so good laps it was impossible to try and win.
“Day two started really well but then I made a lot of crashes. I went from leading to finishing fourth. It’s not been a good weekend for me really, but my speed was good so I need to make fewer mistakes and I am confident that in Poland I can get a good result.”
2008 World Enduro Championship
Grand Prix of Spain – Day 1
Enduro 2 class
1. Johnny Aubert (Yamaha) 44:35.97; 2. Antoine Meo (CH Racing Husqvarna) 45:57.22; 3. Alessandro Belometti (KTM) 46:00.33; 4. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 46:20.90; 5. Valtteri Salonen (Husaberg) 46:38.38; 6. Fabrizio Dini (Yamaha) 46:43.60; 7. Alessandro Zanni (Honda) 46:44.56; 8. Simo Kirssi (BMW) 46:48.77; 9. Rodrig Thain (TM) 46:55.72; 10. Fabio Mossini (Honda) 47:28.18; 11. Jari Mattila (Honda); 12. Jean Francois Goblet (BMW) 48:11.65; 13. Nicolas Paganon (Aprilia) 48:13.76; 14. Nicolas Deparrois (Gas Gas) 48:17.65; 15. Freddy Blanc (Suzuki) 48:29.91; 16. Andrea Belotti (KTM) 48:34.51; 17. Xacob Agra (BMW) 48:35.16; 18. Hans Vogel (Yamaha) 48:40.21; 19. Felipe Zanol (Yamaha) 49:16.17; 20. Amel Advokaat (KTM) 49:16.39
Enduro 3 class
1. Samuli Aro (KTM) (45:08.56); 2. Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas) 45:40.44; 3. Sebastien Guillaume (CH Racing Husqvarna) 46:02.1; 4. Marko Tarkkala (KTM) 46:08.49; 5. Fabien Planet (KTM) 46:23.94; 6. Xavier Galindo (KTM) 46:29.92; 7. Stefan Merriman (Aprilia) 46:39.03; 8. Gerard Fares (KTM) 46:45.83; 9. Bjorne Carlsson (Husaberg) 46:50.11; 10. Alessandro Botturi (HONDA) 47:13.44; 11. Anders Eriksson (BMW) 47:26.28; 12. Marcus Kehr (KTM) 47:54.96; 13. Jordi Figueras (KTM) 47:57.83; 14. Juan Pedrero (Yamaha) 48:09.85; 15.Ervin Plekkenpol (Honda) 48:12.49; 16.Alessio Paoli (Beta) 48:57.55; 17. Euan McConnell (TM) 49:37.02; 18. Stefan Svitko (KTM) 51:06.05; 19. Juraj Dozsa (Gas Gas) 51:10.25; 20 .Gordon Clarke (TM) 52:10.69
Enduro Junior class
1. Thomas Oldrati (KTM) 46:32.32; 2. Oriol Mena (KTM) 47:05.65; 3. Marc Bourgeois (CH Racing Husqvarna) 47:08.54; 4. Mirko Gritti (Beta) 47:20.94; 5. Carlos Andreu (KTM) 47:44.33; 6. Victor Guerrero (KTM) 48:07.50; 7. Greg Evans (KTM) 48:36.57; 8. Simon Wakely (Husqvarna) 49:07.65; 9. Bert Mayer (BMW) 49:12.02; 10. Jeremy Joly (Sherco) 49:13.84; 11. Antti Hellsten (Husqvarna) 49:15.13; 12. Oscar Balletti (Honda) 49:20.28; 13 Romain Boucardey (KTM) 49:55.40; 14. Phillip McLaughlin (TM) 50:15.66; 15. Guillem Pares (Yamaha) 50:36.12; 16. Adam Guillaume (Husqvarna) 50:37.61; 17. Adrien Metge (Husqvarna) 50:48.26; 18. Ashley Wood (Honda) 50:53.97; 19. Fredrick Berg (KTM) 50:59.72; 20. Mark Risse (Gas Gas) 51:25.89
2008 World Enduro Championship
Grand Prix of Portugal – Day 2
Enduro 2 class
1. Johnny Aubert (Yamaha) 38:36.74; 2. Juha Salminen (KTM) 38:52.50; 3. Antoine Meo (CH Racing Husqvarna) 39:58.63; 4. Rodrig Thain (TM) 40:46.75; 5. Fabrizio Dini (Yamaha) 40:49.75; 6. Alessandro Belometti (KTM) 40:50.53; 7. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 40:53.51; 8. Valtteri Salonen (Husaberg) 40:58.35; 9. Fabio Mossini (Honda) 41:12.67; 10. Alessandro Zanni (Honda) 41:17.02; 11. Aaron Bernandez (Husqvarna) 41:19.48; 12. Andrea Belotti (KTM) 41:34.87; 13. Jari Mattila (Honda) 42:09.48; 14. Nicolas Deparrois (Gas Gas) 42:12.71; 15. Hans Vogel (Yamaha) 42:16.14; 16. Nicolas Paganon (Aprilia) 42:43.77; 17. Amel Advokaat (KTM) 43:05.51; 18. Xacob Agra (BMW) 43:08.65; 19. Rudy Cotton (Beta) 43:24.77; 20. Felipe Zanol (Yamaha) 44:13.09
Enduro 3 class
1. Samuli Aro (KTM) 39:56.62; 2. Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas) 40:06.79; 3. Marko Tarkkala (KTM) 40:09.12; 4. Stefan Merriman (Aprilia) 40:11.25; 5. Sebastien Guillaume (CH Racing Husqvarna) 40:34.87; 5. Marcus Kehr (KTM) 40:38.52; 6. Bjorne Carlsson (Husaberg) 40:54.22; 7. Xavier Galindo (KTM) 41:00.19; 8. Antoine Letellier (Aprilia) 41:01.17; 9. Alessandro Botturi (Honda) 41:24.55; 10. Gerard Fares (KTM) 41:28.76; 11. Ervin Plekkenpol (Honda) 42:26.83; 12. Stefan Svitko (KTM) 42:39.98; 13. Anders Eriksson (BMW) 43:05.55; 14. Jordi Figueras (KTM) 43:29.50; 15. Jordan Jou (Honda); 16. Juraj Dozsa (Gas Gas) 44:42.81; 18. Gordon Clarke (TM) 46:22.93
Enduro Junior class
1. Thomas Oldrati (KTM) 40:57.53; 2. Oriol Mena (KTM) 41:10.06; 3. Mirko Gritti (Beta) 41:25.30; 4. Marc Bourgeois (CH Racing Husqvarna) 41:30.31; 5. Victor Guerrero (KTM) 41:40.32; 6. Greg Evans (KTM) 42:13.60; 7. Oscar Balletti (Honda) 42:30.53; 8. Jeremy Joly (Sherco) 42:53.70 9. Antti Hellsten (Husqvarna) 43:11.60; 10. Adrien Metge (Husqvarna) 43:23.99; 11. Simon Wakely (Husqvarna) 43:38.65; 12 David Gannac (Suzuki) 43:52.44; 13. Philip McLaughlin (TM) 44:12.65; 14. Ashley Wood (Honda) 44:21.24; 15. Guillem Pares (Yamaha) 44:36.80; 16. Marc Sola (KTM) 44:45.54; 17. Romain Dumontier (Husqvarna) 44:51.72; 18. Karl Svensson (KTM) 44:54.72; 19. Bert Mayer (BMW) 45:08.08; 20. Peter Germain (Kawasaki) 45:21.50