Victory for Guillaume at GP of Wales

CH Racing Husqvarna rider Seb Guillaume claimed his best results of the ’08 World Enduro Championship so far this season at the GP of Wales where the Frenchman placed as runner-up in the Enduro 3 class on day one before claiming his second day win of the year on day two. Revelling in the difficult Welsh conditions, and following on from his stunning return to form at the GP of Poland, Seb again claimed the CH Racing Husqvarna team’s best results as he closes in on the third place position in the Enduro 3 championship standings.

Second to countryman Christophe Nambotin on day one, Seb, like all riders found the conditions in Wales extremely challenging and was fortunate to benefit from a costly mistake by Stefan Merriman having trailed the Australian in third for much of the day. With no rider able to perform mistake free due to the heavy rain and extremely slippery special tests Seb mixed good special tests performances with the occasional mistake to finish one-minute behind Nambotin and close to one-minute ahead of Finn Marko Tarkkala.

Starting well on day two with runner-up finishes in the opening two special tests, Seb performed consistently while several of his class rivals made costly mistakes. Recording the fastest times in two of the day’s special tests he arrived at the ninth and final test of the day all but level with Finland’s Marko Tarkkala. Needing simply to win the test in order to claim the day win Seb placed six seconds ahead of Tarkkala to stand on top of the E3 class podium for the second time in as many races.

Despite the GP of Wales being the toughest event of the ’08 WEC season the CH Racing Husqvarna team’s Enduro 1 class rider Bartosz Oblucki claimed two top 10 results on is return from injury. Lacking race fitness due to the hand injury he sustained at the opening round of the series Oblucki placed sixth on day one and seventh on day two.

Opting to compete on a 250cc two-stroke and not his usual 450cc four-stroke Antoine Meo finished ninth on both days in the Enduro 2 class and would likely have finished fourth in class on day two had he not unfortunately clocked into one of the day’s time controls one-minute early. Finding the opening day tough Meo recorded some impressive special test performances on day two, but with one-minute being added to his special test times as a result of clocking in early he was unable to improve on his day one result despite his improved riding.

Disappointingly the CH Racing Husqvarna team’s Enduro Junior class rider Marc Bourgeois was unable to compete in Wales due to having broken his scaphoid prior to the event. Although it is not yet known how long Marc will be out of action it looks certain that he will miss his home GP next weekend and may not return to competition until the ISDE in Greece in early September.

Seb Guillaume: “Wales is a very beautiful country but they have very hard enduro races. It was hard, the special tests were really difficult, but it was a true enduro and I enjoyed it. I was lucky to finish second on day one because Stefan Merriman was second before the second to last special tests and then made a mistake on the extreme test, which put me second. So I was a little lucky. Day two was great – I had a really good fight with Tarkkala and Nambotin. Nambotin crashed and dropped from the top three, which left myself and Tarkkala. Before the last special test we were level on time. I managed to win the test and also the day, which I’m very happy about. It’s been a great weekend.”

Antoine Meo: “The team’s decision to race on a 250cc two-stroke was definitely the right one because the bike worked great in the muddy conditions. The first day was so difficult because of the weather and the hard special tests. It was the hardest enduro I have competed in so far. It was impossible not to make any mistakes. I made some mistakes and they cost me minutes not seconds. The second day was going much better for me compared to the first day, but I made a stupid mistake and arrived one-minute early at one of the time controls. I should have finished fourth but ended up in ninth.”

Bartosz Oblucki: “It’s been a mixed weekend for me because I had some good tests and some not so good tests. But the hardest thing for me was my lack of race fitness. Because I’ve been injured this season I’m not as bike fit as the other riders, which made things extra hard for me. But I felt like I was riding well, my bike was really good, and I know that I just need to spend more time racing and my results will improve. It was really hard not to make any mistakes on day one because the weather was so bad. On day two it wasn’t too difficult although it was still tough. I just need to keep racing now to improve my fitness and feeling with my bike.”

2008 World Enduro Championship

Grand Prix of Wales – Day 1

Enduro 1 class

1. Marc Germain (Yamaha) 54:25.30; 2. Simone Albergoni (Yamaha) 54:29.64; 3. Mika Ahola (Honda) 54:58.99; 4. Ivan Cervantes (KTM) 55:05.65; 5. Tom Sagar (KTM) 55:43.19; 6. Bartosz Oblucki (CH Racing Husqvarna) 56:47.51; 7. Cristobal Guerrero (Yamaha) 57:07.34; 8. Maurizio Micheluz (Yamaha) 59:16.92; 9. Graham Jarvis (Sherco) 1:01:34.61; 10. Robert Jones (Yamaha) 1:03:56.16; 11. Mike Hartman (KTM) 1:05:38.71; 12. Jordan Curvalle (Suzuki) 1:06:32.76; 13. Andrew Edwards (KTM) 1:09:12.39; 14. Jakub Horak (KTM) 1:12:37.46; 15. Richard Hay (KTM) 1:35:23.79

Enduro 2 class

1. Juha Salminen (KTM) 52:30.26; 2. David Knight (KTM) 53:16.38; 3. Johnny Aubert (Yamaha) 54:38.74; 4. Paul Edmondson (Suzuki) 55:45.58; 5. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 55:51.91; 6. Nicolas Paganon (Aprilia) 56:26.39; 7. Jari Mattila (Honda) 56:32.92; 8. Simo Kirssi (BMW) 56:59.78; 9. Antoine Meo (CH Racing Husqvarna) 57:24.39; 10. Fabrizio Dini (Yamaha) 59:16.84; 11. Alessandro Belometti (KTM) 59:41.92; 12. Nicolas Deparrois (Gas Gas) 59:46.67; 13. Rudy Cotton (Beta) 1:00:52.36; 14. Valtteri Salonen (Husaberg) 1:01:24.47; 15. Felipe Zanol (Yamaha) 1:07:00.37; 16. Kevin Murray (Yamaha) 1:08:09.34; 17. Justin Wilson (Yamaha) 1:13:03.98; 18. Darren Wheeler (Husaberg) 1:13:07.52; 19. Chris Hockey (Honda) 1:13:53.58; 20. Rich Warner (KTM) 1:22:16.26

Enduro 3 Class

1. Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas) 54:07.63; 2. Sebastien Guillaume (CH Racing Husqvarna) 55:17.93; 3. Marko Tarkkala (KTM) 56:15.45; 4. Samuli Aro (KTM) 57:00.40; 5. Marcus Kehr (KTM) 57:04.08; 6. Bjorne Carlsson (Husaberg) 57:06.46; 7. Xavier Galindo (KTM) 57:30.01; 8. Anders Eriksson (BMW) 58:11.16; 9. Euan McConnell (TM) 58:12.93; 10. Stefan Merriman (Aprilia) 1:00:16.67; 11. Stefan Svitko (KTM) 1:00:20.99; 12. Juan Knight (Gas Gas) 1:00:37.66; 13. Wayne Braybrook (Gas Gas) 1:01:11.08; 14. Edward Jones (KTM) 1:02:49.20; 15. Gordon Clarke (TM) 1:10:58.25

2008 World Enduro Championship

Grand Prix of Wales – Day 1

Enduro 1 class

1. Mika Ahola (Honda) 49:55.00; 2. Ivan Cervantes (KTM) 50:16.65; 3. Marc Germain (Yamaha) 50:18.29; 4. Simone Albergoni (Yamaha) 50:35.71; 5. Tom Sagar (KTM) 50:42.14; 6. Cristobal Guerrero (Yamaha) 51:01.37; 7. Bartosz Oblucki (CH Racing Husqvarna) 51:19.48; 8. Maurizio Micheluz (Yamaha) 52:20.73; 9. Mike Harman (KTM) 53:23.11; 10. Jordan Curvalle (Suzuki) 53:27.11; 11. Luca Cherubini (TM) 54:56.92; 12. Daniele Tellini (Suzuki) 55:14.41; 13. Andrew Edwards (KTM) 56:58.63; 14. Robert Jones (Yamaha) 57:17.68; 15. Jakub Horak (KTM) 57:25.03; 16. Goncalo Reis (KTM) 58:48.54; 17. Richard Hay (KTM) 1:00:38.20

Enduro 2 class

1. Johnny Aubert (Yamaha) 48:12.58; 2. Juha Salminen (KTM) 48:57.89; 3. David Knight (KTM) 49:41.95; 4. Paul Edmondson (Suzuki) 51:39.28; 5. Rodrig Thain (TM) 51:47.27; 6. Jari Mattila (Honda) 51:50.81; 7. Nicolas Paganon (Aprilia) 51:51.31; 8. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 51:58.01; 9. Antoine Meo (CH Racing Husqvarna) 51:09.76; 10. Simo Kirssi (BMW) 52:31.87; 11. Alessandro Belometti (KTM) 53:01.46; 12. Felipe Zanol (Yamaha) 54:04.44; 13. Nicolas Deparrois (Gas Gas) 54:07.73; 14. Rudy Cotton (Beta) 54:14.32; 15. Fabrizio Dini (Yamaha) 54:15.46; 16. Fabio Mossini (Honda) 55:22.33; 17. Hans Vogel (Yamaha) 56:21.13; 18. Chris Hockey (Honda) 56:30.25; 19. Kevin Murray (Yamaha) 56:37.51; 20. Aaron Bernardez (Husqvarna) 56:51.09

Enduro 3 class

1. Sebastien Guillaume (CH Racing Husqvarna) 50:38.71; 2. Marko Tarkkala (KTM) 50:45.40; 3. Stefan Merriman (Aprilia) 50:53.78; 4. Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas) 50:55.41; 5. Marcus Kehr (KTM) 50:56.14; 6. Samuli Aro (KTM) 51:29.81; 7. Xavier Galindo (KTM) 51:48.99; 8. Antoine Letellier (Aprilia) 52:10.68; 9. Anders Eriksson (BMW) 52:13.78; 10. Nathan Kanney (KTM) 52:36.35; 11. Bjorne Carlsson (Husaberg) 52:54.91; 12. Euan McConnell (TM) 53:19.00; 13. Juan Knight (Gas Gas) 54:19.23; 14. Stefan Svitko (KTM) 54:42.01; 15. Wayne Braybrook (Gas Gas) 55:19.16; 16. Edward Jones (KTM) 56:05.56; 17. Mark Wasink (KTM) 56:21.31; 18. Erwin Plekkenpol (Honda) 57:35.20; 19. Gordon Clarke (TM) 58:04.94; 20 Rob Wrayford (Gas Gas) 59:28.97

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