WORLD ENDURO CHAMPIONSHIP: THE BIG SHOW STARTS NOW!

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Christophe Nambotin

Photos: Future7media, D. Agrati

The first round of the 2015 World Enduro Championship took place in Talca, Chile, and it features an extreme range of conditions. Day one was dusty, day two was muddy, calling for a wide range of skills. At the end of it all, there were three different teams that shared the spotlight. TM rider Eero Remes won the E1 class, KTM’s Antoine Meo won E2 and Sherco rider Matti Seistola won the E3 (large displacement) class on a 300cc two-stroke.

E1 Action
KTM’s Christophe Nambotin, the defending champion, started Saturday with a 10 second penalty after burning out a spark plug at the start. Nonetheless, he wrapped up his efforts to win by a margin of 62 seconds. 
Nambotin said it had been a tough day. “With the 10-second penalty, and the fact that Marc Bourgeois was very fast on the first lap, I had to keep pushing all day. It was very easy to make mistakes, especially on the extreme test, but it’s great to start the new season with a win.” Bourgeois and class rookie Daniel McCanney rounded off the Stage One E1 podium, while Remes was fourth.

Remes came back to win the muddy second day, which gave him the victory on total points. Nambotin crashed on the opening test of Stage Two on Sunday and despite a strong performance he was not able to make up the time, eventually conceding defeat to Remes. He still came away leading the championship tally after the opening action for 2015, which awards points for each day, rather than overall score.

 

Antoine Meo
Antoine Meo

E2 Action
Antoine Meo was the winner of the KTM Super Test on Friday, an occasion that was celebrated by a big crowd of enthusiastic fans. At the halfway mark, on Saturday he was in third place but then turned up the heat in the second half and was well positioned to capitalize on the situation when race leader Pela Renet crashed in the final Enduro test.

Antoine Meo: “The competition is always close in the Enduro 2 class and today it was exactly like that. I pushed hard during the final lap and things worked out great. The terrain was very slippery but the day ended in a very good way for me.” Alex Salvini and Johnny Aubert completed the Stage One E2 podium.

Meo continued his good form on Sunday and was incredibly fast, surprising even himself with his speed in the first test. He maintained a very fast pace to go on to take a deserved win.

Antoine Meo: “Winning on day one was a great way to begin the season. The conditions were incredibly dry, but I felt stronger and stronger with each lap. I was surprised to be as fast as I was on the first test. Normally Renet is faster than me when it’s wet and slippery. But I got a big advantage immediately and felt better and better on each test after that. It was a great day. My feeling with my bike is really good. We worked a lot this winter to get a great set-up and I felt great all weekend. Also, I did a lot of training during the winter following my injury last year. Looks like we are in a good way and I’m looking forward to the season.”

Chili Seistola 2
Matti Seistola

E3 Action

Sherco rider Matti Seistola won the E3 category and moved into the lead in the World Championship. On Saturday, after a great battle with Husky’s Mathias Bellino and  KTM’s Matthew Phillips, Seistola finished in second place. On Sunday, Matti won all the special stages of the day. Stage One saw title defender Matthew Phillips have a mixed day. He was strong on the three cross tests but a number of crashes saw him have to scramble for an eventual podium third on a day when French rider Mathias Bellino dominated the action. Finn Matti Seistola passed Phillips in the penultimate test to take second place.

Stage Two was not a good day for the KTM E3 riders. Phillips finished in an uncharacteristic eighth place. Teammate Ivan Cervantes, who has been troubled with recent injuries only managed a twelfth place finish in the second stage.

The championship resumes for Round 2 on May 9-10 in Jerez, Spain.

***

World Enduro Championship, Round 1 Stage 2 at Talca, Chile
Note: Stage 1 & 2 results in parenthesis

E1 Results
1, Eero Remes, FIN, TM, (4 – 1)
2, Christophe Nambotin, FRA, KTM, (1 – 2)
3, Daniel McCanney, GBR, Husqvarna, (3 – 3)
4, Marc Bourgeois, FRA, Yamaha, (2 – 4)
5, Cristobal Guerrero, ESP, Yamaha, (5 – 5)

E1 Standings after Round 1 Stage 2
1, Nambotin, 37
2, Remes, 33
3, Bourgeois, 30
4, D. McCanney, 30
5, Guerrero, 22

E2 Results
1, Antoine Meo, FRA, KTM, (1 – 1)
2, Pierre-Alexandre Renet, FRA, Husqvarna, (2 – 2)
3, Alex Salvini, ITA, Honda, (3 – 3)
4, Johnny Aubert, FRA, Beta, (4 – 4)
5, Jaume Betriu, ESP, Husqvarna, (8  – 5)

 

E2 Standings after Round 1 Stage 2

1, Meo, 40
2, Renet, 34
3, Salvini, 30
4, Aubert, 26
5, V. Guerrero, 20

E3 Results 

1, Matti Seistola, FIN, Sherco, (2 – 1)
2, Aigar Leok, EST, TM, (5 – 2)
3, Jonathan Barragan, ESP, Gas Gas, (NC – 3)
4, Mathias Bellino, FRA, Husqvarna, (1 – 4)
5, Jeremy Tarroux, FRA, Sherco, (7 – 4)

E3 Standings after Round 1 Stage 2
1, Seistola, 37
2, Bellino, 33
3, Leok, 28
4, Phillips, 23
5, Oldrati, 2
6, Tarroux, 20

 

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