The Husqvarna CH Racing Monster Energy Team’s Finnish and French riders delivered more impressive results at the second round of the Enduro World Championship at Vale de Brava in Portugal, to remain on top in the E1 and E2 championship standings.
Delivering victory to the Husqvarna CH Racing Monster Energy Team with an E1 class-topping ride on day one, Salminen was his usual cool, calm, and collected self while many riders made costly mistakes on the challenging extreme test.
Juha Salminen remained relaxed throughout the opening day’s competition, despite considerable pressure from team-mate Matti Seistola and fellow countryman Eero Remes. Slightly off the pace on the motocross test, on the extreme test Juha was the rider to beat on all three laps, ensuring he claimed his third consecutive day win of the series.
Day two proved to be good but not quite as good as day one, as after winning the opening enduro test Juha made several mistakes on the extreme test, which saw him fall behind Remes. However, with three wins and one runner-up result achieved on his Husqvarna TE250, Juha sits 15 points clear at the top of the Enduro 1 championship standings.
“It was great to win on day one and I didn’t really have any problems all day,” said Juha. “The second day didn’t quite work out for me although I finished second, which isn’t bad. As far as the championship goes things have started really well and I’m very happy with everything.”
The GP of Portugal proved to be a mixed weekend for E1 team-mate Matti Seistola, as the hard-charging Finn missed the podium by just one place on day one before disappointingly having to retire on day two. He now sits fifth in the E1 series standings.
For Enduro 2 championship leader Antoine Meo and his Husqvarna TE310, day one of the GP of Portugal proved to be a tough one as he only managed to win one special test, failing to find his usual pace-setting form. Day two saw a determined Meo produce a dramatically improved performance, despite falling twice in the enduro test on the final lap. Were it not for those mistakes Antoine would have been well placed to challenge for the win, but in finishing as runner-up Meo now sits 10 points clear at the top of the E2 championship standings.
“I felt like I’d never ridden a bike before at the start of the first day,” said Antoine. “My biggest problem was the extreme test where I crashed a few times and just didn’t feel good. Day two started better than the first day. Johnny Aubert was really fast but I put two good laps together and things were going well. However, I fell twice in the enduro test on the final lap, which lost me some time. Still, I managed to come back and finish second and took some good championship points.”
For the Husqvarna team’s Enduro 3 class riders Seb Guillaume and Alex Salvini the GP of Portugal ended with both riders failing to finish one of the two days. With Guillaume placing a strong fourth on day one, it was Salvini who was first to retire following a big crash on the enduro test. Thankfully not seriously injured the Italian was unable to continue but battled to seventh on day two. Day two ended shortly after it had begun for Guillaume as he also crashed on the enduro test, on lap one. Aggravating his shoulder the Frenchman was forced to retire. Seb now sits sixth in the Enduro 3 championship standings.
The championship resumes on May 14-15 at Francavilla di Sicilia for the GP of Italy.