At the end of six demanding days of racing, Husqvarna CH Racing Monster Energy Team riders Juha Salminen and Matti Seistola could celebrate winning the World Trophy as part of the Finnish team. The 2011 edition of the FIM International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) was held August 8-13 in Kotka, Finland.
With Finland expected to top the World Trophy class, the fact that this year’s ISDE was held in their home country meant there was added pressure on both Salminen and Seistola to perform. And perform they did. With Salminen claiming the eventual runner-up position in the E1 class, Seistola spent most of the week in third before a damaged radiator on day five dropped him to an eventual finishing position of fifth.
Heavy rain during the first four days of the 86th ISDE made sure it was a demanding race for all riders. Competing at the front of the entry, Salminen enjoyed a largely trouble-free week, having to do little more than fit new tires and brake pads to his Husqvarna TE250. Second to countryman Eero Remes on all but the third day – which he won by 10 seconds – Juha earned a well-deserved second place in the official Enduro 1 class results, following an impressive performance during his final day motocross race.
Competing in his first ISDE, Matti Seistola was having a very similar week to team-mate Salminen during the first four days of competition. Third in the E1 class behind Remes and Salminen, on day four a fall on one of the special tests resulted in his bike being landed on, which damaged the radiator. Forced to fit a new radiator, Matti picked up a four-minute time penalty that dropped him from third in class to 18th. Delivering a dominant performance in the final day motocross race, Matti lifted himself to an eventual fifth in the E1 class at the end of what was a challenging week for the six days first timer.
“I’ve had a good race from the start really. My bike has run well and the tests were a lot of fun,” said Juha Salminen. “During the first few laps of the event Eero (Remes) was really fast so once he had pulled out his lead I just kept my head down and pushed hard. Not having so many special tests each day it was hard to take back the time I lost on the first day. Day three went really well and I was able to win the E1 class but on all other days I was second. The six days isn’t like the world championship, things don’t always go the way you want them to. But for me generally everything went well. Winning the World Trophy team competition with the Finnish team was the most important thing, so from that point of view it’s been a great event.”
His Enduro 1 Husqvarna team-mate Matti Seistola commented on the invaluable experience gained in competing in his first ISDE: “The event has been really difficult, more difficult than I thought it was going to be. The special tests have been demanding and quite bumpy, and I struggled to get going at the start of the week. The gap between me and Eero Remes has been really big so from that point of view it has been a little disappointing, but as a team we have done really well and finished with a comfortable lead. On Friday I crashed during the second test and the guy behind me rode over my bike and broke the radiator so I had to change it. It took four minutes over the allocated time so I was penalized and moved down the results. This has been my first ISDE and overall it has been a really fun week. Because you have to do all of the service yourself it makes it much harder than GPs, but it has been a good time and great preparation for the final two rounds of this year’s world championship.”
2011 International Six Days Enduro results – Kotka, Finland
1. Eero Remes (KTM) 3.22:00.63
2. Juha Salminen (Husqvarna) 3.23:49.92
3. Lorenzo Santolino (KTM) 3.23:41.84
4. Antti Hellsten (KTM) 3.33:21.07
5. Matti Seistola (Husqvarna) 3.33:32.28
6. Mario Roman (KTM) 3.33:59.45
7. Luis Oliveira (Yamaha) 3.37:10.40
8. Paulo Felicia (Yamaha) 3.37:23.46
9. Martin Larsson (Husaberg) 3.37:50.68
10. Victor Guerrero (Yamaha) 3.38:49.02
1. Finland, 17.11:11.66
2. Spain, 17.41:54.43
3. USA, 18.05:34.86
4. Sweden, 18.20:34.23
5. The Netherlands, 18.33:29.28
6. Germany, 19.34:44.40…