Husqvarna Enduro Team by CH Racing riders Juha Salminen and Alex Salvini both secured podium results in the opening round of the 2012 Enduro World Championship at the GP of Chile held in Talca. Reigning Enduro 1 World Champion Salminen claimed a win in the Enduro 2 class aboard his TE310 on day one, while Salvini put a difficult opening day behind him to claim third in E2 on day two.
With conditions extremely dry and dusty in Talca, the opening day saw many surprise results, due largely to one difficult uphill on the enduro test. While several of the Husqvarna Enduro team riders saw their results suffer owing to lost time on the troublesome enduro test, Juha Salminen delivered the goods to start his season in the best way possible – by placing his TE310 on the top step of the E2 class podium. Despite improved speed on the event’s motocross test on day two, Juha made a few too many mistakes to challenge for the podium, including one costly error on the enduro test. Despite his day two frustrations, the Finn showed impressive speed throughout the event and now looks forward to next weekend’s GP of Argentina.
Competing alongside Salminen in the Enduro 2 class, Alex Salvini and Romain Dumontier endured two tough days of racing. Both riders suffered numerous falls on day one but Salvini was able to turn his fortunes around on day two to claim a well-deserved third place result, placing just 20 seconds behind runner-up Ivan Cervantes. Romain Dumontier crashed on numerous occasions throughout both days to place 11th and 19th in the Enduro 2 class.
In the Enduro 1 category, team riders Matti Seistola, Lorenzo Santolino and Ricky Dietrich all battled through two challenging days of racing, with Seistola delivering the best results. Aiming for podium finishes on both days the Finn showed good speed throughout days one and two but saw several mistakes on day one prevent him from finishing higher than sixth in class. Determined to improve his result on day two, on several occasions Matti caught slower riders ahead of him and lost time riding through their dust. Seistola placed fifth.
Making their debuts for the Husqvarna Enduro team by CH Racing, Lorenzo Santolino finished a strong fourth on day one but down in 13th on day two in Enduro 1. Ricky Dietrich placed 12th and 11th over the two days in the same class on his debut in EWC.
Juha Salminen – Enduro 2: ‘It’s been a good weekend really. The first day went surprisingly well, and to win first time out on the new bike was really great. It was a strange day. One enduro test decided everything. It wasn’t a great situation for a world championship race, having so many slower riders effectively blocking the track in the hardest part, but that was what it was like for too many riders. I was really pleased with how things went on the motocross test. It was very encouraging. But I felt like I generally rode better on the second day. My times on the motocross test were better than on the first day but I made too many mistakes. I hit a tree on the first enduro test and fell off, and lost a lot of time. I also made a mistake on the second lap. It was generally a very technical race, but not too hard. But it’s been a great start to the series, I’m looking forward to Argentina now.’
Alex Salvini – Enduro 2: ‘My speed was good on many of the tests on the first day, and I managed to get some special test wins. I was really pleased about that. But I had a few problems on the first day, which cost me a good result. Day two was much better. I crashed in the first extreme test but after that I felt good and rode well. The enduro test was still difficult, despite the changes that were made. Generally I’m happy with my riding. I hope that in Argentina I can have a little better luck and also remove the few mistakes I made this weekend.’
Matti Seistola – Enduro 1: ‘It’s been a tough weekend for me. My speed was good in the extreme and cross tests but I messed up both timed enduro tests. The first time I had a big crash and the second lap I got stuck on the big hill and lost one-minute. My speed was good for a podium result, but with the mistakes it meant that I couldn’t get a top three finish. The second day was a little bit the same, as I was struggling with the enduro test. I didn’t have any crashes but I had some problems with the dust. My times weren’t as good as I wanted on the motocross and enduro tests. I was loosing a few too many seconds each time. Sixth and fifth isn’t what I was looking for at the first GP but I know I can improve.’
GP of Chile – Enduro 1, Day 1
1. Antoine Meo (KTM) 56:11.20;
2. Rodrig Thain (Honda) 57:32.77;
3. Marc Bourgeois (Yamaha) 57:32.81;
4. Lorenzo Santolino (Husqvarna) 57:38.89;
5. Eero Remes (KTM) 57:56.53;
6. Matti Seistola (Husqvarna) 58:19.50…
GP of Chile – Enduro 2, Day 1
1. Juha Salminen (Husqvarna) 57:04.30;
2. Ivan Cervantes (Gas Gas) 57:22.74;
3. Oscar Balletti (Beta) 57:39.99;
4. Cristobal Guerrero (KTM) 57:41.85;
5. Johnny Aubert (KTM) 57:48.20;
8. Alex Salvini (Husqvarna) 58:47.19…
GP of Chile – Enduro 1, Day 2
1. Antoine Meo (KTM) 54:15.10;
2. Simone Albergoni (Honda) 54:45.84;
3. Rodrig Thain (Honda) 55:07.61;
4. Jeremy Joly (Yamaha) 55:16.71;
5. Matti Seistola (Husqvarna) 55:23.01…
GP of Chile – Enduro 2, Day 2
1. Pela Renet (Husaberg) 54:10.87;
2. Ivan Cervantes (Gas Gas) 54:36.54;
3. Alex Salvini (Husqvarna) 54:56.87;
4. Cristobal Guerrero (KTM) 55:20.95;
5. Juha Salminen (Husqvarna) 55:23.51…