KTM ENDURO FACTORY TEAM WRAPS UP THE SCANDINAVIAN CAMPAIGN
The KTM Enduro Factory Team wrapped up their Scandinavian tour of four rounds of the World Championship this weekend with Round 9-10 in Enkoeping, Sweden but had mixed fortunes during races that were unusually long and very difficult.
While the team picked up two wins in E1 & E3 and fourth place in E1 on Saturday, on Sunday they came away with only a 2-3 in E1 thanks to Christophe Nambotin and Cristobal Guerrero, and a podium third in E3 by the team’s rookie, Australian Matthew Phillips.
The team had already been struck a blow last weekend when Red Bull athlete and E2 title contender Antoine Meo, hit a tree and was hospitalized in Finland with broken ribs, multiple fractures of the hand and bad bruising. Meo, who won the E1 world title last year has now returned to France and is slated to have surgery on his hand this week. He is the team’s sole competitor in the E2 class.
Christophe Nambotin put in a great race on Saturday to take the top podium spot with the KTM 250 EXC-F but Sunday was not his day. Perhaps tired after two full hours of tests on Saturday and another extremely long day the French rider had concentration problems and made a number of mistakes to finish an uncharacteristic second on Sunday. But Nambotin still continues to lead the points in the class.
His teammate Cristobal Guerrero of Spain fared somewhat better on the second day to be back on the podium in third place never really able to get to terms with the different conditions and the very long day of competitive riding, according to team boss Fabio Farioli. “In my opinion the races this weekend were too long and too difficult. The two hours of tests on each day were much longer than the usual races,” he said.
It was also a mixed weekend for the two KTM riders in E3. Matthew Phillips had a convincing win on Saturday with the KTM 300 EXC but only managed a third on Sunday after a series of small mistakes. Phillips however has extended his lead in the championship points. Red Bull athlete and team member Ivan Cervantes of Spain was riding with an injured foot. He made a valiant attempt and succeeded in finishing the Saturday round, but had to retire after the first test on Sunday.
“Ivan was walking on crutches and to be honest I didn’t think he would be able to finish on Saturday. But he persisted and finished twelfth and managed to pick up four more championship points. I think at the end of the season he will think these four points are gold,” team boss Farioli said, adding that on Sunday, even though Cervantes had pain killing injections, it was just too painful to ride and his difficult in braking made it too dangerous to take the risk.
The cancellation of the planned Grand Prix of Mexico means that riders will next compete in Lumezzane, Italy on August 2-4, hopefully time for the injured KTM riders to recover.
Results E1 Enkoeping, Rounds 9 & 10
1. Eero Remes (FIN), TM (2-1)
2. Christophe Nambotin (FRA), KTM (1-2)
3. Cristobal Guerrero (ESP), KTM (4-3)
4. Jeremy Tarroux (FRA), Sherco (3-4)
5. Thomas Oldrati (ITA), Husqvarna (6-5)
7. Rudy Moroni (ITA), KTM (5-7)
Standings E1 after 10 of 14 rounds
1. Nambotin, 191 points
2. Remes, 154
3. C. Guerrero, 146
4. Anthony Boissiere (FRA), Sherco, 121
5. Tarroux, 119
8. Moroni, 79
Results E2 Enkoeping, Rounds 9 & 10
1. Pierre-Alexandre Renet (FRA), Husqvarna (1-1)
2. Johnny Aubert (FRA), Beta (2-2)
3. Alex Salvini (ITA), Honda (3-3)
4. Lorenzo Santolino (ESP), Sherco (4-4)
5. Roni Nikander (FIN), KTM (5-5)
DNS, Antoine Meo (FRA), KTM (DNS-DNS)
Standings E2 after 10 of 14 rounds
1. Renet, 186 points
2. Aubert, 152
3. Salvini, 128
4. Meo, 114
5. Santolino, 110
8. Mirko Gritti (ITA), KTM, 66
Results E3 Enkoeping, Rounds 9 & 10
1. Mathias Bellino (FRA), Husqvarna (2-1)
2. Matti Seistola (FIN), Sherco (11-2)
3. Matthew Phillips (AUS), KTM (1-3)
4. Luis Correia (POR), Beta (4-4)
5. Jeremy Joly (FRA), KTM (3-5)
6. Simone Albergoni (ITA), KTM (9-6)
DNF, Ivan Cervantes (ESP), KTM (12-DNF)
Standings E3 after 10 of 14 rounds
1. Phillips, 174 points
2. Cervantes, 155
3. Bellino, 148
4. Seistola, 127
5. Correia, 118
6. Joly, 97
10. Albergoni, 58