Preview Grand Prix of Romania: Double or quits!

2011… The Maxxis FIM Enduro World Championship headed to Dracula’s country for the very first time. Two years later and the EWC stars are back in Romania, once again setting up camp in the charming town of Buzau. For the second time in its history, the FIM has entrusted the organisation of the event to the Moto Club Sportiv Extreme Adventure and theFederatia Romana de Motociclism. Since 2007 this Moto Club, chaired by Florin RADU, has organised the Romanian Extreme Adventure, which takes place over six days. The Moto Club “Extreme Adventure” has also organized numerous rounds of the Romanian Championship, the Off Road Arena in 2009 and of course the Grand Prix of Romania in 2011.

Buzau, conquered town!

The Moto Club Sportiv Extreme Adventure has prepared a track of 52 km, which will be ridden four times each day. The paddock will be situated, as in 2011, in the city centre of Buzau in the wonderful Piata Dacia – the main square of the city. The Enduro Test will be located in Sarata Monteoru (about 10kms from the paddock), while the Cross Test will take place close to the town, at Maracineni. The Xtreme Test and the Friday night KTM Super Test will be held in the city centre. As in Torres Vedras (Portugal), the track, trails and special tests will be set depending on the weather forecast…

Buzau is a medium sized town of 109,000 inhabitants, located in eastern Romania in the surroundings of Muntenia. This gorgeous town with its monastery and magnificent Town Hall, close to which the paddock will be situated, is crossed by the Buzau River, which gave its name to the city. Buzau is thirty kilometres from the Berca mud volcanoesBuzau, Romania’s 18th biggest city, is only 109 kilometres North-East of the capital, Bucharest. As in Portugal, Buzau is well-known in Romania for its wineries…
CERVANTES – RENET – AUBERT will play their joker!

At the beginning of March nobody would have bet on Alex SALVINI (I – HM Honda) leading the highly competitive Enduro 2class. Yet now, at the mid-way point of the season, it’s the Italian who’s leading the “biggest class”. But for all that, the HM Honda rider will have to watch out for his fiercest rival – Ivan CERVANTES (E – KTM). Indeed, “El Torito” has already shown he can beat the dynamic Italian and will look for a back-to-back win in Romania to put pressure on the E2 class leader. But “SALVO” will also have to keep an eye on 2012 E2 World Champion Pierre-Alexandre RENET (F – Husaberg) who has a last chance to keep his title aspirations alive despite an “average” Iberian tour. Johnny AUBERT (F – KTM), now recovered from his rib injury, will also put his last hopes in the battle. The battle between these riders could well see a fifth podium challenger ifDavid KNIGHT (GB – Honda) is sufficiently recovered from his thumb injury… Behind this top 5 there will again be a big fight between Spain’s Victor GUERRERO (KTM)Oriol MENA (Husaberg)Lorenzo SANTOLINO (HVA) and Antoine BASSET (Yam).

In the Enduro 3 category the goals are simple! Joakim LJUNGGREN (S – Husaberg) and Aigar LEOK (EST – TM) will have to step up to stem the impressive rise of the defending championChristophe NAMBOTIN (F – KTM). If the Swedish and Estonian riders aren’t able to stopNAMBOTIN and his winning ways, we might well see the crowning of the KTM rider at the sixth Grand Prix in Kastoria, Greece. Indeed, with a 34 points lead over the Husaberg rider and 35 point advantage over the TM rider, Nambo’ isn’t too far away from securing a second consecutive E3 crown. But since the start of the season, the two outsiders will be supported by the Portuguese racer Luis CORREIA (Beta) and Italian Manuel MONNI (KTM), who are improving in each event and are now serious contenders for a final championship podium position. For his part, the newcomer Mathias BELLINO (F – Husaberg), who tasted the joys of a Senior class podium in Portugal, doesn’t want to stop there and will be aiming even higher in Buzau. Finally, Benoit FORTUNATO (F – HM Honda), in “love” with the Romanian country, will look to realise great results on the land he knows really well while Deny PHILIPPAERTS (I – Beta) will attempt to get closer to a first Top 5.

In the “small size” class, the Antoine MEO (F – KTM) hunt will continue. The rider who dominated in Portugal will have to avoid mistake during the Grand Prix of Romania if he wants to secure a fourth consecutive title two Grand Prix before the end of the Championship. Meo’s closest rivals will be led by the Finnish trio Matti SEISTOLA (HVA)Juha SALMINEN (HVA) and Eero REMES (TM). All will be looking to beat the Frenchman. After disappointing performances in Spain and PortugalThomas OLDRATI (I – Husaberg)Jeremy JOLY (F – Honda)Simone ALBERGONI (I – HM Honda) and Nicolas DEPARROIS (F – Yam) will give everything in Romania in order to claim valuable points in the race for the Top 5. Anthony BOISSIERE (F – Sherco) will seek to confirm his excellent results in Portugal and could also be installed again on the podium. Cristobal GUERRERO (ESP – KTM) will also be fighting hard for podium results.

Everybody wants the head of PHILLIPS!

In Enduro Junior class, Matthew PHILLIPS (AUS – HVA) will defend his class lead, likely to be chased hard by Giacomo REDONDI (I – KTM)Danny MCCANNEY (GB – Gas Gas) and Mario ROMAN (E – Husaberg). Former Crossman Loïc LARRIEU (F – Husaberg), the Portuguese pearlLuis OLIVEIRA (P – Yam) and Italian Rudy MORONI (I – KTM) will aim to taste again to the joys of the podium and will fight hard in Romania. On the side of the FIM Youth Cup 125ccJamie MCCANNEY (GB – Husaberg) has increasingly put his mark on the category and will be hard to beat in Buzau. Both Benjamin HERRERA (CL – TM) and Albin ELOWSON (S – Husaberg) will be hoping to challenge MCCANNEY.

Finally, in the Women’s Cup the Grand Prix of Romania will see the return of the phenomenal Laïa SANZ (E). Despite the absence of the Spanish rider on Saturday in Torres Vedras (Portugal), none of her competitors could take advantage of her absence. Indeed, neither Jane DANIELS (GB – Husaberg) – leader with just a two-point advantage – nor Jessica GARDINER (AUS – Sherco) 3rd and currently tied on points with Laïa, were able to win the day. Unless struck by injury or mechanical problems, the Sanz should take back the leadership of the class and move towards a second consecutive title. For her part, Juliette BERREZ (F – Yam) will have to recover quickly or she risks seeing her final podium hopes soar. The young French rider has also much to do withAudrey ROSSAT (F – KTM), winner in Portugal on Saturday, and Geraldine FOURNEL (F – Husaberg) for the title of best French competitor of the year, as now left vacant by Ludivine PUY (F)

The Grand Prix of Romania is set to be a thrilling event. Following the more than successful first edition in 2011 the experienced Motorcycle Club Sportiv Extreme Adventure are ready to welcome the world’s best enduro riders…

Information:

–    Buzau (Surrounding of Muntenia) ;
–    110km North-East to Bucharest ;
–    Friday, June 14th : KTM Super Test : 19.00 ;
–    Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th of June : Start : 9.00 and Finish at 16.00 ;
–    Organizer : Moto Club Sportiv Extreme Adventure;
–    Web sites : www.enduro-abc.com and www.extremeadventurebuzau.ro;
–    Track : 52kms – 4 laps;
–    Free Access ;
–    Airport : Bucharest : 110 kilometers.