EWC Griekenland: Meo and Nambotin Crowned World Champions
The Maxxis Enduro World Championship GP Maxxis of Greece ends in joy, as KTM’s Antoine MEOand Christophe NAMBOTIN are crowned world champions in Kastoria. With both riders claiming victory on day two in their respective classes, MEO secured the Enduro 1 World Championship while NAMBOTIN claimed the Enduro 3 World Championship. Moving one step closer to winning his first world title, Italy’s Alex SALVINI (Honda) won the Enduro 2 class while France’s Loic LARRIEU (Husaberg) recorded his debut EWC win with victory in the Enduro Junior category.
Despite needing to place 14th or better to secure the E3 title, France’s Christophe NAMBOTINquickly took control of the race lead at the end of the first lap. Setting the fastest time in nine of the day’s 12 special tests the Frenchman rode into the Parc Ferme at the end of the day as victor and world champion. “It’s incredible to win the championship again,” told NAMBOTIN. “I knew that I didn’t need to win the race in order to secure the title but I was so comfortable in my riding that I wanted to take the title with a victory. I’m so happy to be a world champion.” While NAMBOTIN secured the race win the battle for the runner-up position was fought out between France’s Mathias BELLINO (Husaberg) and Estonia’s Aigar LEOK (TM). Overcoming a big crash on the final cross test,BELLINO held on to take second. Unable to capitalise on his rival’s mistake, LEOK completed the top three. Placing just two seconds behind LEOK, Portugal’s Luis CORREIA (Beta) was fourth with Italy’s Deny PHILLIPAERTS (Beta) rounding out the top five.
In the Enduro 1 class the day belonged to France’s Antoine MEO. Topping all but one of the day’s special tests, MEO claimed his 11th win of the season. Placing over one-minute clear of his nearest rival, the KTM rider clinched his fourth consecutive enduro world championship. “Aside from one small mistake it was a perfect day for me,” told MEO. “It feels great to win the title. It’s been a great season. I worked hard all year for this moment – I’m so happy right now.” In the fight for the runner-up result Spain’s Cristobal GUERRERO (KTM) edged out Italy’s Maurizio MICHELUZ (Suzuki) to take the position. Returning to the podium for the first time since the GP of Italy in 2008,MICHELUZ placed third. Losing out on the fight for a podium result, Finland’s Matti SEISTOLA (Husqvarna) finished just one second behind Micheluz to end his day in fourth. Sherco’s Jeremy TARROUX (F) rounded out the top five.
Securing victory by the narrowest of margins, Alex SALVINI beat France’s Pela RENET (Husaberg)by three tenths of a second to take the Enduro 2class win. With the duo locked in a fierce battle for the duration of the day it was the Honda rider’s time in the final extreme test that ultimately secured him the win. “I fought all day long withRenet for the victory,” remarked SALVINI. “Entering the final test there was nothing to separate us. Thankfully I just managed to do enough to win – that was one of the best races of the year.” Despite his best efforts, RENET was unable to secure a double E2 victory at the GP of Greece and had to settle for second position. Completing the top three Spain’s Ivan CERVANTES (KTM) took third. KTM’s Johnny AUBERT (F) ended his day in fourth with Spain’s Victor GUERRERO (KTM) completing the top five.
In the Enduro Junior class a new winner emerged as France’s Loic LARRIEU (Husaberg) fended off Italy’s Giacomo REDONDI (KTM) to take the win. With REDONDI finishing second, Australia’sMatt PHILLIPS (Husqvarna) placed just four tenths of a second behind the Italian to complete the top three. Manxman Danny MCCANNEY (Gas Gas) was fourth with Italy’s Nicolo MORI (Beta)ending his day in fifth. In the Enduro Youth Cup Sweden’s Albin ELOWSON (Husaberg) took his first win of the season. Benefiting from the retirement of day one winner Jamie MCCANNEY (GB-Husaberg) the young Swede held off Italy’s Davide SORECA (YAMAHA) for victory. Chile’sBenjamin HERRERA (TM) rounded out the top three.
The Maxxis Enduro World Championship concludes with the final round of the season in St FlourFrance on September 7/8.