VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS. Italy’s Alex SALVINI (Honda) continued to establish himself as the rider to beat in the Enduro 2 class with victory on day one of the Maxxis Enduro World Championship GP Maxxis of Argentina. France’s Antoine MEO (KTM) claimed a hard fought win in the Enduro 1 class while KTM’s Christophe NAMBOTIN won the Enduro 3 class. In the Enduro Junior category a new winner emerged with EWC rookie Matt PHILLIPS (Husqvarna) earning his debut victory. Britain’s Jamie MCCANNEY (Husaberg) stood on the top step of the podium in the Enduro Youth Cup class. With temperatures reaching as high as 28 degrees in San Juan, it was a tough day for all of the world’s best enduro riders as they completed four loops of physically demanding terrain.
In the Enduro 2 class it was another victory for the hard charging Alex SALVINI (Honda). Engaged in a close battle with France’s Pela RENET (Husaberg), the Italian eventually secured the win. “It was a close fight all day with Renet for the win,” confirmed SALVINI. “We were pushing hard all day and the lead changed hands many times. On the last lap I managed to open up a comfortable advantage that was enough to win.” Although challenging SALVINI throughout the day, RENET was unable to hold the Honda rider at bay and had to be content with the runner-up position. After his poor result in the Friday SuperTest, France’s Johnny AUBERT (KTM) steadily worked his way back into contention to take a well earned podium result with third overall. Spain’s Ivan CERVANTES (KTM) ended his day just over four seconds behind AUBERT to claim fourth with Britain’s David KNIGHT (Honda) completing the top five.
France’s Christophe NAMBOTIN (KTM) again proved to be the rider to beat in the Enduro 3 category. Winning 11 of the day’s 14 special tests, the defending champion convincingly topped the E3 classification. “It’s been a perfect day,” remarked NAMBOTIN. “I only made two small crashes but was fortunate not to lose much time. My bike was fantastic all day.” In the battle for second position, Estonia’s Aigar LEOK (TM) delivered a solid pace to beat Portugal’s Luis CORREIA (Beta) to the runner-up result. Looking extremely comfortable in the terrain, CORREIA ended day one in third overall to secure his first podium result of his enduro career. Missing out on third position by less than three seconds, Sweden ’s Joakim LJUNGGREN (Husaberg) was fourth with France’s Rodrig THAIN (Gas Gas) rounding out the top five.
After a hard fought battle with Finland’s Juha SALMINEN (Husqvarna), MEO took his third race win of the new season. Making two costly mistakes on the opening lap, the Frenchman capitalised on an error by SALMINEN to level the scores at the end of lap two. Making no further mistakes, MEO raced on to take the win. “It was a difficult day but it’s great to come out on top,” commented MEO. “I crashed twice on the opening lap and had to fight hard to win.” Leading midway through the day, SALMINEN looked on course to take victory. But after loosing the use of his rear brake during the extreme test, the Finn lost his advantage over MEO. Unable to recover the lost time, the Husqvarna rider ended his day in second . Securing his second podium result of the year, Finland’s Matti SEISTOLA (Husqvarna) placed third overall. Italy’s Thomas OLDRATI (Husaberg) narrowly beat fifth placed Eero REMES (TM) to take fourth overall.
In the Enduro Junior category, EWC rookie Matt PHILLIPS (Husqvarna) recorded his first win of the season. Regrouping strongly after a costly crash in the SuperTest, the 19-year old Australian fought back to win. Finishing six seconds behind the Husqvarna rider, Britain’s Danny MCCANNEY (Gas Gas) placed second with Italy’s Giacomo REDONDI (KTM) completing the top three. Portugal’s Luis OLIVERIA (YAMAHA) ended his day in fourth with Australia’s Mitch HARPER (Honda) rounding out the top five.
In the Enduro Youth Cup class, Jamie MCCANNEY (Husaberg) took his first win of the season. Chile’s Benjamin HERRERA (TM) finished as runner-up to McCanney with Dawid CIUCCI (Husaberg) completing the top three.