WK Enduro: Preview Grand Prix Cross Pro of Portugal
Only one week after the GP AMV Seguros of Spain, the Maxxis FIM Enduro World Championshipis on the way to the Portugal and more precisely to Torres Vedras after 950 kilometers across the both countries.
The Federaçao de Motociclismo de Portugal (FMP), chaired by Jorge VIEGAS, is a regular of the EWC and of the Iberia tour. And for the second time in a row, with the agreement of the Federation International of Motociclisme, it is the Clube Ecomotor that will have the honors to organize this Portuguese stage. This Moto Club, created in 2011, has already organized two rounds of national Supercross, the Grand Prix of Portugal last year and one of the Portuguese Enduro Championship at the beginning of the season. It’s a very dynamic and ambitious club.
Bis Repetita for the Clube Ecomotor
The Clube Ecomotor, with the help of Gio SALA (Race Inspector) and Pedro MARIANO (Race Director), has prepared a track of 55 kilometers which will be ridden 4 times each day during the two days of race with, like in Puerto Lumbreras, two Time Checks. The paddock will be situated in the Parque do Exposiçoes, in the center of Torres Vedras like in 2012. The Xtreme Test and theCross Test (new one) will be located in Pedreira do Figueiredo. The Enduro Test will take place on the heights of Torres Vedras, next to the paddock, and will have a 8 kilometers length approximately. On its side, the KTM Super Test of the Friday, May 17th will be in Parque do Exposiçoes, just in front of the paddock. Unlike the third first event, the nature of track, trails and special tests will depend of the weather forecast that is indecisive for instance. To note, thatHumberto RIBEIRO, the famous Portugese stuntman will be also present to make the show on Friday evening before and after the Super Test and with the help of Husqvarna Motorcycle.
Torres Vedras is situated in the District of Lisbon and in the region Center. This charming city, of 405 km2, has more than 75 000 inhabitants. Great wine city, Torres Vedras is just 70 kilometers North of the capital Lisbon and 173 kilometers South of Coimbra. Surrounded by wineries, Torres Vedras is famous wine growing region…
SALMINEN has to react…
Last weekend, we believed for a while that the trend will reverse. But finally, after a big crash on Day 1, Antoine MEO (F – KTM) will arrive in Portugal with a bigger gap in the E1Standing. Indeed, the French has now 21 points ahead of his first runner-up Juha SALMINEN (SF – HVA). The Finn, who never found the good rhythm in Spain has to react on Saturday or he will have to see the KTM rider coming closer to his 4th consecutive crown. But the eight time World Champion is not the only who has to react, his teammate and compatriotMatti SEISTOLA will have to be more consistent if he wants to be a permanent danger for MEO. The Husky Boys will have to form a redoubtable duo in order to beat a weakened MEO(Injured knee in Spain). On his side, Thomas OLDRATI (I – Husaberg) will have to quickly wake up after his deceiving GP of Spain while Eero REMES (SF – TM) will look to continue his good results (2/2) and the Frenchies Jeremy JOLY (Honda),Nicolas DEPARROIS (Yam) and Anthony BOISSIERE (Sherco) will try to be consistent to shape their speed! We have to note the comeback of local Rally’s Superstar Helder RODRIGUES (P – Honda) and of Gonçalo REIS (P – KTM)who cannot participate to Spain but will be present this weekend!
In Enduro 2, the awesome weekend of Ivan CERVANTES (E – KTM) on his home soil has changed a bit the face of the class. Despite the fact that Alex SALVINI (I – HM Honda) is still the leader in the standing, the double of “Torito” has shown that the Italian is not unbeatable and that they will have to count on the KTM rider for the rest of the Championship. With SALVINI leader andCERVANTES with renewed confidence and first runner-up with 9 points behind, it’s the French doublet Pierre-Alexandre RENET (Husaberg) – Johnny AUBERT (KTM) that will have to react inTorres Vedras, under penalty of seeing their title chances a bit more shorten. The fight between these 4 riders will take another dimension in Torres Vedras and an intense fight will be established from Saturday. With a David KNIGHT (GB – Honda) with a thumb injury and weakened, the Top 5 seems possible for the Spanish trio Oriol MENA (Husaberg), Victor GUERRERO (KTM) andLorenzo SANTOLINO (HVA) but they will have also to be careful with the EEAT duo Antoine BASSET (F – Yam) – Alexandre QUEYREYRE (F – Yam).
In the E3 class, the fast is clear for Joakim LJUNGGREN (S – Husaberg) and Aigar LEOK (EST – TM). To prevent, from any means, the leader Christophe NAMBOTIN (F – KTM) to take 100% confidence or they will see the KTM rider flying to a second title in a row. Indeed, the French, physically weak and with mental difficulties, has recovered his confidence after his superb double. The Estonian and the Swedish will really have to step up and to be more aggressive if they still want to pretend to the day victory and to the title. To achieve their purposes, they will be helped by Manuel MONNI (I – KTM) and the local Luis CORREIA (P – Beta) who will be over-determined in front of his public to whom he will want to offer a podium. The surprise can come also from the 2012 Junior World Champion Mathias BELLINO (F – Husaberg), who, after an encouraging 4th rank in Puerto Lumbreras, seems to be in the good ways after his physical difficulties during the offseason. We are still waiting a feat of the lumberjack Marko TARKKALA (S – Honda) while the young Deny PHILLIPAERTS (I – Beta) will maybe continue to surprise.
Laïa SANZ only half of the weekend!
The Australian Enduro on the highest step of the podium and dominating in the Enduro World, this wasn’t happened since MERRIMAN years. But it does seem the case again with Matthew PHILLIPS (AUS – HVA) which was dominant in the region of Murcia and now leads the Junior category with five points ahead of Giacomo REDONDI (I – KTM). To counter the HVA rider,Giacomo REDONDI, Danny MCANNEY (GB – Gas Gas), Mario ROMAN (E – Husaberg) and Rudy MORONI (I – KTM) will have to show more consistency and tenacity. But everything is still to play in this ultra-raised category where it is still very difficult to predict a potential World Champion. For his part, the child of Sintra Luis OLIVEIRA (P – Yam) author of a promising start of the season will be over-motivated in front of his audience and will look for his first podium. On the FIM Youth Cup 125cc side, all observers wonder if Benjamin HERRERA (CL – TM) is able to impose himself outside his native soil. He will have to shut the critics after a disappointing Spanish Grand Prix whereJamie MCCANNEY (GB – Husaberg), Albin ELOWSON (S – Husaberg) and Dawid CIUCCI (I – KTM) was much faster than him. The rookie class Henrique NOGUEIRA (P – TM) dreams to be back on the podium, as in Chile, in front of his spectators.
Finally in this Women class, the Grand Prix Cross Pro of Portugalshould give us a new leader … Indeed, Laia SANZ (ESP – KTM)will start the race well, but only on Sunday because she chooses to participate to the X Games on Saturday Evening in Barcelona. So that gives us a new head on the top step of the podium where the Female contenders are many. Jane DANIELS (GB – Husaberg), Jessica GARDINER (AUS – Sherco) and Juliette BERREZ (F – Yam) are the big favorites for victory but they will be wary of Audrey ROSSAT (FRA – KTM), Geraldine FOURNEL (F – Husaberg) and Jemma WILSON (AUS – Honda) who couldn’t enjoy the pleasures of the podium in Spain and have fangs this weekend…
This Grand Prix Cross Pro of Portugal is really expected in a region that welcomes for the second year in a row an Enduro Grand Prix. We bet that the fresh new Clube Ecomotor will have gathered all the elements to make of this stage a great popular celebration in the Center South of Portugal where the public, awaited, will mix Enduro and tableware.
– Torres Vedras (District of Lisbon);
– 70 kms North of Lisbon;
– Friday, May 17th: KTM Super Test: 19.00;
– Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th, May: Start: 9.00 and Arrival at 16.00;
– Organizer: Clube Ecomotor;
– Website: www.enduro-abc.com and www.ecomotor.pt;
– Track: 55 kms – 4 laps;
– Free Access;
– Airport: Lisbon (70 kms).