Oriol Mena, E3 (Husaberg): “I think the Cross test is going to be really good. It’s fast and flowing with different types of conditions. The ground is very dry and hard – a bit like the south of Spain. The test starts off at the bottom of a valley with some open fields before beginning a climb up the side of a hill. It then opens out again before we begin the charge back down towards the finish. It took a couple of hours to walk so I think it will be almost 12 minutes long during the race. I’m looking forward to this one the most. The average speed should be quite fast and the corners are nicely linked, which should favour the bigger bike.”
Christophe Nambotin, E3 (KTM): “The Enduro Test will be the most important test of the weekend. It starts on the top of a steep mountain and climbs it’s way through the valleys. The start is an incredibly technical downhill, which will be important to get right as a tricky uphill immediately follows it. Overall the pace will be slow but you will have to be completely focused on getting the line perfect every lap. It’s narrow in places and as the line cuts in it will make the bumps more difficult to see in the dust. To get a fast time, you must be patient and calculated in your riding – to go fast you must think slowly. This test will favour the lighter two-strokes like mine. Hopefully I will have an advantage on it."
Alex Salvini, E2 (Husqvarna): “The Extreme Test is more motocross than actual extreme riding. It’s on a local motocross track and mixes in some man made extreme sections. We’ve got some rock sections, log crossings and also a water splash. There is a set of whoops that are very rough and will be difficult to figure out the right combination to ride through them. The motocross section of it is looking very cool. There’s some nice big jumps to catch some air time so it’ll be fun to throw out a whip or two.”
So that’s the EWC GP of Chile’s track chat broken down. The general opinion is that the Enduro Test may well become the deciding factor in determining a top result this weekend. It’s slow, narrow and very technical – patience will be crucial. But with riders facing a long and physical day in the saddle, fatigue and mistakes are also sure to play their part as riders battle it out in this +30-degree Chilean sunshine.
Let the race begin…