Continuing to prove itself as a worthy addition to the Maxxis FIM Enduro World Championship, the GP of Chile delivered yet more exciting race action on day two. Once again both the French duo of Antoine Meo and Christophe Nambotin grabbed victory in Enduro 1 and Enduro 2 while this time fellow Frenchman Pela Renet claimed his first win of 2012 in Enduro 2. With Mathias Bellino securing a double victory in Enduro Junior, France won each of the enduro classes.
However behind the winning riders the battle for the remainder of the podium positions was fierce. HM Honda’s Simone Albergoni dramatically improved on his tenth place result of day one to finish second in Enduro 1. Italy’s Alex Salvini bounced back from a frustrating day one result to claim third in Enduro 2 while Britain’s David Knight found an extra lease of speed to finish second in Enduro 3.
With the narrow and technical Enduro Test causing many riders to get stuck on the single-track hill climbs, organisers altered the course to ease the problems. Unfortunately some riders saw their hopes of a promising result evaporate by getting caught behind slower riders including KTM’s Johnny Aubert. Losing time on one of the hill climbs it pushed the French rider back to 11th in Enduro 2.
In Chile, KTM’s Antoine Meo proved to be the strongest rider in Enduro 1. Posting the fastest time in the early morning Cross Test, Meo quickly placed his KTM to the front of his class. After losing some time on the now badly cut up Enduro Test, Meo resumed his unbeatable pace to set the fastest time in the final five special test and claim victory in Enduro 1.
“I can’t quite believe how well this weekend has gone,” confirmed Meo immediately after the podium celebrations. “After getting sick in the lead up to the weekend I wasn’t sure if I would finish the race let alone win it. Overall my riding has been really good and I’m happy about my speed. I still think I have a little bit more to find so I will keep trying to push at my maximum.”
Behind Meo, Italy’s Simone Albergoni was having a perfect race. Setting some impressive times throughout the day, he was able to drastically improve on his previous day’s performance by finishing second. Ensuring an excellent finish to the EWC opener for HM Honda, Rodrig Thain was third.
Chasing Thain home in fourth, Jeremy Joly (Yamaha) made an impressive finish to the GP of Chile. Improving on his previous day’s result, Finland’s Matti Seistola (Husqvarna) was fifth. Unfortunately Marc Bourgeois was unable to repeat his podium result from Day One and he ended his day in sixth.
The battle for Enduro 2 honours continued to be a close fought affair as Pela Renet (Husaberg) this time secured the winning run. Ending the opening Cross Test just two seconds shy of initial race leader Juha Salminen (Husqvarna), Renet set the fastest time in the next two special tests to take control of the race lead. Holding a strong pace for the rest of the day he was ably to claim the win by 25 seconds.
“Everything was perfect today,” remarked Renet. “I started off within reach of the leaders this morning and was able to increase my pace as the day progressed. I pushed hard on the Cross Test to find some good lines and was able to build a strong lead. It’s great to get a win this weekend.”
Chasing Renet home for second, Spain’s Ivan Cervantes (Gas Gas) finished as runner up in the GP of Chile. Recording consistently fast special test times throughout the day, the Spaniard then set the fastest time on the final Enduro Test to finish in second 25 seconds behind Renet. A victim of numerous crashes during Day One in Chile, Italy’s Alex Salvini (Husqvarna) recovered strongly to claim his first podium result of the year. Competing in only his second season of enduro, the 2011 Rookie of the Year ends his GP of Chile in high spirits.
KTM’s Cristobal Guerrero once again recorded a solid start to his 2012 EWC season with another fourth place result. Unable to repeat his victory from the previous day Salminen settled for fifth on the day. Completing the top six was Italy’s Oscar Balletti (Beta).
In Enduro 3, KTM’s Christophe Nambotin repeated his winning result from day one. Wasting no time in establishing himself at the front of his class, the Frenchman immediately opened up a solid ten-second lead. Steadily increasing his advantage as the day progressed Nambotin secured another important victory in Enduro 3.
“I knew coming into Chile that if I wanted to fight for the title then I needed to win here,” said a pleased Nambotin. “I’ve never won the opening round of the championship before so to come away with two victories is the best start that I could have hoped for. Hopefully I can continue to be this strong next weekend in Argentina.”
Improving on his day one result of fourth, David Knight (KTM) fought back in style to finish as runner up to teammate. Finding conditions more to his liking the Manxman rider was able to maintain second position throughout the day to finish in front of TM Racing’s Aigar Leok. Continuing on from his second place finish on day one, the Estonian is proving to be a strong contender in Enduro 3. Finishing third on Day Two, Leok was the surprise result in the GP of Chile.
Husaberg’s Joakim Ljunggren just missed out on a podium result to finish in fourth less than three seconds behind Leok. Unable to match his podium finish on day one, Spain’s Oriol Mena (Husaberg) ended his GP of Chile in fifth. Marko Tarkkala (Beta) rounded out the top six.
Mathias Bellino (Husaberg) once again was the top performer in Enduro Junior. Winning all but two of the day’s special test he finished over one minute clear of second place Victor Guerrero (KTM). As runner up to Bellino on day two, Guerrero ended his weekend in Chile on a high note. Behind the leading two, Danny McCanney (Gas Gas) continued to impress in the dry and dusty conditions of Chile with third.
Italy’s Giacomo Redoni (KTM) claimed a convincing victory in the 125 Youth Cup. Chile’s Benjamin Herrera (TM) finished in second while Santiago Isaza (KTM) was third.
GP of Chile - Day Two
1. Antoine Meo (KTM) 54:15.10; 2. Simone Albergoni (Honda) 54:45.84; 3. Rodrig Thain (Honda) 55:07.61; 4. Jeremy Joly (Yamaha) 55:16.71; 5. Matti Seistola (Husqvarna) 55:23.01; 6. Marc Bourgeois (Yamaha) 55:25.78; 7. Eero Remes (KTM) 55:31.50; 8. Thomas Oldrati (KTM) 55:36.59; 9. Fabien Planet (Sherco) 56:31.34; 10. Nicolas Deparrois (Kawasaki) 57:22.03…
1. Pela Renet (Husaberg) 54:10.87; 2. Ivan Cervantes (Gas Gas) 54:36.54; 3. Alex Salvini (Husqvarna) 54:56.87; 4. Cristobal Guerrero (KTM) 55:20.95; 5. Juha Salminen (Husqvarna) 55:23.51; 6. Oscar Balletti (Beta) 55:51.14; 7. Julien Gauthier (Kawasaki) 55:59.85; 8. Antoine Basset (Yamaha) 56:29.90; 9. Fabio Mossini (KTM) 56:39.80; 10. Jean Francois Goblet (Yamaha) 57:45.95…
1. Christophe Nambotin (KTM) 54:12.82; 2. David Knight (KTM) 54:51.75; 3. Aigar Leok (TM) 55:23.51; 4. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 55:26.01; 5. Oriol Mena (Husaberg) 55:35.74; 6. Marko Tarkkala (Beta) 56:31.53; 7. Benoit Fortunato (Gas Gas) 56:54.48; 8. Manuel Monni (KTM) 56:58.81; 9. Marcus Kehr (KTM) 57:13.42; 10. Christophe Robert (Husaberg) 59:04.83…
1. Mathias Bellino (Husaberg) 55:11.81; 2. Victor Guerrero (KTM) 56:18.67; 3. Danny McCanney (Gas Gas) 56:47.84; 4. Edoardo D’Ambrosio (KTM) 57:07.57; 5. Kevin Benavides (KTM) 57:15.61; 6. Alexandre Queyreyre (Yamaha) 57:42.07; 7. Jonathon Manzi (KTM) 57:48.63; 8. Kevin Rohmer (Yamaha) 57:55.53; 9. Rudi Moroni (KTM) 58:02.16; 10. Alex Rockwell (Husaberg) 58:30.91…
125 Youth Cup
1. Giacomo Redondi (KTM) 57:34.43; 2. Benjamin Herrera (TM) 59:23.54; 3. Santiago Isaza (KTM) 1:04:46.33; 4. Nicolas Bascunan (TM) 1:07:28.37; 5. Luciano Benavides (Yamaha) 1:08:13.07; 6. Nicolas Kutulas (KTM) 1:08:14.24; 7. Matias Rojas (KTM) 1:12:13.95; 8. Stefano Caimi (Yamaha) 1:13:36.96; 9. Diego Herrer (KTM) 1:10:02.78