The French rider won both days in Chile last weekend and repeated his double success this weekend in San Juan – a venue on the other side of the Andes. Offering soft gravelly terrain and lots of small rocks the event was most certainly tough. Antoine’s E1 factory teammate, Eero Remes from Finland, improved on his performance at the GP of Chile and with a late burst at the end of the second day got himself onto the podium in third place. Meo was the fastest rider in eight of Sunday’s 12 tests with Remes in second place behind him in five of them.
Meo started the weekend with flair, finishing second on his KTM 250 EXC-F in the KTM Super test on Friday night. Despite the scorching heat of the South American summer and a very demanding day in the saddle, Meo was once again unstoppable in Enduro 1 and stormed home to take his third victory. He set the pace right from the opening lap and was fastest in every test except the final Enduro Test of the day. “I pushed as hard as I could during the morning to try an open up an advantage as I knew it would be difficult once the special tests became rougher. I am so happy to win another Enduro 1 race.”
Frenchman Marc Bourgeois and Simone Albergoni of Italy took the minor podium places on Saturday while KTM’s Eero Remes finished fourth, missing the third podium spot by less than two seconds. ? ?
Rounds three and four were also good for young KTM rider Jonathon Manzi of Italy (KTM) who put a stop to Mathias Bellino’s winning ways taking two EJ victories in San Juan. Local boy Kevin Benavides thrilled the partisan home crowd when he raced to third place on both days. KTM also had two podium firsts in the Youth Cup with Italy’s Giacomo Redondi taking two more victories underlining that Italy, with its rich tradition of Enduro sport, is more than capable of delivering up and coming talent. ??
KTM Enduro Factory rider Christophe Nambotin wrapped up rounds three and four of the Enduro 3 World Championship in San Juan, Argentina with two more victories and a perfect score card as the tour leaves for Europe.
The past two weekends have not only launched Nambotin into the prospective title orbit but also proved that his biggest rival will come from his own factory team. He and KTM’s David Knight (GB) battled their way through Sunday’s 12 tests, between them they won 11 of the day’s tests. Nambotin was fastest in the class in seven tests and Knight took three leaving only the fourth Enduro test for Husaberg rider Joakim Ljunggren of Sweden.
The weekend started well for Nambotin on the KTM 300 EXC bike when he was overall second fastest and fastest in the E3 class in KTM’s Super Test, the popular Friday night launch of the event that attracted more than 4000 Enduro enthusiasts.
On day one riders faced four x 50 km laps of a soft, gravelly surface that tested both man and machine. Saturday also confirmed that Nambotin was going to continue to deliver victories similar to those at the opening round in Chile. The French rider set a blistering pace throughout the day and except for one special test, led the field the entire way.
He wrapped up his ride with an impressive 70-second winning margin over his KTM teammate David Knight. “It was difficult in the hot conditions but I was able to find a strong pace early on, which helped me to open up a healthy lead. Aside from a small crash in the Extreme Test it’s been another perfect race for me and to be fastest in the overall classification is an added bonus. Hopefully I can repeat these results again tomorrow,” commented Nambotin.
KTM’s David Knight also delivered a strong performance on the KTM 500 EXC on Saturday to underline that he is back in form after missing most of last season due to surgery on both hips. Sweden’s Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) finished in third place on a day one, 37 seconds behind Knight. Germany’s Marcus Kehr (KTM) also put in a strong ride to finish fifth.?
KTM factory rider Cristobal Guerrero completed another confident ride in Rd. 4 of the Enduro 2 World Championships in San Juan Argentina on Sunday when he finished second to claim his second podium in two days.
Teammate Johnny Aubert did not fare so well on Day Two when he had to retire after the second test following his podium third on Saturday. Team boss Fabio Farioli reported after the race that Aubert had experienced what they thought was a technical problem with his bike. “Johnny was unlucky today, we think it was an electrical problem and we’re working to find out what happened,” Farioli said.
Guerrero was particularly fast in the cross tests, winning two of four as riders spent tough days in the saddle working their way through 4 laps of 50 km and 12 strength sapping tests in total.
Guerrero, clearly at home in the hot and dusty conditions like in his native Spain was particularly impressive on Friday night at the KTM Super Test that showcased the sport at close range to more than 4000 Argentinean fans. He clocked the fastest overall time and claimed an early lead in the Enduro 2 class while factory teammate Johnny Aubert slipped into third place.
While Spanish rider Ivan Cervantes finished on top of the podium on Saturday after Salminen had to retire after catching a stone in his chain, it was left to Guerrero and Aubert to soak up the minor podium places. The two KTM factory riders battled against each other for the honours with Aubert holding the advantage until a last lap spurt by Guerrero allowed him to take second place. Guerrero also proved on Sunday that he is fit enough to last the distance when he finished 1-2 in the day’s final two tests. It was a confidence boosting performance for the Spanish rider in South America ahead of his own home GP in Spain in May.