Thursday and Friday is always track walk time for the rider’s of the Enduro World Championship. Leaving the wet unsettled weather of northern Spain behind, the series has made its way to sunny southern Portugal and Torres Vedras, near Lisbon. The grassy fields of Munitibar appear to be a thing of the past and at this, the fourth round of the championship, riders will face a challenging extreme test and almost an identical cross and enduro test. With the enduro test a carbon copy of the cross test, this should play into the hands of the former motocross riders of the paddock.
Juha Salminen (Husqvarna): “It looks fast but I think it won’t ride as fast as many people think. The corners are endless and getting these right will be crucial to setting a competitive time. If you miss one corner then you will be wrong for the next three and with a lot of corners looking identical to each other, it will make it difficult to get right. Earlier in the week the ground was quite soft when we walked it but with the hot weather it’s becoming harder all the time. The grip should be good for the first two laps but after that it will become slippery and that will make it tricky.”
Hans Vogels (Husaberg): “I’m a bit disappointed with the enduro test as it’s very similar to the cross test. There are no forestry sections or woodland, just a couple of small bushes we ride through so it’s not really an enduro test. I think this race will be more like two cross tests and one extreme test. It will be hard to make a good time on it because there is nothing too difficult on the track. However, what is important is to ensure that you hit all your lines perfectly. Once you start to make mistakes it will be hard to find your rhythm again.”
Johnny Aubert (KTM): “I expect the extreme test to ride a little easier than it looks. It’s situated in an old quarry with some big drops and steep rocky up hills. Although it’s technical in places the average speed will be faster than normal for a test like this. I think it will be a nice test to ride as it’s not too tight and there is a flow between sections. The water splash will be interesting for sure. They’ve drained it so it’s not too deep but we’ll definitely be getting wet there! Overall I’m looking forward to getting started this weekend. Generally all the tests look quite nice and from what I hear the liaison sections will be fun to ride so it should make for a good GP.”