The fourth round of the Enduro World Championship held in Torres Vedras, Portugal was one of mixed fortunes for Beta’s Enduro Factory Team riders. With the GP of Portugal marking the halfway point in the 2012 EWC season, Enduro 3 rider Marko Tarkkala improved his pace over the opening three rounds of the series to finish a competitive seventh on day two. Marko’s team-mate Oscar Balletti placed eighth on day one in the Enduro 2 class.
Confident of a strong result in the dry and dusty Portuguese conditions, Balletti started day one in a confident mood by setting the fifth fastest time in the opening extreme test. However, following a couple of small mistakes on the final lap of the race he regrettably dropped back down the finishing order to place eighth. Determined to improve on his result, the Italian held seventh position leading into the final lap of the second day. Unfortunately, numerous mistakes proved costly for the Beta rider and it pushed him back to 11th overall in the highly competitive Enduro 2 class.
For Enduro 3 rider Marko Tarkkala the GP of Portugal brought a notable improvement in form over the GP of Euskadi in Spain, held just one week earlier. Finishing ninth on day one, the Finnish rider ended day two in a very competitive seventh place. Making some small adjustments to his machine, Tarkkala instantly upped his pace to maintain sixth position leading into the final special test of the weekend. However a small crash on the slippery cross test dropped him back to seventh. Nevertheless it was a satisfactory weekend for the Finnish rider.
Marko Tarkkala – Enduro 3: “Day two was a good improvement for me. I had a good fight for sixth position but ended the day in seventh when I made a mistake in the final cross test. Overall I’m pleased with the progress we’ve made this weekend. I felt much better in my riding and was able to maintain a fast pace throughout the day. I hope that with a bit more work I can achieve my goal of finishing on the podium in Italy.”
Fabrizio Dini – Team Manager: “This weekend was a step forward in terms of our competiveness on the track. On day one Marko struggled to find a comfortable rhythm and finished ninth but on day two he made some small adjustments to the bike that helped him to improve his pace and finish seventh. He was much more confident in his riding and he’s beginning to show the form we know he’s capable of. It was a difficult weekend for Oscar in Enduro 2. The class is so competitive at the moment that any mistake is very difficult to recover from. After finishing seventh on day one, he started off day two very fast. However, a crash on the final lap pushed him back to 11th. Overall this weekend has been a big improvement for us and I feel that with a couple of weeks to prepare for the GP of Italy we will be capable of a successful result.”