Returning to competitive action following a lengthy eight-week summer break, Enduro 3 rider Marko Tarkkala delivered a solid top five result while Beta supported rider Robert Kvarnstrom secured a podium result on day two in the Enduro Junior class. However, the GP of Sweden was a difficult one for Italian Oscar Balletti in Enduro 2 who crashed heavily on day one when in contention for a strong top five result.
Finding the soft, sandy and demanding Scandinavian conditions to his liking, Finland’s Marko Tarkkala posted some impressively fast times on the demanding enduro test to end day one in a creditable fifth. Although hopeful of a better result, it was the tight and twisty cross test that caused the most problems for the Finn. Struggling to find a fast rhythm on the test, Tarkkala was unable to challenge the riders that were to eventually place ahead of him. Nevertheless Tarkkala delivered his strongest showing this season.
Suffering from a couple of small crashes in the extreme test on day two, Tarkkala placed one position further back in sixth but again showed impressive pace on the enduro test. With two solid results under his belt Marko and the Beta Enduro Factory Team now head to the penultimate round of the series in Marko’s back yard, Finland.
Missing the early part of the season due to injury, Robert Kvarnstrom arrived in Sweden with very little race time to benefit from. Using day one to find his pace, the young Swede placed a creditable sixth in the Enduro Junior class. Enjoying the rougher and more rutted conditions of day two, Kvarnstrom finished a fantastic third overall to secure his first EWC podium result of the season.
The GP of Sweden proved a difficult one for Oscar Balletti. Fighting hard for a top five result in the highly competitive Enduro 2 class on day one, the Italian crashed heavily and injured his shoulder, ending his day in eighth. Attempting to start day two, his injury proved too painful and he was forced to retire.
Marko Tarkkala: “On day one everything went quite well with no major mistakes. My only problem was in the cross test where I found it difficult to set a good time. It was very tight and twisty, which made it hard to ride fast on the bigger bike. Even though I felt like I rode much better on day two I crashed in the extreme test and ended up sixth. But overall I’m pleased with how I rode, as my speed was very good in the enduro test. I just need to avoid making small mistakes because the class is extremely competitive and the slightest errors can prove costly. It’s my home GP next weekend in Finland so hopefully I can produce a strong result there.”
Fabrizio Dini (Team Manager): “Marko rode very determinedly this weekend. His times were fast in the enduro test and aside from struggling in the cross test he produced one of his best performances of the season so far. Hopefully he can continue to improve his results at his home race in Finland. Unfortunately, Oscar Balletti crashed quite hard when fighting for a top five result on day one. He tried to race on day two but he was not in a good condition to continue so he stopped early on. He hurt his shoulder and suffered a slight concussion in the crash but is expected to be fit enough to race next weekend in Finland.”
The Enduro World Championship continues with round seven of the championship at the GP of Finland on September 1/2.