The penultimate round of the 2012 Enduro World Championship ended with the Husaberg Factory Team having much to celebrate as Frenchman Mathias Bellino lifted the Enduro Junior title. The stand out rider in the Enduro Junior class from the start of the series, Bellino claimed his 10th day win of the championship at the end of the first day’s competition before battling through the pain barrier to secure his first EWC title on day two after aggravating a wrist injury.
Making things even better for Husaberg was the fact that Enduro 2 World Championship leader Pela Renet claimed two victories to further extend his championship advantage. Despite competing in close championship rival Juha Salminen’s back yard, Renet secured two very important wins to take his total number of podium topping performances to seven so far this year.
But it was the performances of Mathias Bellino, the former motocross racer who joined the Husaberg Factory Team at the start of 2011, which ignited celebrations for the Husaberg team at the end of day two. Struggling to simply hold on with his left hand due to extreme pain, Bellino nevertheless battled his way to the end of the day and in collecting the handful of points he needed deservedly secured the Enduro Junior title.
With Bellino joining countrymen Antoine Meo and Christophe Nambotin in being crowned World Champion, for Husaberg’s Enduro 2 class rider Pela Renet the GP of Finland ended with two very important victories. Knowing that he would have to work hard in order to win, Renet kept his cool and produced two of his best performances of the season.
Despite the fact that the Enduro 3 title was claimed by Frenchman Christophe Nambotin at the end of the first day’s competition Joakim Ljunggren once again delivered the goods for Husaberg with a strong 2/3 result. Looking to secure the runner-up position in the E3 championship Ljunggren was locked in battle with Estonian Aigar Leok throughout the first day and placed second. On day two Joakim missed the same result by less than one second, but rode well on all of the day’s nine special tests.
Oriol Mena battled his way through the GP of Finland, claiming creditable fourth and fifth place results and also moving up into fourth in the E3 championship standings.
In the Enduro Junior class Britain’s Alex Rockwell claimed his first podium result of the season with third on day two while Jamie McCanney secured two runner-up results in the 125cc Youth Cup class, ensuring a memorable and successful weekend for Husaberg at the GP of Finland.
Mathias Bellino - “It’s great to win my first world championship, and especially great to win it before the end of the series. Now I don’t have to worry about being careful at the ISDE or French championship races – I can attack all races like I want. It’s been a tough weekend in Finland, and not the way I hoped to win the title. The first day was good, I rode well and won again. But on day two I had so much pain in my wrist. I hurt it one month ago while training at home, and because the enduro test was so bumpy and rough it wasn’t good for my wrist. I was in a lot of pain and finished the race almost unable to hold onto the handlebars. It was a hard day that ended in a great way. Winning the title is fantastic. I learned so much last year with some good results, but learning all the time. My goal was to finish on the podium at every race this year. It’s been a great season and winning the title is a great way to thank everyone that has supported me.”
Pela Renet - “It’s been a very good weekend for me, but a very hard fight against Cristobal Guerrero. I was expecting Juha Salminen to be the harder rider to beat, but Guerrero was pushing so much on both days. Day one was a good race. I found a nice rhythm early on in the day but then almost lost the lead when I crashed on the enduro test. That special test was very tough and it was difficult not to make any mistakes. Winning day one gave me a lot of confidence but Cristobal was also very strong on day two. The conditions were slippery and I needed to find a smooth pace. I think that was the key to setting a fast time. Leading into the final enduro test, I knew I needed to push hard to win the day so I gave it my all and thankfully I was able to win. Overall, it’s been a good weekend in the championship for me. Winning both days has allowed me to extend my lead to 11 points. It’s not a large advantage but it is an important one to have entering the final round of the season in France.”
Joakim Ljunggren - “It’s been a pretty good weekend, but I didn’t have a great feeling with things on the second day I guess I just didn’t feel 100 per cent for some reason. The first day went well and after a steady start I got myself into the race more and more. By the final lap I was feeling good and managed to place second, which was great. Things weren’t quite as good on day two. I just didn’t feel great, but good times on the enduro test really helped me. I was so close to finishing second, but I guess things didn’t go my way. One thing’s for sure now – it’s going to be a really big battle for the second position in the Enduro 3 class at the final round in France."
Oriol Mena - “It’s been a hard weekend for me, like I was expecting it to be. The motocross and extreme tests were great but the enduro test was unbelievable. There were so many rocks and tree roots that it was almost impossible not to make a mistake. I almost made it through the weekend, but on the last lap on day two I lost the front wheel, and control of the bike, and had a big crash. But, I finished in fourth and fifth so I took some good championship points and moved up into fourth in the championship. I’m happy with the weekend and now my goal is to finish fourth in the championship.”