KTM added yet another world titles to the company’s impressive records when on Sunday French Enduro Factory rider Antoine Meo wrapped up the E1 World title, the team’s second in two days at the GP of Finland.
Meo’s victory on Sunday on his KTM 250 EXC-F came on the heals of teammate and fellow Frenchman Christophe Nambotin securing the E3 World title after Saturday’s Rd. 13 riding a KTM 300 EXC machine. There are only two rounds left in the season and these two riders will receive a huge ovation competing in front of their home crowd at the finale in France. ?The two riders have dominated their respective classes in the current season in what is their first year in the Orange factory team and Pit Beirer, KTM’s Head of Motorsports paid tribute to them both.
Pit Beirer: “Antoine and Christophe have been the stand out riders throughout the season. They are great ambassadors for Enduro and for France and they are great role models for our younger riders like Giacomo Redondi, our supported rider and winner of the 2012 Youth Cup. They have also embraced KTM's 'Ready to Race' culture and they have done it with skill and sportsmanship that is a credit to them both. My thanks also to the entire team, to our team manager Fabio Farioli, and all those back at Mattighofen who have worked so hard to make these two titles possible.”
And while Sunday was reason to celebrate the team’s second title in two days, the factory riders were not as successful on the track as they normally are on a day where rain made conditions very difficult and many riders crashed and failed to finish.
Nambotin was the only starter on Sunday in E3 after teammate David Knight had to overnight in hospital after a crash during Saturday’s race had driven the bike handlebars into his stomach. Team boss Fabio Farioli confirmed he was being released on Sunday after doctors confirmed that he had sustained no internal injuries. David will ride again in the final two rounds in France. Nambotin also crashed on Sunday in the second Enduro test, which resulted in him finishing in second on the E3 podium in Rd. 14 instead of his dominant first place. His finish failed to dampen his title winning spirits from the previous day after which he said he had fulfilled a childhood dream.
In E2 Cristobal Guerrero was also the only starter on Sunday as teammate Johnny Aubert still had shoulder problems from a race incident on Saturday. Guerrero meanwhile is engaged in a very tight battle for the title with French rider Pierre-Alexandre Renet. Going into the final test, the Spanish rider again trailed his rival by only 1.5 seconds but Renet pulled out the stops and shut him out. Renet has an 11-point lead but with 40 points still up for grabs, Guerrero is still in with a very good chance to take the third senior title.
Meo went into Sunday’s round knowing that he only had to finish in the top five to take the title and rather predictably was not prepared to take any risks. Despite this he was in the lead from the second to the second last test and just dropped to second after the final Enduro test. Meo was well supported by teammate Eero Remes throughout the day on Sunday and until the final Enduro test when the Finn crashed, came in tenth and lost all chances of finishing on the podium.
In the Youth Cup, the already declared title winner, KTM supported rider Giacomo Redondi of Italy continued to dominate his competition with another win on Sunday.
Antoine Meo - “It’s been an amazing season. I worked so hard all season for this moment and now that it’s finally happened it is fantastic. I want to thank my team for all their support in making this possible.”
Christophe Nambotin - “I’m so happy right now. I knew I could win the title today so I pushed hard for victory. This season has been more than perfect for me and finally the dream of becoming world champion is realised.”