The opening ceremony at the final SuperEnduro event of the 2012 championship gave the stars of enduro the opportunity to pay tribute to Mika Ahola – the five-time Enduro World Champion who so sadly died on January 15. In an emotional tribute, led by local hero Ivan Cervantes, the riders lined up along the start straight for a one-minute silence as the stadium’s video screens played tributes to the much loved Finn. Riders including Alex Salvini and Taddy Blazusiak raced in memory of Mika by wearing butt patches and shirt logos dedicated to Mika.
Cristobal Guerrero – Changing Strokes
With the 2012 Enduro World Championship test season in full swing, KTM Enduro Factory Team rider Cristobal Guerrero was another competitor to revert back to a four-stroke. Competing on a KTM 250 EXC in Italy and Poland, Guerrero opted for his KTM 350 EXC in Barcelona. Finishing second in his qualification heat behind fellow 350 EXC mounted Taddy Blazusiak, Guerrero’s best results came in the first and final SuperEnduro races where he finished fourth.
Barcelona is one of the most accessible indoor enduros to Britain and therefore attracts a healthy British entry. Along with SuperEnduro regulars Jonny Walker and Dougie Lampkin both Gas Gas UK’s Jack Lee and DBR chief tester Geoff Walker signed up to have a go. Although neither made the final they did put in a good show during the “lights out” night time race. Testing Gas Gas’s new EC300 engine in Barcelona, Dougie posted 12th, 14th and 12th results.
EWC Test session
The final stop of the FIM SuperEnduro World Championship featured a bumper entry of additional EWC regulars keen to try their hand at SuperEnduro. Husqvarna’s latest signing Lorenzo Santolino, Sherco’s Fabien Planet, Belgian Geoff Goblet and Spain’s Victor Guerrero among others raced in Barcelona. Commenting afterwards, Santolino remarked, “This was my first time racing in the SuperEnduro World Championship. Although my results may not have been as good as I had originally hoped, I came here to use the race as testing towards the EWC. I’ve really enjoyed this format of racing and hope to make a return to the championship next year.”
It’s unusual to see real mud as part of an Endurocross course. But at the final stop of the FIM SuperEnduro World Championship there was plenty of it – although it mainly centred around one corner. With the worlds best indoor enduro riders launching into and out of the tricky water splash lap after lap, the waves that were created rained down onto the following sandy left-hander. It didn’t take long before conditions quickly became extremely muddy. As well as having to deal with logs, boulders, and water quick sand was unexpectedly also thrown into the mix. Resulting in some exciting near misses, big moments, and plenty of passing, while the riders may not have enjoyed the once-a-lap mud bath the spectators most certainly did.
Brothers in Arms
Long regarded as the spiritual home of indoor enduro, the Palau Sant Jordi stadium is also synonymous with indoor trial. Unlike in previous years where both disciplines were played out as world championship rounds, this year only the SuperEnduro event counted towards the FIM World Championship. The indoor trial, won by Toni Bou, marked the 35th running of the event.