If there’s one thing that ensures a great end to any championship it’s a good old fashioned, to the wire, title fight. And that’s exactly what we’ve got at this weekend’s Enduro World Championship final in France.
With the Enduro 1 and Enduro 3 titles decided all eyes are now focused firmly on ‘the biggie’ – the Enduro 2 championship. Will it be Pela Renet or Cristobal Guerrero that complete the set of 2012 champions? Will it be Renet or Guerrero that earns their first ever EWC title? Will Guerrero even be able to go the distance and challenge Renet following the crash that put him out of the ISDE with a dislocated shoulder? Or will lady luck finally smile on Juha Salminen and allow him to somehow move ahead of his class rivals?
It can be said that Renet has been the fastest Enduro 2 rider this year, Guerrero the most consistent, and Salminen the unluckiest. But when all is said and done it’s Renet who starts the final round of the series with an 11-point advantage. It’s not much of a points lead, but it’s an advantage nonetheless and could prove decisive.
Ifs, buts and maybes count for little, but the E2 standings would look very different heading into this weekend if Salminen hadn’t DNFed day one in Argentina. Through no ones fault other than the rock that decided to wedge itself between his sprocket and chain the great Finn’s title aspirations suffered massively. Likewise, if Renet hadn’t derailed a chain in Italy it would likely be a Renet/Salminen showdown – the newcomer verses the enduro master. As it is it’s Renet and Guerrero who look most likely to secure title glory.
You have to wander if Cristobal’s task of overhauling Renet is just too great. Racing for the first time since dislocating his Shoulder at the six days in Germany, not even Cristobal himself will know what kind of shape he’s in until he starts racing. But the Spaniard is a seriously tough competitor, who won’t let a little pain stand in the way of possible world championship success.
Support for Renet will be immense in Brignoles. Willing the Husaberg rider to complete a possible trio of 2012 French champions, his ‘home’ race support will unquestionably bring an advantage his way. Just how much of an advantage only time will tell.
But it might be riders other than Renet and Guerrero that to a greater or lesser extent decide the outcome of the 2012 Enduro 2 World Championship. Salminen can only focus on a winning result, and then cross his fingers. Johnny Aubert and Ivan Cervantes – both out of the E2 championship hunt – will be looking to end disappointing season with victory. With riders of Juha, Johnny and Ivan’s calibre all focused solely on standing on top of the podium, well, it’s gonna be one hell of an exciting championship finale…
Is this the order in which the 2012 Enduro 2 World Championship will end? © Edmunds / Enduro21.com