Frenchman Johnny Aubert claims victory in the opening round of the 2012 Spanish Enduro Championship at Castellon Vinaros, Valencia
In what was seen as the first major race of the 2012 enduro calendar, the quiet Mediterranean seaside resort of Castellon Vinaros awoke to the sound of the engines as almost 220 competitors arrived to mark the start of the 2012 Spanish Enduro Championship. Utilising a motocross track, disused field and a sandy beach, organisers laid on three very different but very spectacular special tests from which the racing unfolded.
Leading the way in E1, KTM Enduro Factory Team rider Eero Remes immediately established an early lead. It was one that the Finn would not relinquish as he eventually topped the E1 standings by 36 seconds, also placing fourth in the overall standings. With Remes on top form, behind him the battle for the final podium positions raged between Sherco’s Fabien Planet and CH Racing Husqvarna’s Matti Seistola. Unable to recover from a crash on the unpredictably soft sandy beach test, Seistola would eventually have to settle for third behind Planet. Behind the top three, Spain’s Victor Guerrero (KTM) and Lorenzo Santolino (Husqvarna) completed the top five.
In E2 all eyes were focused on the battle for victory. Leading the way from the opening test of the morning, Johnny Aubert began to open up a slender lead over Ivan Cervantes (Gas Gas) and Cristobal Guerrero (KTM). After seven tests Aubert had managed to open up a seven-second advantage over Cervantes with Guerrero just six seconds adrift of the leading two. With Cervantes unable to close the gap, Aubert eventually topped both the E2 and overall classifications by ten seconds. With Cervantes grabbing an impressive second place for his first official debut on the new Gas Gas 450, Guerrero collected third to beat Juha Salminen (Husqvarna) and Luis Correia (Yamaha).
Sweden’s Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) made a successful start to the series with victory in E3. Setting a blistering pace form the word go, Ljunggren quickly opened up a slender two-second advantage over KTM’s David Knight after the first two tests. Fighting back, Knight drew level at the midway stage of the day only for Ljunggren to open up the advantage once more as the Manxman slowed due to clutch problems that would ultimately end his day. With Knight disposed of, Ljunggren comfortably topped the E3 standings by 25 seconds from Frenchman Sebastian Guillaume (Gas Gas). Britain’s Danny McCanney (Gas Gas) made an incredible start to his season by securing third in E3 and beating Husaberg’s Oriol Mena by just one second. Arron Bernardez competed the top five.
Round two of the 2012 Spanish Enduro Championship continues in two weeks time at Almeria on March 18.
Results – Spanish Enduro Championship, round 1
Enduro 1: 1. Eero Remes (KTM) 39:46.340; 2. Fabien Planet (Sherco) 40:23.200; 3. Matti Seistola (Husqvarna) 40:37.970; 4. Victor Guerrero (KTM) 40:47.770; 5. Lorenzo Santolino (Husqvarna) 41:15.100
Enduro 2: 1. Johnny Aubert (KTM) 39:16.310; 2. Ivan Cervantes (Gas Gas) 39:26.800; 3. Cristobal Guerrero (KTM) 39:37.630; 4. Juha Salminen (Husqvarna) 40:04.820; 5. Luis Correia (Yamaha) 40:37.390
Enduro 3: 1. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 39:48.330; 2. Sebastian Guillame (Gas Gas) 40:13.600; 3. Danny McCanney (Gas Gas) 40:51.070; 4. Oriol Mena (Husaberg) 40:52.310; 5. Aaron Bernardez 40:52.600