Shake it out
With many rider’s national championships becoming postponed or cancelled due to unseasonal weather it left a lot of competitors searching for a satisfactory shakedown before the opening round of the 2012 FIM Enduro World Championship. With that in mind, the Spanish opener quickly turned into an event that resembled a miniature EWC as the majority of those that compete in the world championship headed south to Castellon Vinaros near Valencia. Notable attendees included Johnny Aubert (KTM), Ivan Cervantes (Gas Gas), Juha Salminen (Husqvarna), Eero Remes (KTM), Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg), David Knight (KTM), Cristobal Guerrero (KTM) and Fabien Planet (Sherco) along with many others.
Playing in the sand
Helping to create a carnival atmosphere in the seaside resort of Castellon Vinaros that normally remains sleepy for this time of year, organisers kept the special tests within walking distance of the paddock that was located along the town’s promenade. Adding in a beach test, the hoards of spectators that gathered to watch the Spanish opener where treated to some exceptional racing right in the middle of the town.
The organisers of the Spanish Enduro Championship continue to raise the bar and this year their timing company, Clock Staff unveiled some new equipment. Using a bus, they built a state of the art mobile timing station with additional timing vehicles to ensure live and instant results were readily available both at the event and on the internet via websites and phone apps.
Ivan's new toy
Although having raced the final round of the FIM SuperEnduro World Championship in Barcelona on Gas Gas’ new 250 four-stroke, Ivan Cervantes officially unveiled the bike he will contest in the 2012 Enduro 2 World Championship. Competing on their new 450f, Ivan made it an impressive debut for the Spanish marquee with second overall. Finishing just 10 seconds behind event winner Johnny Aubert, Ivan clearly demonstrated that he will be a force to be reckoned with at the GP of Chile.
Also turning heads in Spain was Cervantes new teammate for 2012, Danny McCanney. The 20-year old Isle of Man youngster competed in E3 and finished an outstanding third in class. Setting some of the fastest times on the beach test, McCanney also impressed with 13th in the overall classification. “This was excellent pre-season training for me,” confirmed a delighted Danny. “The EWC uses terrain that’s quite different to that we ride in the UK so I need to familiarise myself with that – and this was ideal. I ride deep sand in the Isle of Man quite a lot so I had no issues in the sand test. But the hard pack, loose stones is all new to me and takes a lot of getting used to. The event was fantastic and I’m looking forward to returning to round two.”
As mentioned CH Racing Husqvarna’s Juha Salminen was also in Spain to use the event as an important test session towards his assault on the 2012 Enduro 2 World Championship. Hindered by a crash on the tricky beach test, Salminen was pleased with his result of sixth overall on the TE 310. “This was a valuable test session,” confirmed Juha immediately after the race. “It was my first time racing the TE 310 and I wanted to use my time here wisely. We were able to test some parts on the bike and I feel happy with my setup leading into Chile. Unfortunately I had a crash on the beach test and it cost me a lot of time. I recovered well to finish sixth but without that mistake my result could have been better, but overall I’m pleased with today.”