Podium finishes for Salminen, Seistola & Phillips at EWC GP of Chile
The opening round of the 2013 FIM Enduro World Championship saw three Husqvarna Racing Team by CH Racing squad members place on the podium during the two-day event in Talca, with eight-time world champion Juha Salminen claiming the team’s best result. Returning to the Enduro 1 class for 2013, Salminen claimed a solid runner-up result on day one, shadowed on the podium by countryman Matti Seistola in third. Australian youngster Matt Phillips battled his way though his first ever EWC event successfully, claiming a well deserved third place result on day two in the Enduro Junior class.
The highly anticipated championship opener proved to be a tough one for all competitors, and every bit as dry and dusty as it was 12 months ago. Like last year’s event it was the enduro test that decided the results in many classes, where a technical uphill climb proved troublesome for numerous riders. A high-speed motocross test and a forest based extreme test completed the challenging mix of special tests in Chile.
Making a strong start to the event Salminen’s runner-up performance on day one was the result of impressive riding on all three of the event’s special tests. Close to eventual class winner Antoine Meo throughout the opening stages of the race, Juha was unable to maintain his speed during the third and final lap but nevertheless topped three of the day’s special tests, including the final extreme test. Day two saw the Finn produce a strong opening lap, but catching a rider in the long and dusty enduro test on lap two cost him valuable time. A further mistake on the technical uphill on the third lap cost Juha more time, going on to end his day fifth.
Matti Seistola showed impressive speed throughout the event, finishing on the podium alongside Salminen on day one in third. Feeling confident on the often unforgiving terrain, Matti enjoyed a largely mistake free day with the few mistakes he did make costing him relatively little time. Starting well on day two Seistola won three of the opening four special tests, putting himself in a strong position to challenge for another podium result. But on the final lap a mistake on the enduro test cost Matti precious time and he ended the day fourth, just two seconds off the podium.
In the Enduro 2 class Lorenzo Santolino endured a tough two days, placing eighth on day one and ninth on day two. Struggling to get to grips with the terrain Santolino’s best performance came on the enduro test on both days.
Thrilled to have placed on the podium in his first ever Enduro World Championship event Australian Matt Phillips battled his way through a tough opening day at the rear of the Enduro Junior class to then claim an impressive third on day two. As a newcomer to both the class and championship, Phillips took a tough opening day in his stride before going on to place as the third fastest rider in class on five of the second day’s nine special tests.
The Husqvarna Enduro Team by CH Racing now head to Argentina for round two of the series on March 23/24.
Juha Salminen (Enduro 1 – TE250): "The first day went pretty well for me. I wasn’t quite as aggressive as I should have been in the afternoon – I don’t know why but I was a little sleepy feeling. Not tired, just sleepy. But I still got second so that was pretty good. I started day two well, with a good opening lap but on the second lap I got stuck in another rider’s dust. I was behind him for half the test and I lost a lot of time. There was nothing I could do, some times I even had to stop and wait for the dust to clear. I also had some troubles with the difficult uphill on the enduro test on the last lap. It’s not the best start to the season, but generally things have been good."
Matti Seistola (Enduro 1 – TE 250): "I felt really good on the first day, and was able to push pretty hard because I was feeling confident. I made a few small mistakes, which cost me a few seconds each time, but generally I was pleased to be on the podium and that my test times were good. I felt good again at the start of the second day. For the first and second laps I didn't have any problems but on the last lap I got stuck on the difficult uphill in the enduro test. It was so dusty I couldn't see very well and then got stuck on a rut full of powder. I could have certainly finished on the podium again, so it’ s disappointing that I didn’t. But knowing my speed is good, and that I was on the podium on day one, is a great start to the championship."
Lorenzo Santolino (Enduro 2 – TE 310): ""It’s not been such a good weekend for me, I certainly hope to do better in Argentina. I made some improvements during the two days, and had a much better feeling at the end of the second day. It was a tough race, and the enduro test was especially difficult. I didn’t have any problems on the big hill that a lot of riders had problems on but I found the many chambers hard."
Matt Phillips (Enduro Junior – TE 310): "Everything’s been new for me this weekend. Even communicating with the guys was a little strange to start with, but as the weekend’s progressed things have got better ad better. The first day was tough as I was riding at the back of the Enduro Junior class, which meant I was always riding in dust. But I had some good tests and enjoyed it. Day two went better but I struggled on the enduro test. I’ve not done much racing in these kinds of conditions, so I was learning all the time. It’s been a lot tougher than I was expecting. It’s great to get the first event under my belt and had a great time. It’s been a tough but enjoyable first world championship race for me."
Results – day 1
1. Antoine Meo (KTM) 1.05:46.60; 2. Juha Salminen (Husqvarna) 1.06:15.42; 3. Matti Seistola (Husqvarna) 1.06:48.99; 4. Jeremy Joly (Honda) 1.06:53.11; 5. Nicolas Deparrois (Yamaha) 1.07:24.75
1. Pela Renet (Husaberg) 1.05:33.87; 2. Johnny Aubert (KTM) 1.05:37.96; 3. Alex Salvini (Honda) 1.06:00.80; 4. Ivan Cervantes (KTM) 1.06:03.28; 5. David Knight (Honda) 1.06:39.03… 8. Lorenzo Santolino (Husqvarna) 1.08:10.60
1. Giacomo Redondi (KTM) 1.07:26.71; 2. Daniel McCanney (Gas Gas) 1.07:50.35; 3. Robert Kvarnstrom (Beta) 1.08:02.11; 4. Loic Larrieu (Husaberg) 1.08:03.60; 5. Matthew Phillips (Husqvarna) 1.08:22.22…
Results – day 2
1. Antoine Meo (KTM) 1.03:47.40; 2. Thomas Oldrati (Husaberg) 1.03:53.94; 3. Eero Remes (TM) 1.04:25.01; 4. Matti Seistola (Husqvarna) 1.04:27.12; 5. Juha Salminen (Husqvarna) 1.05:01.79…
1. Alex Salvini (Honda) 1.03:32.62; 2. Ivan Cervantes (KTM) 1.03:47.60; 3. Johnny Aubert (KTM) 1.03:57.54; 4. Pela Renet (Husaberg) 1.03:59.01; 5. David Knight (Honda) 1.04:02.20… 9. Lorenzo Santolino (Husqvarna) 1.06:00.47
1. Giacomo Redondi (KTM) 1.05:10.39; 2. Mario Roman (Husaberg) 1.05:48.06;3. Matt Phillips (Husqvarna) 1.05:48.06; 4. Loic Larrieu (Husaberg) 1.05:50.25; 5. Danny McCanney (Gas Gas) 1.06:24.64…