Husqvarna & Salminen – World Enduro Champions
News Monday 03rd October 2011 By Jonty Edmunds
Following team-mate Antoine Meo’s crowning as Enduro 2 World Champion for Husqvarna at the penultimate round of the EWC series in Andorra Salminen’s championship success brings Husqvarna’s participation in the ’11 EWC series to a triumphant close. Starting the year as defending champions in the Enduro 1 class, Husqvarna’s goal of securing both the E1 and E2 titles has seen both Salminen and Meo establish themselves as the dominant riders in their respective classes.
For Salminen victory on day one was the perfect way to secure the Enduro 1 world title. Claiming an eventual 18-second winning margin over countryman Eero Remes, Juha once again proved his superiority in the Enduro 1 class aboard Husqvarna’s TE 250. A little slow to get up to his usual race winning speed on day two Salminen had to give his all in order to catch early class leader Rodrig Thain. Closing to within five seconds of the Frenchman an uncharacteristic mistake from Salminen on the day’s final special test saw him finish second. Despite having wanted to end the season with a double victory Salminen’s performances throughout ’11 see him end the year as the world’s greatest enduro rider.
Matti Seistola endured a tough GP of France, crashing heavily during the Friday night Super Test. Ending the first day just one position from the podium, Matti made too many mistakes during the second day to challenge for the top three places. Nevertheless, Seistola delivered a super season aboard his TE 250, showing himself as one of only a handful of riders capable of challenging for podium positions. Completing a superb Enduro 1 campaign for Husqvarna Matti ends the year third in the class points standings.
Juha Salminen – Enduro 1: ‘It’s a great feeling to have won another world title, and to be a part of what has been a fantastic season for Husqvarna. I knew that my bike would be good this year but from my side there were still a lot of question marks regarding whether I would be able to win again. But when I won the first races of the season the only goal I had was to become world champion again. It’s been a fantastic season and apart from one small problem in Andorra everything has gone perfectly. I really wanted to win the title with a victory, which I did and I’m very happy with that. Everyone in the team has put in a huge amount of effort this year and that’s been rewarded with two world titles. It’s been a fantastic season and it feels great to be world champion again.’
Matti Seistola – Enduro 1: ‘I crashed heavily in the Super Test on Friday, which was the start of a tough weekend for me. After that I seemed to spend the whole weekend doing two or three good special tests before one bad one again. It was like that all weekend. Since the ISDE I have been making some mistakes in the world championship. But in general it’s been a really good season for me. I finished third in the Enduro 1 championship, which I am really pleased about. It’s a little frustrating to have made some mistakes here, but generally it’s been a really great year.’
With the Enduro 2 World Championship title already his the GP of France was Antoine Meo’s chance to take things a little easy after a near faultless season. Enjoying being able to spend time celebrating with his French fans during the final race of the EWC season, Meo finished just under nine seconds from the top of the podium on day one before claiming his eighth day win of the year by topping the E2 results on day two. As a rider brought into enduro by Husqvarna, in winning his second consecutive championship with the Husqvarna CH Racing Monster Energy Team Antoine’s continued impressive results were the catalyst for a weekend of celebrations within the team.
Antoine Meo – Enduro 2: ‘To win the Enduro 2 World Championship is incredible. Winning last year in E1 was a dream result for me but together with Husqvarna we have moved to a different class and won the championship immediately. I can't ask for any more from the team – the support they have given me has been fantastic. When I changed bikes we spent a lot of time testing during the winter to reach a good setting and when we arrived in Spain we showed just how competitive we were with two wins. From there we went on to take seven race wins this year with 14 podiums. It’s been an incredible season, one that I will remember always.’
Ensuring Husqvarna’s celebrations weren’t restricted to just their Enduro 1 and Enduro 2 class successes Enduro 3 class rider Alex Salvini gave much reason to be happy as he rounded out his first year of full-time EWC participation with a double runner-up result. In securing his best results of the season Salvini proved himself as one of the most talented newcomers in the EWC.
Alex Salvini – Enduro 3: ‘Two podium finishes here in France is a perfect end to the season. I made a few more mistakes on the second day than I did on the first but generally I’m really happy. I was tired on the second day. I was close to the first two riders on the first lap but after that I fell back a little. I was a little angry with myself after Greece and Turkey because I missed the podium, that gave me a lot of motivation for the last races. I now know that my speed is good so I have all of the winter to improve my riding ready for next year.’
Fabrizio Azzalin – Husqvarna CH Racing Monster Energy Team Manager: ‘From the start of the season everyone in the team put in a really big effort. Our goal was always to do as well as we could, and to try and win the Enduro 1 and Enduro 2 world championships. Obviously Juha and Antoine were the riders most likely to do that for us, and after a long season that is what they have done. It’s been a fantastic season, quite unbelievable. Winning the E1 championship last year was great but winning both the E1 and the E2 championships this year, using the TE 310 for the first time, is amazing. Everyone in the team is extremely pleased with what we have achieved, it’s a fantastic time for the Husqvarna CH Racing Monster Energy Team.’
Martino Bianchi – Husqvarna Racing co-ordinator: ‘This has been a fantastic season for us in so many ways. But the most important thing is that we proved the competitiveness and reliability of both the TE 250 and TE 310. With this one concept and with only a 50cc difference in capacity we won both the Enduro 1 and Enduro 2 championships to take Husqvarna’s total number of off-road world championships to 82. In the E2 class we showed that with a smaller capacity we are still capable of delivering success. This is a great time for Husqvarna and for everyone in the company, as well as for the CH Racing Team and all of their partners. It’s been a long and challenging season, now it is time to enjoy what we have achieved and celebrate.’
Enduro World Championship 2011
Grand Prix of France – Day one
1. Juha Salminen (Husqvarna) 1.21:35.92; 2. Eero Remes (KTM) 1.21:53.88; 3. Fabien Planet (Sherco) 1.21:57.17; 4. Matti Seistola (Husqvarna) 1.22:18.33; 5. Rodrig Thain (Honda) 1.22:20.03
1. Pela Renet (Husaberg) 1.20:20.96; 2. Antoine Meo (Husqvarna) 1.20:29.75; 3. Cristobal Guerrero (KTM) 1.20:51.02; 4. Ivan Cervantes (Gas Gas) 1.21:22.47; 5. Antoine Basset (Yamaha) 1.22:58.44… 8. Simone Albergoni (Husqvarna) 1.24:22.48
1. Mika Ahola (Honda) 1.21:06.90; 2. Alex Salvini (Husqvarna) 1.21:26.18; 3. Marko Tarkkala (Husaberg) 1.21:45.12; 4. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 1.22:09.82; 5. Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas) 1.22:50.76… 6. Seb Guillaume (Husqvarna) 1.23:00.71
1. Romain Dumontier (Yamaha) 1.22:00.61; 2. Jeremy Joly (Honda) 1.22:05.95; 3. Mathias Bellino (Husaberg) 1.22:06.65; 4. Mario Roman (KTM) 1.23:21.16; 5. Benoit Fortunato (Yamaha) 1.23:22.03… 9. Giacomo Redondi (Husqvarna) 1.25:16.43
Enduro World Championship 2011
Grand Prix of France – Day two
1. Rodrig Thain (Honda) 1.20:34.35; 2. Juha Salminen (Husqvarna) 1.20:50.47; 3. Eero Remes (KTM) 1.21:20.91; 4. Lorenzo Santolino (KTM) 1.21:49.21; 5. Fabien Planet (Sherco) 1.22:06.58… 6. Matti Seistola (Husqvarna) 1.22:19.31
1. Antoine Meo (Husqvarna) 1.19:39.51; 2. Cristobal Guerrero (KTM) 1.19:47.63; 3. Ivan Cervantes (Gas Gas) 1.20:00.09; 4. Hans Vogels (Husaberg) 1.21:59.46; 5. Aigor Leok (TM) 1.22:19.39… 7. Simone Albergoni (Husqvarna) 1.23:35.00
1. Mika Ahola (Honda) 1.19:53.50; 2. Alex Salvini (Husqvarna) 1.20:46.86; 3. Marko Tarkkala (Husaberg) 1.21:12.61; 4. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 1.21:51.58; 5. Oriol Mena (Husaberg) 1.22:20.83;
1. Romain Dumontier (Yamaha) 1.21:43.15; 2. Benoit Fortunato (Yamaha) 1.22:01.65; 3. Mathias Bellino (Husaberg) 1.22:07.06; 4. Jonathan Manzi (KTM) 1.22:28.57; 5. Danny McCanney (Gas Gas) 1.23:29.26… 8. Giacomo Redondi (Husqvarna) 1.23:44.57