Results & Media from 2012 FIM Enduro World Championships in Torres Vedras, Portugal EWC Round 4 - GP of Portugal
After a rough weekend in Spain just a week before, all of the Super B supported CH Racing team was eager to race again and put the previous GP behind them and in Portugal the team did so in impressive fashion. Spain offered up a trail that was equally as difficult as any of the tests and Torres Vedras was no different. Despite much improved weather conditions, the pilots were offered no chance to relax anywhere on the course. The Extreme Test featured classic obstacles that included many rock sections. Whereas the Enduro and Cross Test’s were more suited to the racers with a motocross background. This boad well for the Super B Husqvarna pilots.
During Friday nights Super Test Alex Salvini stole the show in the E2 class aboard his factory build and CH Racing prepped TE310 by claiming his first pole position. Everything was pointing in Salvini’s direction heading into the weekends races and he was in the hunt for the overall early until a very hard crash relegated him to 7th for the opening stage. He then showed his true grit by recovering the following day to take a team best in class 4th overall, narrowly missing his 2nd podium of the year by only 5.1 seconds. In news unrelated to the EWC, Salvini will be racing the British Sprint Enduro Championships.
Juha Salminen battled his way into 3rd position in the championship with a 4th in Stage 1 and a 6th in Stage 2. He currently sits 33 points out of first with 160 points still up for grabs. The championship hunt is still far from over as it seems this years challenging courses have already cost 3 of the top 5 contenders points scoring finishes at some point in the season so far.
The biggest news of the weekend was the return to top form by E1 ace Matti Seistola. Up until Portugal, the season was not going as he had planned. Lessor riders would have been discouraged but Matti showed his resolve by storming to 3rd on Saturday and on Sunday he placed 2nd to score his first double podium of the year. With his new found momentum and sudden climb in the points, anything is now possible for Seistola as we hit the second half of the season.
In some very unfortunate news, rising star Lorenzo Santolino suffered a broken bone in his foot during Stage 1. He finished the days races in impressive fashion putting up top 10 times during the tests while enduring the pain, but was forced to sit out Stage 2’s events. It is undetermined at this time if he will be conesting the upcoming Spanish National Enduro’s. Meanwhile we can expect him to be racing competitively at the next World Enduro event in Italy.
Quotes from Matti on his recent struggles and sudden return to form: “A racer just doesn’t forget how to ride overnight. I new I should be doing better. I never gave up on myself. The team never gave up on me. So we came to Portugal and during the week we did some testing and figured out some new settings on the bike that changed
everything for me. Im now very excited about the upcoming Italian National Enduro’s and immediately following that we have the Italian GP. Im now riding the bike to its potential and so their is only one thing left to do to improve on my 2nd place and I intend to do it.”