Super B supported Husqvarna Enduro Team by CH Racing team riders Juha Salminen and Alex Salvini enjoyed podium success at the sixth round of the Enduro World Championship, the GP of Sweden, with Salminen winning the Enduro 2 class on day one before again finishing on the podium on day two in second. Salvini, who had a day to forget on day one, bounced back in style to place third in class on day two – the Italians second podium result of the series.
Despite heavy rain during the days leading up to the Swedish race the event remained largely dry, but proved to be a long and challenging one. Making things tough for competitors was a typically Swedish forest enduro test that played a key role in deciding the results. Recording the fastest Enduro 2 class time during the Friday night super test Salminen went on to enjoy a near perfect start to the opening day. Quickly asserting himself at the front of the class the Finn went on to top four of the day’s special tests before placing a sizeable 39 seconds ahead of his nearest rival.
Unable to explain exactly why things didn’t go quite as well on day two Juha placed as runner-up to Frenchman Pierre-Alexandre Renet. The fastest rider on the all-important enduro test on day one, on day two Salminen dominated the motocross test but wasn’t able to continue his mastery of the fast paced enduro special stage. Nevertheless Juha claimed a well deserved second place result and now looks forward to his home GP in Finland, next weekend.
Salminen’s Enduro 2 class team-mate Alex Salvini had a day to forget on day one, but bounced back to claim an impressive third on day two. Locked in battle with Spain’s Cristobal Guerrero and Frenchman Johnny Aubert, Alex secured two winning rides on the technical extreme test while remaining consistently fast and mistake free throughout the day.
In the Enduro 1 class Matti Seistola’s hopes of a double podium result failed to materialise as the Finn placed one place off the podium on day one in fourth before enduring a highly disappointing second day’s competition. Topping the Enduro 1 class during the Friday night super test Matti found himself a little off the pace during day one’s opening lap, which ultimately kept him off the podium. Numerous falls on day two saw Matti place 10th. After finishing seventh on day one Spain’s Lorenzo Santolino upped his pace on day two and placed fifth.
Matti Seistola: ‘It was one of those weekends when it seems nothing goes the way you want it to. The first day started well, and I felt good, but I took it a little too easy on the enduro test. I had to push hard to try and take back time and after a strong final lap I finished fourth. It’s not what I wanted in conditions I like, but I started to ride better as the day went on. Everything went wrong on day two. I crashed six times and just couldn’t get things together. I hurt my back on day one so needed to take pain killers, which made me feel sleepy. It’s really disappointing, but I hope I can get some work done on my back and come back strong in Finland.’
Juha Salminen: ‘It’s been a good weekend for me, and a really enjoyable race. The first day went really well. I just pushed hard and was able to finish the day without any mistakes. I felt good on the enduro test, which was important as that was where you could make time up. I managed to stay mistake free on the other two tests, and felt good on the motocross test, so the first day was good. I don’t know why but I just didn’t feel so good on day two. I was fast on the motocross test, but not fast enough on the enduro test. Let’s see how next weekend goes in Finland, I’m looking forward to my home race.’
Alex Salvini: ‘I really struggled on day one, especially on the enduro test. I just didn’t have a good feeling, didn’t ride well, and crashed on the second lap. It was a frustrating day. Thankfully, things were much better on day two. I spent the whole day fighting with Johnny Aubert and Cristobal Guerrero, always very close to them, and was able to finish the day with a good final lap. I finally got on the podium again, which is great. I hope I can do the same in Finland next weekend.’