Monday, 02 April 2012 12:28

Good speed but bad luck for Salminen and Husqvarna at EWC GP of Argentina

Posted by  Jeff Morgan
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Husqvarna Enduro Team by CH Racing’s Juha Salminen saw his hopes of a double Enduro 2 class win ended on day one of the Enduro World Championship GP of Argentina when the Finn was forced to retire after a stone became lodged between the chain and front sprocket of his bike. Leading the E2 class at the time, Salminen bounced back in spectacular style to win the class on day two – his second E2 class win in as many GPs.

In Argentina conditions were extremely dry and rocky – just as they were one week earlier in Chile. With four laps each day, come the end of the second day’s competition in San Juan only the very fittest were able to give their all.

A cautious sixth on the opening super test on Friday night, Juha Salminen made a determined start to the first full day of competition. Winning three of the first four timed special tests Juha opened up an advantage over Spain’s Ivan Cervantes before his luck ran out and he was sidelined from the event. While in control of the Enduro 2 class Juha’s bike stopped on the motocross test with a stone wedged between the front sprocket and chain. Needing more than 30 minutes to remove the stone, Juha was then able to ride back to the paddock in preparation for day two.

Determined to show what could have been on day one Juha topped the opening special test before controlling his class lead. Only twice placing lower than second in class, Salminen won five of the day’s 12 special tests to win by 23 seconds.

Juha’s team-mate Alex Salvini endured a tough two days of competition in Argentina. Enjoying the dry conditions the Italian placed fifth on both days. On day one Alex won the final motocross test and largely performed well on day two. Mistakes on the enduro test prevented Salvini placing higher up the results.

Spaniard Lorenzo Santolino claimed the best result for the Husqvarna Enduro Team by CH Racing in the Enduro 1 class with a deserved fourth on day two. Starting the event still feeling the effects of a crash during the GP of Chile, Santolino placed seventh on day one, claiming the team’s best E1 class result.

On day two Lorenzo improved his speed on all special tests to secure a well-deserved fourth. Winning three of the day’s tests the team newcomer placed just six seconds from the podium. Matti Seistola failed to secure the results he hoped he would in Argentina. Ninth on day one, mistakes early in the day derailed his chances of battling for a podium result. On day two Seistola started well but a heavy fall on the day’s fourth test again stopped him from performing at his best.

Juha Salminen – Enduro 2: ‘What happened on day one, when I got a small rock stuck between my front sprocket and chain, was really disappointing. I can say it was just bad luck, because something like that happens almost never. Also, there was nothing we could do about it. The day was going really well – I was really happy with how my bike was working and I was getting good times in the special tests. I started the second day with one goal – to win. Again I felt good, my bike was great, and I managed to win. It was a tough day but it was also interesting. It could have been a great weekend, but to win day two shows that we have a great bike and that apart from some bad luck it was a really good race for me.’

Alex Salvini – Enduro 2: ‘It’s been a tough weekend for me. I found the enduro test really challenging and made mistakes on both days. I only crashed once all weekend but there were too many small mistakes in my riding. On day two I made a mistake at the bottom of the first steep hill and had to get off and push it, which lost me 20 seconds. It just wasn’t a great weekend for me. I have to make some improvements to my riding, and to adjust the set-up of my bike. But I am really enjoying racing the TE 310. I know I can be faster, but the start of the series hasn’t been too bad.’

Lorenzo Santolino – Enduro 1: ‘The first day was ok, but a little difficult in the morning because I crashed in Chile and felt a little stiff. I made a few small mistakes but my riding wasn’t too bad. I had a small clutch problem towards the end of the day, but generally I was pleased with everything. The second day was much better. I felt good from the start and apart from being a little slow on the first enduro test I was really pleased with my riding. The only place I was losing a little time was in the motocross test – my times on the enduro and extreme test were good. I really wanted to finish on the podium on day two, but I was fourth. This is still a very good result for me, but once the championship returns to Europe I want to be finishing top three.’

GP of Argentina – Enduro 1, Day 1

1. Antoine Meo (KTM) 52:29.63; 2. Marc Bourgeois (Yamaha) 53:48.42; 3. Simone Albergoni (HM Honda) 53:51.97; 4. Eero Remes (KTM) 53:53.63; 5. Thomas Oldrati (KTM) 54:27.37; 7. Lorenzo Santolino (Husqvarna) 55:02.35; 8. Ricky Dietrich (Husqvarna) 55:05.40; 9. Matti Seistola (Husqvarna) 55:05.54

GP of Argentina – Enduro 2, Day 1

1. Ivan Cervantes (Gas Gas) 52:03.24; 2. Cristobal Guerrero (KTM) 52:30.62; 3. Johnny Aubert (KTM) 52:41.49; 4. Pierre-Alexandre Renet (Husaberg) 52:58.60; 5. Alex Salvini (Husqvarna) 53:16.60; 13. Romain Dumontier (Husqvarna) 57:31.93

GP of Argentina – Enduro 1, Day 2

1. Antoine Meo (KTM) 1.01:50.00; 2. Simone Albergoni (Honda) 1.02:47.88; 3. Eero Remes (KTM) 1.02:53.64; 4. Lorenzo Santolino (Husqvarna) 1.02:59.87; 5. Rodrig Thain (Honda) 1.03:29.58; 9. Matti Seistola (Husqvarna) 1.05:16.10; 12. Ricky Dietrich (Husqvarna) 1.08:54.26

GP of Argentina – Enduro 2, Day 2

1. Juha Salminen (Husqvarna) 1.00:42.33; 2. Cristobal Guerrero (KTM) 1.01:06.05; 3. Ivan Cervantes (Gas Gas) 1.01:06.38; 4. Pela Renet (Husaberg) 1.02:20.71; 5. Alex Salvini (Husqvarna) 1.03:00.23; 12. Romain Dumontier (Husqvarna) 1.06:22.82

Championship points standings after 2 GP:

Enduro 1: 1 Meo ( KTM) p. 80, 2. Albergoni ( Honda) 55, 3. Thain (Honda) 53, 4.Bourgeois (Yamaha) 51, 5. Remes (KTM), 6. Santolino (Husqvarna) 36, 7.Oldrati (KTM) 36, 8.Seistola (Husqvarna) 35, 11.Dietrich (Husqvarna) 21.

Enduro 2: 1. Cervantes (Husqvarna) p. 69, 2.Guerrero (KTM) 58, 3.Renet (Husaberg) 54, 4.Salminen (Husqvarna) 51, 5.Salvini (Husqvarna) 45.

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