France saw defending FIM World Trophy team champions the USA run into troubles almost as soon as the event started. Crashing on the opening special test Thad Duvall – Husqvarna badly injured his left wrist, forcing him to retire soon afterwards.
In stark contrast to the disappointing fortunes faced by team USA, France’s FIM World Trophy squad enjoyed a successful opening day, claiming the win despite Loic Larrieu – Yamaha picking up a one-minute time penalty at the end of the day. Sweden topped the FIM Junior World Trophy class ahead of Italy and France with less than one-minute covering the top four teams. Spain head the FIM Women’s World Trophy team category.
Placing one-minute and fifty seconds ahead of surprise runners-up Finland, France enjoyed a dominant opening day in Brive. Yamaha mounted Loic Larrieu posted the fastest times in the five special tests, but was handed a 60-second penalty for arriving late at the day’s final time control following troubles re-fittings his front wheel. Jeremy Tarroux – Sherco topped the Enduro 1 class, Christophe Nambotin – KTM was fastest in the Enduro 3 category, with ISDE newcomer Christophe Charlier – Husqvarna fastest in Enduro 2.
“Today was a good day for me and team France,” explained Christophe Nambotin, France World Trophy team rider. “It was a long, dusty day. The first day of the ISDE is always strange, with riders from all countries mixed together. Like all competitors, I caught some slower riders on some tests, but generally all was ok for me. It’s disappointing that the USA lost one of their riders, but it can happen to any team. We have to keep pushing, but make sure we don't make any mistakes in the days to come. It’s going to be a tough event, that’s for certain.”
One of the stand out performances of the opening day was Finland’s runner-up result in the World Trophy class. With former Enduro World Championship regular Matti Seistola – KTM coming out of semi-retirement to compete for Finland, the Finns placed twenty-six seconds ahead of Australia in third. Spain placed fourth, despite their Enduro 1 class rider Josep Garcia – KTM enduring an eventful day with numerous crashes. Portugal ended the day in fifth ahead of Sweden, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic with Brazil rounding out the top ten.
Three World Trophy teams saw one of their riders’ fail to reach the finish of day one – USA, Chile and Japan.
Sweden got the defence of their FIM Junior World Trophy title off to the best possible start by topping the opening day – twenty-eight seconds ahead of Italy – helped by an impressive performance by Albin Elowson – Husqvarna. Italy showed that they are more than capable of claiming victory in the Junior World Trophy class, as did France who placed less than four-seconds behind the Italian trio. The fourth team to place less than one-minute apart at the head of the Junior World Trophy category was the USA, fifty-three seconds behind winners Sweden.
Helped by the performance of Laia Sanz – KTM, Spain have taken an early lead in the FIM Women’s World Trophy category. Some forty-two seconds ahead of defending champions Australia, Spain will have to keep their focus as they head into the second day of competition if they are to stay ahead of the experienced Australian trio. The USA placed third, France fourth with Sweden fifth.
France’s Christophe Nambotin – KTM was the day’s overall fastest rider, placing just over six seconds ahead of American Taylor Robert – KTM and Jeremy Tarroux – Sherco. In the Enduro 1 category Tarroux was the day’s fastest rider, finishing ahead of Italians Davide Guarneri – Honda and Davide Soreca – Honda. Christophe Charlier – Husqvarna was the fastest Enduro 2 class rider, finishing ahead of Australia’s Daniel Milner – KTM and Swede Albin Elowson – Husqvarna. Finishing just six seconds apart, Christophe Nambotin – KTM was the fastest Enduro 3 class competitor ahead of Taylor Robert – KTM and Spain’s Jaume Betriu – KTM.
Day two of the ninety-second ISDE will see riders complete the same two hundred and fifty kilometre course.
ABOUT THE FIM (www.fim-live.com)
The FIM (Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme) founded in 1904, is the governing body for motorcycle sport and the global advocate for motorcycling. The FIM is an independent association formed by 113 National Federations throughout the world. It is recognised as the sole competent authority in motorcycle sport by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Among its 50 FIM World Championships the main events are MotoGP, Superbike, Endurance, Motocross, Supercross, Trial, Enduro, Cross-Country Rallies and Speedway. Furthermore, the FIM is also active and involved in the following areas: public affairs, road safety, touring and protection of the environment. The FIM was the first international sports federation to impose an Environmental Code in 1994.