Grand Prix of Portugal – day 1
The KTM Enduro Factory Team performed well on the first day of the second round of the ’06 WEC series where Manxman David Knight dominated the event to claim Enduro 3 class and overall honours while Ivan Cervantes and Samuli Aro placed in the runner-up spot in the Enduro 1 and Enduro 2 classes respectively
Arriving at the second round of the ’06 World Enduro Championship in Guimaraes, Portugal as leaders of the Enduro 1, Enduro 2 and Enduro 3 classes KTM Enduro Factory Team riders Ivan Cervantes, Samuli Aro and David Knight continued their good early season form performing well in the challenging and dusty conditions in Portugal.
With clear skies and dry special tests ensuring that conditions in northern Portugal were in complete contrast to those at the season opener in Sweden, both the course and special tests at the GP of Portugal tested the WEC’s best riders. With both the fast and flowing motocross and cross-country special tests proving challenging it was the event’s extreme test that proved to be the hardest part of the event and played a big part in deciding the end of event results.
In the Enduro 1 class Spaniard Ivan Cervantes awoke to find that much of his riding clothing had been stolen from inside the KTM Enduro Factory Team awning, which detuned the reigning E1 world champion during the opening lap of the event. Still managing to win five of the day’s special tests in the E1 class Ivan eventually placed as runner-up, five seconds behind Italian Simone Albergoni. Making it two factory KTM riders on the podium at the close of day one Alessandro Belometti finished 37 seconds behind Cervantes.
After starting the ’06 WEC season in the best possible way in Sweden with two class wins Samuli Aro saw several small crashes spoil his hopes of continuing his winning ways in Portugal as the reigning E2 world champion placed an eventual third position behind Australian Stefan Merriman and Finn Mika Ahola. Despite his mistakes Samuli still only finished 30 seconds behind class winner Merriman. Placing in sixth position factory KTM rider Fabien Planet was another rider that found the challenging conditions difficult to master.
One rider who was able to continue his winning ways having topped the Enduro 3 class on both days of the opening round of the series was Manxman David Knight. Dominating the E3 class to win all but one special test, Knighter placed one minute and 18 seconds ahead of his KTM team-mate Marko Tarkkala. Comfortably the event’s fastest rider on the extreme test, David, like most riders, found the event hard, due in part to the many difficult sections within the event’s time controls. Placing third in the E3 class was Swede Bjorne Carlsson.
David Knight: “Everything went well for me today. I was a little unsure of what to expect on the first lap but I just tried not to make any mistakes and things started well. The extreme test was really difficult but it was also good for me. I didn’t feel as if I was riding that well on that test but my times were really good. On the enduro and motocross tests I was just trying to use smooth lines because both tests were getting really rough. Obviously I wanted to win the Enduro 3 class but being the fastest overall rider as well is a great bonus.”
Samuli Aro: “It’s not been great day for me but it has also not been a bad day for me. I made too many small mistakes to push for the win so I’m pretty happy with third. I made several of my mistakes on the extreme test, which was really difficult. It was possible to lose a lot of time if you made big mistakes there but luckily mine weren’t. The event was difficult – not only the special tests but also the course.”
Ivan Cervantes: “It’s been a bad day for me really, although I finished second. This morning I got to the paddock to find that some of my riding gear had been stolen from inside the awning of the KTM truck. I had to ride without my knee braces and with some clothing that I wasn’t used to, which made it difficult for me on the first lap. My head just wasn’t right, I wasn’t completely focused. I was riding ok, and finishing second isn’t so bad. It was a difficult race especially the extreme test.”
2006 World Enduro Championship Rnd 2
Grand Prix of Portugal
Enduro 1 class
1. Simone Albergoni (Honda) 38:08.00; 2. Ivan Cervantes (KTM) 38:12.90; 3. Alessandro Belometti (KTM) 38:50.09; 4. Helder Rodrigues (Yamaha) 39:16.78; 5. Bartosz Oblucki (Husqvarna) 39:53.93; 6. Mike Hartman (KTM) 39:46.83; 7. Petri Pohjamo (TM) 40:07.03; 8. Maurizio Micheluz (Yamaha) 40:14.91; 9. Nicolas Deparrois (Husqvarna) 40:55.98; 10. Pedro Enes (KTM) 41:21.52; 11. Joan Jou (Yamaha) 41:35.03; 12. Freddy Blanc (KTM) 41:38.29; 13. Fernando Ferreira (Yamaha) 41:52.55; 14. Mario Patrao (Suzuki) 42:00.48; 15. Alexandre Mendes (Yamaha) 43:03.42; 16. Ralph Hubers (Yamaha) 49:02.33; 17. Santos Helio (Yamaha) 1:13.14.10; 18. Andre Fernandes (Yamaha) 1:14.27.12
Enduro 2 class
1. Stefan Merriman (Yamaha) 37:02.49; 2. Mika Ahola (Honda) 37:21.55; 3. Samuli Aro (KTM) 37:34.67; 4. Johnny Aubert (Yamaha) 37:47.05; 5. Paul Edmondson (Honda) 38:10.50; 6. Fabien Planet (KTM) 38:32.60; 7. Xavier Galindo (KTM) 38:33.41; 8. Cristobal Guerrero (Gas Gas) 38:36.44; 9. Emmanuel Albepart (Honda) 39:13.66; 10. Andrea Beconi (Beta) 39:16.98; 11. Alessandro Botturi (Aprilia) 39:44.24; 12. Andrea Belotti (KTM) 39:46.55; 13. Fabrizio Dini (Yamaha) 39:51.23; 14. Andreas Toresson (Suzuki) 39:56.70; 15. Jordan Curvalle (Kawasaki) 40:09.68; 16. Nicolas Paganon (Husqvarna) 40:38.68; 17. Jean-Etienne Memmi (Sherco) 40:41.14; 18. Juan Pedrero (Sherco) 40:51.12; 19. Valtteri Salonen (Husaberg) 41:19.67; 20. Giuseppe Canova (Husqvarna) 41:26:19
Enduro 3 class
1. David Knight (KTM) 36:58.88; 2. Marko Tarkkala (KTM) 38:17.87; 3. Bjorne Carlsson (Husaberg) 38:59.83; 4. Seb Guillaume (Gas Gas) 39:15.23; 5. Alessio Paoli (TM) 40:14.62; 6. Markus Kehr (KTM) 40:27.42; 7. Vita Kuklik (KTM) 40:58.35; 8. Michael Vukcevic (Sherco) 41:30.69; 9. Daniel Persson (Husaberg) 41:38.02; 10. Paolo Bernardi (Honda) 41:49.44; 11. Laurent Bouffioux (Aprilia) 42:37.32; 12. Alessandro Zanni (Aprilia) 42:57.73; 13. Rudy Cotton (Beta) 46:18.31; 14. Michal Rudolf (KTM) 48:42.07
Enduro Junior class
1. Oriol Mena (Gas Gas) 39:16.20; 2. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 39:42.81; 3. Michal Szuster (Yamaha) 39:50.54; 4. Jake Stapleton (TM) 40:25.57; 5. Lucas Puerto (KTM) 41:40.45; 6. Marc Bourgeois (Husqvarna) 41:41.37; 7. Jeremy Joly (Sherco) 41:44.29; 8. Bossi Yannick (Husqvarna) 41:45.65; 9. Si Wakely (Honda) 42:48.84; 10. Ricard Wressel (Husaberg) 42:57.93; 11. Jean Charles Gilbert (Kawasaki) 43:09.32; 12. Carlos Andreu (KTM) 43:20.63; 13. Boria Nieto (KTM) 43:47.32; 14. Benoit Fortunato (Honda) 44:31.53; 15. Goncalo Reis (KTM) 44:56.16; 16. Roger Sanllehi (KTM) 47:19.12; 17. Armande Monleon (KTM) 44:34.04; 18. Lorenzo Santolini (KTM) 47:53.06; 19. Sebastian Adielsson (Honda) 48:02.37; 20. Robert Kapajcik (Yamaha) 50:23.02