2006 FIM World Enduro Championship Rnd 4 Grand Prix Valli Bergamasche
At the half way stage in the ’06 FIM World Enduro Championship KTM Factory Enduro Team Farioli riders Ivan Cervantes, Samuli Aro and David Knight currently lead their respective Enduro 1, Enduro 2 and Enduro 3 world championship classes following double class wins by all three riders at the 40th GP Valli Bergamasche it Italy. With Cervantes claiming two important wins in the E1 class, Samuli Aro returning to his best to win in E2 and David Knight continuing to dominate in the E3 class KTM Factory Enduro Team 1 also currently leads the Team competition with KTM Factory Enduro Team 2 lying in third position.
With the opening day of the fourth round of the ’06 WEC series having been extremely tough on all riders day two proved to be even harder, despite the event organisers withdrawing two of the day’s special tests from the competition. With several top riders having failed to finish the first day, including KTM’s E3 class rider Marko Tarkkala who broke a bone in his right wrist, day two saw yet more riders suffer in the dry, dusty and rocky conditions.
Claiming his sixth day win of the ’06 season Spaniard Ivan Cervantes placed 40 seconds ahead of team-mate Alessandro Belometti to win in the E1 class and in doing so the two riders made it a KTM one-two. Made to work hard for his E1 class victory on day one, on day two Ivan consistently outpaced both Belometti and Simone Albergoni and as a result of his win stretched his Enduro 1 championship lead to 29 points. Following his disappointing day one result Belometti performed well on day two and currently lies in third in the E1 championship.
In the Enduro 2 class KTM mounted Finn Samuli Aro matched his day one result and claimed his fourth win of the ’06 WEC series. Unable to win by as much as he did on day one, Samuli still managed to top six of the day’s special tests and in doing so placed 24 seconds ahead of Stefan Merriman despite a fall on the enduro test. Samuli is now 11 points clear at the top of the E2 championship at the half way stage of the series. Disappointingly the fourth round of the WEC series proved to be a frustrating one for French KTM rider Fabien Planet. Having struggled to find the form that saw him battle for the ’05 E2 world title during the first half last season, Fabien placed in ninth on day two in Italy but still sits in sixth in the E2 championship, just one point off fifth. Also competing in the E2 class in Italy was KTM US rider Kurt Caselli. Having been out of action for much of ’06 due to a knee injury sustained in February Kurt placed in 11th on day one and 12th on day two.
The fastest rider of any class on day one at the fourth round of the ’06 WEC series David Knight again dominated in Italy on day two topping the E3 class by over four minutes. Winning each and every special test in the E3 class Knighter also topped the unofficial overall results. In winning on day two David maintained his 100 per cent E3 class win record in ’06 and remains the only rider not to have been beaten so far this season. With Marko Tarkkala a non starter due to the broken right wrist he sustained on day one, German Marcus Kehr placed as the second best KTM rider placing in fourth.
Ivan Cervantes: “Day one was really hard for me because the course was incredibly physical. Alessandro Belometti was really fast, and Simone Albergoni was also really quick, so I had to work really hard to fight with both riders. To be honest if Belometti hadn’t had the problem with his rear sprocket he would have won - he was riding really well. I had a good fight with Albergoni after Belometti had his problems and I was able to win, which I was really pleased with.
“I knew that day two was going to be really difficult so I started simply wanting to finish without any mistakes. It was good that the organisation took out two of the special tests on the last lap but it was still hard. It has been a great weekend for me and the KTM team, but a very difficult one.