After a highly successful opening day at the third round of the World Enduro Championship -the GP of Euskadi staged in Gernika Spain, KTM Enduro Factory Team Farioli riders Ivan Cervantes and David Knight repeated their respective Enduro 1 and Enduro 3 class wins and were backed up by yet more strong results from their KTM team mates. Finishing as runner-up in the E1 class to Cervantes was KTM’s Alessandro Belometti while Marko Tarkkala finished second to Knight in the E3 class. As on day one Samuli Aro finished in third in the fiercely competitive Enduro 2 class.
With the dull weather of day one replaced by clear skies and warm temperatures day two of the GP of Euskadi proved to be extremely tiring for all riders, including the world’s best. With nine timed special tests and three laps of the cut-up, rough and rutted course to complete at the end of the event all KTM factory team riders were not only pleased to have finished but of the same opinion that the race was possibly a little too hard — especially for the lesser experienced and Enduro Junior class riders.
Having topped the Enduro 1 class on day one Spaniard Ivan Cervantes was determined to claim another class win in front of his home crowd but came close to seeing his hopes of a double win come to nothing when he made a costly mistake on the second timed enduro test of day two. Resulting in the reigning E1 world champion having to push as hard as he could on the four remaining special tests to regain the class lead, he managed to claim the day win by less than one second. With Simone Albergoni claiming second KTM factory rider Alessandro Belometti claimed a well deserved third place spot just six seconds behind winner Cervantes. KTM Enduro Factory Team Farioli riders Ivan Cervantes and Alessandro Belometti are now placed in first and third in the 2006 Enduro 1 world championship standings.
Finn Samuli Aro placed his factory 450EXC KTM on the third step of the podium on day two of the GP of Euskadi, just as he did on day one. Seeing several small mistakes affect his result, the reigning E2 world champion none the less increased his pace as the day unfolded and placed less than 30 seconds behind the class winner. French factory KTM rider Fabien Planet had a disappointing day on Sunday only managing to finish in 15th position.
With Aro placing third, and now sitting in second in the E2 world championship standings, Frenchman Johnny Aubert claimed the E2 class win with Stefan Merriman second.
Winning each and every one of the nine timed special tests on day two in the Enduro 3 class of the GP of Euskadi David Knight again proved simply too fast for his class mates and claimed his sixth E3 class day win of the 2006 World Enduro Championship season. Finishing a massive two-and-a-half minutes ahead of the second placed rider Knight also placed as the events quickest overall competitor. Making it a KTM one-two in the E3 class, as it was on day one, Finn Marko Tarkkala claimed the runner-up spot and currently sits 18 points behind Knight in the E3 world championship standings.
Ivan Cervantes: “It was a hard, hard day for me today. Things were going well for me early in the day but then I made a mistake on the enduro test on the second lap. I lost about 20 seconds and had to fight hard for the rest of the day to win. It was a hard race because of the difficult conditions but having to push so, so hard to get back to the front of the E1 class took everything out of me. I managed to win by less than one second, which isn’t so much, but after riding like I had to today to win I am really happy with the way things have ended up. I am 21 points ahead in the world championship now so I am really pleased.