The Enduro 1 & Enduro 2 Championships are covered in the first part of our EWC half term report.
It’s hard to believe but when day one of the GP of Portugal is done and dusted, the 2013 Enduro World Championship will have moved passed the mid-way point. With seven rounds and 14 days of racing to contest the finishing line is already just about visible. With that in mind we decided to see who’s done what so far this season…
As expected, Antoine Meo is top dog in the Enduro 1 class. Okay, so he might not have won every day of the season so far, like he did in 2012, but he still has five race wins from six starts. And that feat alone makes him the most successful rider in the entire EWC season to date.
It was a monumental crash on the opening enduro test on day one in Spain, which prevented him from claiming a clean sweep at the first three GPs of the season. Behind Meo, things are open – the competition is proving much deeper than many first thought.
Still holding onto second overall in the championship, Juha Salminen has yet to win a race this year. He’s got close on several occasions but when Meo threw it away in Spain, Salminen was unable to capitalise and take the win. That honour went to his teammate Matti Seistola.
On day one in Spain Seistola picked up his first win since 2011 to put himself within one-point of Salminen in the championship standings. His confidence is high and he’s getting closer to moving ahead of his hugely experienced team-mate.
TM’s Eero Remes is another rider gaining both confidence and speed. The pint-sized Finn’s 2-2 scorecard at the GP of Spain ensured he was the most consistent E1 rider at the event. An on-going shoulder injury wrote off Cristobal Guerrero during the opening two rounds in South America, but by landing on the podium on day one in Spain the Spaniard proved he’s well on the mend and ready to start picking up regular podium results.
Add in Husaberg’s Thomas Oldrati – fifth overall in the points – and you’ve got six guys capable of finishing on the podium at each of the four remaining GPs this season.
While E1 is being ruled by Meo, the Enduro 2 class is very much wide open. It’s anybody’s guess who’ll win. Aside from Pela Renet topping day one in Chile, South America was all about Alex Salvini. But in Spain the tables turned in favour of Ivan Cervantes with the Spaniard claiming a double victory to end the Italian’s win streak.
With a 2-2 scorecard behind Cervantes, Salvini still holds the points lead. But the damage has been done. Cervantes proved he too can win. In Portugal, Salvini needs to come out charging and show that Spain was just a bump in the road. But with Cervantes, Renet and Johnny Aubert breathing down his neck that’s going to be hard to do.
Cervantes believes he has the measure of his rival and now Renet – the defending champion – needs to do the same. If things were hot and heavy up until Spain, the E2 class just got even more intense. One thing’s for certain – this class is going to be exhilarating to watch.