Husqvarna Enduro Team by CH Racing team rider Juha Salminen has ended his participation in the 2012 Enduro World Championship third in the Enduro 2 class. Standing on the podium on both days of the GP of France staged in Brignoles, Salminen’s best result came on day two when he placed as runner-up following a third placed performance on day one. Disappointingly for the Husqvarna Enduro Team by CH Racing the final event of the season was marred by the theft of two of their factory bikes. Enduro 1 class riders Matti Seistola and Lorenzo Santolino were both unable to compete in the second day’s competition following the theft of their bikes from the “parc ferme” during the early hours of Sunday morning.
For Salminen the final event of the 2012 Enduro World Championship was a bittersweet affair. With a mathematical chance of still clinching the E2 title, in reality the cruel loss of 20 very important championship points at the GP of Argentina when a rock became stuck between his front sprocket and chain meant that third would most likely be where he’d finish in the E2 championship. And following two day’s of tough competition the eight-time World Champion ended the season third behind France’s Pela Renet and Spain’s Cristobal Guerrero. In France Juha battled for the win during the opening lap on day one before eventually placing third. On day two he improved to secure a runner-up result behind double E2 class winner Johnny Aubert.
Only able to compete in one of the two days of competition was anything but the end to the season both Enduro 1 class riders Matti Seistola and Lorenzo Santolino had hoped for. Starting well on day one Matti crashed on the extreme test, coming home in an eventual sixth. Sidelined on day two brought an end to Matti’s hopes of improving on fifth in the E1 championship standings. In placing one position behind Matti on day one Santolino ended his championship campaign eighth in the Enduro 1 class.
Juha Salminen – Enduro 2: ‘It’s been a bit of a mixed weekend but my speed was again pretty good. Everything started well, but then I had some problems, and then things started to work well again, so it’s been a little but frustrating. It seems like I’ve struggled with some things that I shouldn’t be struggling with and knowing that I was fighting for the Enduro 2 class win at the start of the first day with Johnny Aubert and Pela Renet, well, that was good. It’s just frustrating that we weren’t able to get the win. We got two podium results, but I know I can be winning. I’ve had some good luck this season but I’ve also had some bad luck. I lost possibly 20 championship points in Argentina when a rock got stuck in my chain. Without that problem I would have come to the last race in a position to fight for the title. Unfortunately that didn’t happen so we have to be pleased with what we achieved. But knowing that it could have been much better makes it hard.”
Matti Seistola – Enduro 1: ‘It was a strange weekend for me. I didn’t have a very good first day. I just couldn’t ride as well as I know I can. I wasn’t a long way off the pace, but I wasn’t able to be quite as fast as I needed to be either. On the first day I crashed on the extreme test, which lost some time. I ended up sixth, which I was disappointed with. I really wanted to end the season with a strong result on day two, but that wasn’t possible. Someone stole my bike from the parc ferme so it ended up being a really bad end to what has been a tough season.’
Results – Enduro World Championship, GP of France
1. Antoine Meo (KTM) 46:35.08; 2. Rodrig Thain (Honda) 47:57.13; 3. Eero Remes (KTM) 48:08.25; 4. Thomas Oldrati (Husaberg) 48:13.64; 5. Fabien Planet (Sherco) 48:25.33; 6. Matti Seistola (Husqvarna) 48:34.62; 7. Lorenzo Santolino (Husqvarna) 48:55.10
1. Johnny Aubert (KTM) 47:02.07; 2. Pela Renet (Husaberg) 47:02.16; 3. Juha Salminen (Husqvarna) 47:29.65; 4. Cristobal Guerrero (KTM) 48:23.56; 5. Ivan Cervantes (Gas Gas) 48:26.44; 15. Romain Dumontier (Husqvarna) 51:05.39
1. Johnny Aubert (KTM) 45:27.97; 2. Juha Salminen (Husqvarna) 46:05.30; 3. Pela Renet (Husaberg) 46:09.08; 4. Cristobal Guerrero (KTM) 46:36.16; 5. Ivan Cervantes (Gas Gas) 46:39.01; 15. Romain Dumontier (Husqvarna) 49:51.38
2012 Enduro World Championship – final standings
1. Antoine Meo (KTM) 257; 2. Rodrig Thain (Honda) 191; 3. Thomas Oldrati (Husaberg) 179; 4. Eero Remes (KTM) 177; 5. Matti Seistola (Husqvarna) 172; 8. Lorenzo Santolino (Husqvarna) 92;
1. Pela Renet (Husaberg) 260; 2. Cristobal Guerrero (KTM) 243; 3. Juha Salminen (Husqvarna) 236; 4. Ivan Cervantes (Gas Gas) 173; 5. Johnny Aubert (KTM) 162; 7. Alex Salvini (Husqvarna) 117