Aubert Dominates Italy World Enduro

| April 21, 2009

For the third consecutive World Enduro Championship event of ’09 KTM factory rider Johnny Aubert dominated the Enduro 2 class at the GP of Italy, April 18-19.. While many struggled to master the challenging conditions, Aubert, once again, stamped his authority on the E2 class and maintained his unbeaten winning record in ’09.

Finishing ahead of Husqvarna’s Bartosz Oblucki on day one and Husaberg’s Joakim Ljunggren on day two, there was never any doubt that Aubert was going to top the class, as his performances were so dominate on all of the event’s tests. Yet despite his domination, Aubert wasn’t overly pleased with his riding.

“I don’t know why, but I was really tired on both days,” he said. “I didn’t feel like I was riding well. I scored good championship points, but I am not happy with the way I rode. On the second day, my fuel cap came off on the extreme test, and I crashed on the training track before the race had even started, but things went well in the end.”

Vastly improving his performances and making a return to the podium in Italy was former seven-time World Champion Juha Salminen on his BMW. Having made numerous changes to the set-up of his bike, Salminen looked much more like the rider of old. “I’m really pleased to be back on the podium, but we still have a lot of work to do,” the Finn said.

At the head of the Enduro 1 class, defending class champion Mika Ahola joined Aubert in claiming a double class win as the Honda rider extended his lead in the E1 points standings. Forty-five seconds clear of his nearest rival on day one, Ahola then topped day two by 25 seconds to show, once again, that he is going to take some stopping as far as this year’s E1 World Championship is concerned.

“I’m not sure why I was so fast, but I’m pleased that I was,” said Ahola having expected KTM’s Simone Albergoni to challenge him for victory. “I had two very good days and enjoyed the event.”

Second on day one went to Husqvarna’s Antoine Meo with Albergoni a distant third. On day two the pair reversed their day one finishing order with Albergoni finishing 12 seconds ahead of Meo, who made two costly mistakes while trying to match the pace set by Ahola.

Giving the Husqvarna factory team much to be pleased about Frenchman Seb Guillaume claimed his first win of the season on day one when he finished six seconds ahead of Ivan Cervantes.

“I wasn’t worrying about my times in the tests,” Guillaume said. “I was just riding my own race and enjoying the event. I didn’t know I was leading until just before the final test.”

Day two saw Cervantes move to the top of the class where he finished ahead of Guillaume and defending class champion Samuli Aro. With Gas Gas rider Christophe Nambotin having claimed the third and final podium spot on day one, on day two the Frenchman wasn’t able to match his day one pace, allowing Aro to finish third.

The GP of Italy wasn’t kind to BMW’s David Knight. On day one, Knight crashed, hit his head and withdrew with vision problems. Knight, however, started day two but dropped out with a clutch failure.

2009 World Enduro Championship

Grand Prix of Italy – Day 1

ENDURO 1: 1. Mika Ahola (Honda) 54:03.09; 2. Antoine Meo (Husqvarna) 54:48.71; 3. Simone Albergoni (KTM) 55:19.66; 4. Marc Germain (Yamaha) 55:34.52; 5. Thomas Oldrati (KTM) 56:03.41; 6. Fabien Planet (KTM) 7. Marc Bourgeois (Husqvarna) 56:50.14; 8. Nicolas Paganon (Kawasaki) 57:02.78; 9. Julien Gauthier (Honda) 57:21.51; 10. Jari Mattila (Suzuki) 57:29.09; 11. Eero Remes (KTM) 58:03.85; 12. Maurizio Gerini (KTM) 58:25.71; 13. Filipe Zanol (Yamaha) 58:33.74; 14. Aston Bird (Husqvarna) 1.01:00.07; 15. Jakub Horak (KTM) 1.03:16.05

ENDURO 2: 1. Johnny Aubert (KTM) 56:40.04; 2. Bartosz Oblucki (Husqvarna) 57:58.27; 3. Juha Salminen (BMW) 57:59.40; 4. Cristobal Guerrero (Yamaha) 58:01.33; 5. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 58:11.14; 6. Alessandro Belometti (KTM) 58:22.05; 7. Oscar Balletti (Honda) 58:48.46; 8. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM) 59:24.48; 9. Matti Seistola (Husqvarna) 59:26.27; 10. Si Wakely (Husqvarna) 59:37.78; 11. Valtteri Salonen (Husaberg) 59:43.62; 12. Nicolas Deparrois (Gas Gas) 59:45.91; 13. Mike Hartmann (Husaberg) 1:00:16.50; 14. Simo Kirssi (BMW) 1.00:36.47; 15. Antoine Letellier (Aprilia) 1.00:47.09; 16. Jean-Francois Goblet (BMW) 1.00:55.73; 17. Luca Cherubini (TM) 1.00:00.69; 18. Aaron Bernardez (BMW) 1.01:11.81; 19. Hans Vogels (Yamaha) 1.01:34.61; 20. Damien Miquel (Yamaha) 1.01:52.24

ENDURO 3: 1. Sebastien Guillaume (Husqvarna) 57:07.01; 2. Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas) 57:13.00; 3. Ivan Cervantes (KTM) 57:17.77; 4. Samuli Aro (KTM) 57:54.20; 5. Fabio Mossini (Honda) 58:05.95; 6. Marcus Kehr (KTM) 58:59.33; 7. Marko Tarkkala (BMW) 59:27.64; 8. Tom Sagar (Husaberg) 59:41.58; 9. Bjorne Carlsson (Husaberg) 59:49.78; 10; Jordi Figueras (Gas Gas) 1.00:29.35; 11. Rudy Cotton (Beta) 1.00:59.22; 12. Daniele Tellini (Husqvarna) 1.02:18.94

Day 2

ENDURO 1: 1. Mika Ahola (Honda) 1.04:35.84; 2. Simone Albergoni (KTM) 1.05:01.63; 3. Antoine Meo (Husqvarna) 1.05:14.18; 4. Thomas Oldrati (KTM) 1.05:40.92; 5. Marc Germain (Yamaha) 1.06:09.36; 6. Julien Gauthier (Honda) 1.07:29.18; 7. Eero Remes 1.07:34.43; 8. Fabien Planet (KTM) 1.07:42.37; 9. Marc Bourgeois (Husqvarna) 1.08:29.05; 10. Nicolas Paganon (Kawasaki) 1.08:33.02; 11. Maurizio Gerini (KTM) 1.10:28.96; 12. Filipe Zanol (Yamaha) 1.12:14.65; 13. Jakub Horak (KTM) 1.13:47.40; 14. Alessio Polidori (KTM) 1.17:29.22

ENDURO 2: 1. Johnny Aubert (KTM) 1.04:59.82; 2. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 1.06:25.19; 3. Juha Salminen (BMW) 1.06:34.07; 4. Valtteri Salonen (Husaberg) 1.06:35.71; 5. Bartosz Oblucki (Husqvarna) 1.06:35.86; 6. Cristobal Guerrero (Yamaha) 1.06:38.72; 7. Alessandro Belometti (KTM) 1.06:44.38; 8. Oscar Botturi (Honda) 1.07:38.00; 9. Simo Kirssi (BMW) 1.08:06.60; 10. Rodrig Thain (TM) 1.08:28.96; 11. Matti Seistola (Husqvarna) 1.08:57.40; 12. Fabrizio Dini (Beta) 1.09:20.38; 13. Mike Hartmann (Husaberg) 1.09:30.56; 14. Nicolas Deparrois (Gas Gas) 1.09:37.74; 15. Simon Wakely (Husqvarna) 1.10:03.93; 16. Christian Beggi (Yamaha) 1.10:16.12; 17. Hans Vogels (Yamaha) 1.11:19.41; 18. Erwin Plekkenpol (Honda) 1.12:53.69; 19. Kevin Gauniaux (Gas Gas) 1.13:33.26; 20. Sandro Marcos (Yamaha) 1.13:52.84

ENDURO 3: 1. Ivan Cervantes (KTM) 1.05:11.29; 2. Sebastien Guillaume (Husqvarna) 1.05:27.70; 3. Samuli Aro (KTM) 1.06:12.40; 4. Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas) 1.06:37.86; 5. Fabio Mossini (Honda) 1.06:53.25; 6. Marcus Kehr (KTM) 1.07:09.0; 7. Bjorne Carlsson (Husaberg) 1.07:44.24; 8. Alessandro Botturi (KTM) 1.08:01.26; 9. Marko Tarkkala (BMW) 1.08:51.12; 10. Rudy Cotton (Beta) 1.10:23.57; 11. Jordi Figueras (Gas Gas) 1.11:43.94; 12. Armando Cozzolino (Beta) 1.23:13.82; 13. Davide Decandia (KTM) 1.24:56.93

By Freelance