With three rounds still to go, Frenchman Johnny Aubert, who went 1-DNF over the weekend, clinched the World Enduro Championship in the Enduro 2 (450cc) class after extending his win streak to 13 in Serres, Greece, August 29-30. The victory came for the factory KTM rider after an exhausting eight hours on the bike and in temperatures in the mid 90s, riding through the forests of Northern Greece.
A tired but thrilled Aubert said, “I am very happy for KTM, because we worked very much to win it. At the beginning of the year, only a few people thought that I could defend my title, so I had a feeling of revenge. I’m glad to prove to those who did not believe in me that I am always here. What I’m living this year is marvelous: I won all the races, I’m signing an incredible season, and I became a dad for the second time. It is really a year of happiness.”Johnny Aubert
Aubert’s win streak, however, came to an end the following day after recording a DNF.
It was also a big weekend for BMW after seven-time World Enduro Champion and two-time GNCC champ Juha Salminen gave BMW its first World Enduro win after topping the Enduro 2-class field on Sunday, which came a day after finishing second Aubert.
“It goes without saying that it’s great to have finally given BMW their first World Enduro Championship win, although it was disappointing that Johnny wasn’t able to finish day two,” Salminen said. “The first day was tough. Physically it was really demanding because of the many hours we had to race and the heat. I made a few mistakes that stopped me from finishing with a better result on day one, but things came good towards the end of the day.”
Antoine Meo gave Husqvarna two wins after dominating both days in the Enduro 1 (250F) class, while KTM’s Ivan Cervantes battled Husqvarna’s Sebastien Guillaume and Gas Gas’ Christophe Nambotin to sweep the Enduro 3 class.
David Knight returned to the World Enduro Champion for the first time since leaving the factory BMW team and purchasing a private Kawasaki. He finished 4-3 over the weekend in the Enduro 2 division.
Knight took an early lead on day one before his progress was halted by a broken footpeg in the first timed enduro test. On day two, Knight missed out on the runner-up position by less than half a second.Antoine Meo
“It was tough with the heat but generally I’m pleased with the way it went,” Knight said. “Returning to the WEC was never going to be easy, but I’ve improved throughout the weekend and know where improvements can be made. I’m pleased that I was competitive, but a little disappointed that I missed out on second by next to nothing. I feel like I’ve improved a lot during the weekend and that I really started getting back into it.”