(Sardinia, Italy, September 30, 2013) – The 88th running of the International Six Days Enduro got underway today in Sardinia, Italy, and it was a great day for the US World Trophy and Junior Trophy teams.
In the World Trophy division, the American squad of Mike Brown, Kurt Caselli, Thad DuVall, Charlie Mullins, Zach Osborne and Taylor Robert are sitting second overall after Day One behind the powerhouse French team and ahead of the Australians.
Robert (pictured above) was top American in sixth overall and he was also sitting in sixth in the E2 class on his Monster Energy Kawasaki.
FMF/KTM riders Charlie Mullins, Mike Brown, and Kurt Caselli were ninth, 11th and 15th overall, respectively, while Amsoil Factory Connection Honda’s Zach Osborne was 17th and Shenandoah Honda’s Thad DuVall was 27th overall.
U.S. team manager Antti Kallonen was quite pleased with the results and with the progress the team has made since last year.
“We have never had this strong of a start for Six Days before and I think the preparation we have done at home is paying off,” said Kallonen. “We are sitting second in the overall standings, which is a very good start. Hopefully we can keep it up, there are still four long days to go plus the final moto, so we just need now to recover from Day One and make sure we do the same things tomorrow.”
Most of the team, including Kallonen, felt tomorrow would show even more improvement.
“We were surprisingly consistent on the World Trophy team,” added Kallonen. “Thad DuVall had a little bit of an off day but he still came through with some fast times, and we know that he can do better. The other five guys were all within our expectations, and did what they need to do to win the World Trophy. To have a shot you need all guys in the top 15 and we had five guys in the top 17. Hopefully we get that sixth guy up there in the top 15.”
Adding to an already good result, Taylor Robert also won the final test of the day.
“It was the roughest, the dustiest, and everyone hated it and he came through with the best time,” said Kallonen. “That just shows we are ready.”
The Junior Trophy team was sitting third overall, behind France and Italy, with FMF/KTM rider Kailub Russell leading the individual standings by a minute and a half advantage over Frenchman Loic Larrieu.
Am Pro Yamaha rider Jesse Groemm was second American in 10th place, while FAR Husqvarna’s Andrew DeLong was 16th, KTM’s and Grant Baylor was 22nd.
Last night’s rain made for great conditions in the morning, however by the afternoon the course had dried out and made of extremely dusty conditions.