And here we are, the exciting Enduro FIM MAXXIS World Championship 2011 season has just drawn to a close. This final held at Mende was a real high point ending a rollercoaster of a season that along the way attracted many crowds.
The AMV Grand Prix of France was masterfully organised by the « Moto Club Lozérien » who provided a fantastic course to the stars of World Enduro.
The spectators in their tens of thousands, from the very first KTM Super Test of the Friday, have added another dimension to this last stage of the EWC 2011. They were spread out throughout the course, encouraging every rider to give of his best. They turned the final into a something of a party where all the nations gathered together to celebrate the end of the season of World Enduro.
The clement weather of the beginning of October also gave this final a boost of energy. All looked promising to make the 2011 season of The Enduro FIM MAXXIS World Championship end on a high, to the great pleasure of the riders, the crowds and the organisers.
After the Enduro 1 title had been won by Juha SALMINEN (FIN - HVA) and the Enduro 3 title by Mika AHOLA (FIN – HM Honda), there were still two titles to play for today.
Jeremy JOLY (ABC com / Mathew)
« Lulu » gets 6 out of 6 !
In Enduro Junior, Jérémy JOLY (FIN – HM Honda) had regained 4 precious points yesterday away from his rival Mario ROMAN (ESP - KTM) and therefore was in the lead with 8 points. In the end, it is the Frenchman who becomes Enduro Junior World Champion. Having missed out on the title last year by only a few points, he manages this time to grab the Holy Grail. « It feels fantastic to win this title, I’ve been waiting for this and there we go, I’ve managed to become the World Champion! » Mario ROMAN started the day with intense pains in his knee, knocked yesterday, and despite his courage, he was unable to resist the HM Honda rider. Jérémy JOLY for his part, certainly did not rest on his laurels and fought tooth and nail with Jonathan MANZI (ITA - KTM) and Mathias BELLINO (FRA - Husaberg) for third place. But the newly awarded World Champion preferred to play safe in order to ensure he won the title and ended up in 6th place. Romain DUMONTIER (FRA – Yam) and Benoit FORTUNATO (FRA - Yam) fought to attain first place on the podium. In the end, it was the EEAT rider who took the title to complete his double of the weekend.
Woman Podium (copyright ABC com / Mathew)
In the Enduro Women category, Laïa SANZ (ESP - HM Honda), having put Ludivine PUY (FRA - Gas Gas) under a lot of pressure for a large part of the day on Saturday, seemed resolved to win her first victory in the World Championship. But the Gas Gas rider, from the very first wheel spins, took control of the race and gave the Spaniard no opportunities to challenge her plans of victory and winning the world title. It is therefore a second world title in a row for the French woman, who finishes a perfect season with 6 possible victories out of six. Impressive handling, « Lulu » showed the HM Honda rider the path that she still has to follow. On the other hand, there was no fight for third place between Heike PETRICKN (GER - KTM) who was ahead by one minute of Blandine DUFRENE (FRA - Gas Gas).
A prestigious victory for Rodrig THAIN
Rodrig THAIN (FRA - HM Honda) finally holds his first victory of the season in Enduro 1. Ahead from the very first specials, a great comeback from yesterday’s results, he left the « machine », Juha SALMINEN (2nd) no hope whatsoever. A good duel between Lorenzo SANTOLINO (ESP - KTM) and Eero REMES (FIN - KTM) with advantage going to the Finn.
Rodrig THAIN (copyright ABC com / Mathew)
In Enduro 2, Antoine MEO (FRA - HVA) took advantage of Pierre-Alexandre RENET’s (F-Husaberg) withdrawal due to an unfortunate fall in the third lap, to climb once again to the highest step on the Podium. Cristobal GUERRERO (ESP - KTM) and Ivan CERVANTES (ESP - Gas Gas) respectively shared the 2nd and 3rd steps of the podium. It is to be noted the 4th place of the Dutchman, Hans VOGELS (Husaberg) who achieves his best result of this season.
In Enduro 3, the days seem to follow and imitate each other in this AMV Grand Prix of France for Mika AHOLA, (FIN - HM Honda), Alex SALVINI (ITA - HVA) and Marko TARKKALA (FIN - Husaberg) who finish in this same order, like the day before. Christophe NAMBOTIN (FRA - Gas Gas) and the Isle of Man giant, David KNIGHT (GB – KTM) were unable to start today, due to physical problems.
This 2011 edition of the FIM MAXXIS Enduro World Championship finishes therefore with two more French title holders. After Antoine MEO in Enduro 2, it is Jérémy JOLY and Ludivine PUY who find themselves in that position in their respective categories. And for this final day of races, 4 out of 5 categories were won by French riders, motivated by the fact that they were riding in their home land. After the victories of Mika AHOLA and Juha SALMINEN yesterday, the Finns and the French are the great winners of this 2011 season. Perfect organisation and a wonderful audience, gave this AMV GP of France a enchanting party atmosphere. Rendez-vous therefore in 2012 for a new EWC season, which promises to be even more exciting than this one.