After six months of waiting, the highly anticipated start of the 2012 MAXXIS FIM Enduro World Championship is now just days away with the series kicking off with the Grand Prix Maxxis of Chile on March 24/25.
The first of this season’s eight Grand Prix, the GP Maxxis of Chile will take place in the capital of the Maule region in the city of Talca where 25-degree temperatures await the riders and teams in and around the foot of the Cordillera of Andes.
For the first time in its Enduro history, the Federation International Motociclisme has awarded the Federacion Motociclisme de Chile the honour of hosting the first round of what is expected to be a thrilling season. The Chilean federation, with José Tomas DIAZ as Enduro delegate, have a wealth of experience with DIAZ one of the organisers of the 2011 Dakar as well as Chile’s national Enduro championship. Chile also welcomed the International Six Days Enduro in 2006 in the seaside resort of La Serena, an event that was a great success.
Chile and South America look forward to the EWC…
The Federacion Motociclisme de Chile (FMC) and its organizer Rodrigo ABASCAL have prepared a track of 65 kilometres, which will be ridden three or four times each day during the two days of competition. Each lap will feature two Time Checks. The paddock will be situated in the centre of Talca on the “Mall Plaza Maule”. The Enduro Test and the Cross Test will take place in Maitenhuapi while the Xtreme Test will be located in Cerro La Virgen, near a Motocross track. Friday night’s KTM Super Test will run in the heart of Talca. The tracks, trails and special tests are expected to be very dry, dusty, challenging and rocky.
Talca is situated in the province of the same name and is the capital of the Maule region. This charming city of 231’5 km2 has more than 201 797 inhabitants and is 253 km South of Santiago, the capital of the country. It is crossed by the Pan-American Highway that starts in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska and finishes in Ushuaia, Argentina. On the history side, the Catholic church of Talca played a big part in the Chile’s history. Talca is also one of Chile’s better-known wine growing regions.
With a record number of more than 150 competitors entered for the event, the Enduro World Championship is set to start in spectacular fashion and in one of the world’s most picturesque places.
New season, new challenges…
A spectacular season is expected in the Enduro 1 class. Antoine MEO (F – KTM) starts the championship as favourite where he will compete against Finns Eero REMES (KTM) and Matti SEISTOLA (HVA), along with Rodrig THAIN (HM Honda), Fabien PLANET (Sherco) and Nicolas DEPARROIS (Kawasaki). Add into the championship battles Spaniard Lorenzo SANTOLINO (KTM), the American Ricky DIETRICH (HVA) and Italians Thomas OLDRATI (KTM) and Simone ALBERGONI (HM Honda) and it’s easy to see why the Enduro 1 class will offer so much exciting racing.
In the Enduro 2 class Juha SALMINEN (SF – HVA) will have to face the determined quartet of Johnny AUBERT (F – KTM), Cristobal GUERRERO (E – KTM), Pierre-Alexandre RENET (F – Husaberg) and Ivan CERVANTES (E – Gas Gas) as he hopes to secure a ninth EWC crown. But Alex SALVINI (I – HVA) and Luis CORREIA (P – Yam) could well deliver plenty of surprise results in the Enduro 2 category, just like Frenchmen Romain DUMONTIER (HVA) and Antoine BASSET (Yam).
The Enduro 3 class will offer a first glimpse of one of the most anticipated battles of the season between David KNIGHT (GB – KTM) and his new teammate Christophe NAMBOTIN (F – KTM). Adding Seb GUILLAUME (F – Gas Gas), Joakim LJUNGGREN (S – Husaberg), Marko TARKKALA (SF – Beta) and Oriol MENA (E – Husaberg) into the battle for top honours ensures the Enduro 3 class certainly won’t be short on drama.
Finally, in the Juniors class, the Spanish armada composed of Mario ROMAN (KTM) and Victor GUERRERO (KTM) will try to win against a strong French team (BELLINO, QUEYREYRE, ROHMER), Italians (MANZI, D’AMBROSIO, MORONI) and against the two British riders Danny MCCANNEY (Gas Gas) and Alex ROCKWELL (Husaberg). In the FIM Youth Cup 125cc, the duel between Giacomo REDONDI (I – KTM) and Luis OLIVEIRA (P – Yam) should keep all its promises but the Chilean Benjamin HERRERA (TM) could prove difficult to beat on home soil.
This Grand Prix Maxxis of Chile is a much looked forward to event on the South American continent. Anticipating the arrival of the stars of the Enduro World Championship Chilean, Argentinean and Brazilian enduro fans will soon gather in Talca where the Federacion Motociclisme de Chile has prepared an international celebration of off-road motorcycle competition that’s not to be missed….
Joakim LJUNGGREN (S - Husaberg)
- Talca (Region of Maule);
- 250 kms from Santiago of Chile;
- Friday, March 23rd: Super Test;
- March 24th/25th: Start at 9:00 – Finish at 16:00;
- Organizers: Federacion Motociclisme de Chile;
- Website: www.enduro-abc.com and www.fmc.cl;
- Track: 65 kms – Three or Four laps;
- Free access;
- Airport: Santiago of Chile (250kms)