MEO, SALVINI, PHILLIPS TO TEAR UP ITALIAN OPENER
The opening round of the Italian Enduro Championship is shaping up to be a belter with Antoine Meo, Alex Salvini, Matt Phillips, Johnny Aubert and Cristobal Guerrero all going head to head. The winter’s officially over…
The first round of the Italian Enduro Championship opens this weekend with a two-day sand fest at Lignano Sabbiadoro. A new location and a new formula for a championship will see the best riders compete.
Antoine Meo Matthew Phillips, Johnny Aubert and Cristobal Guerrero will join Alex Salvini, Thomas Oldrati, Oscar Balletti, Philippaerts, Manuel Monni and David Soreca. Dakar queen Laia Sanz is also in the mix!
For this year the two-day format is changed up a little – the trail distance is reduced but the laps are increased and two special stages await. The spectacular track on the beach of Lignano Sabbiadoro is about 12 minutes and the Cross Test, located near Luna Park will challenge the riders immediately after the start. Everything will be repeated five times.
On Sunday the official start is set for 8.30 with three laps to be completed by noon. The afternoon will see the start of the Lignano Enduro Beach Race for a two-hour marathon.
© Edmunds / enduro21.com
But who are favourites for success in Lignano?
The Enduro 1 class is wide open with defending champion Thomas Oldrati off to E3. But Simone Albergoni returns with Kawasaki to challenge the field that includes Maurizio Micheluz (Husqvarna) and Alessandro Battig (Honda Redmoto).
Defending champion Alex Salvini (Honda Redmoto) heads the Enduro 2 class. The man to beat for the 2015 season Salvini should have his way in E2.
On paper the Enduro 3 category seems thrilling. Champion Oscar Balletti faces Manuel Monni (TM), Deny Philippaerts (Beta Boano) – in search of redemption – and newcomer Thomas Oldrati (Husqvarna) is ready to climb on top of the podium with the Husqvarna 300 2t.
© Lynn / enduro21.com
The Junior class will see Giacomo Redondi square off against EWC Youth Cup champion David Soreca (Beta Boano. Other Juniors include Matthew Bresolin (KTM GP Motorsport), Nicolò Bruschi (Honda) and Nicolas Pellegrinelli (KE Motorace Moto MTC) back in the competition after a serious accident last May.
The Foreigners class features the crème de la crème of the enduro world. For 2015 Johnny Aubert (Beta) is joined by Luis Correia (Beta), Aigar Leok (TM Racing), Eero Remes (TM Racing), Matthew Phillips (KTM) and Matti Seistola (Sherco CH Racing).
Set to create a stir Antoine Meo makes his long awaited return to enduro action following injury in 2014. Cristobal Guerrero makes an eager debut with Yamaha and last but not least Laia Sanz (Honda Redmoto) will be there too.
After a quiet winter for enduro, the 2015 season certainly explodes back into life this weekend…