The fifth stop of the 2013 Enduro World Championship, the GP of Romania held in Buzau, ended successfully for the Husqvarna Enduro Team by Monster Energy CH Racing riders with Australian Matt Phillips extending his lead in the Enduro Junior World Championship while Juha Salminen secured two well-deserved runner-up results in the Enduro 1 class.
Moving 28 points clear at the top of the EJ championship standings Phillips (TE310R) made things difficult for himself on day one following mistakes on the event’s extreme test. Handing the advantage to his class rival Mario Roman, the TE310R rider was forced to work hard on the motocross test in order to claim back lost time. Battling determinedly throughout the day Matt finished as runner-up following a great final lap.
Day two started in the best possible way for Phillips as he topped four of the opening five special tests in the Enduro Junior class, opening up a significant advantage at the top of the class in the process. Remaining in control throughout the day, despite not winning any further tests he held station at the front of the class and claimed a 22-second winning margin. Matt’s day two win was his sixth of the series so far.
The GP of Romania was also a good event for eight-time Enduro World Champion Juha Salminen on his TE250R. Starting the event determined to put his disappointing outing at the GP of Portugal behind him, Juha did exactly that and was locked in a two-rider battle for the class win on each day. On day one just seven seconds separated Salminen from eventual day winner Antoine Meo with the two riders having traded special test wins throughout the day. On day two Juha was again the only rider able to challenge Meo and again placed as runner-up, just 10 seconds behind the Frenchman.
In the Enduro 2 class Lorenzo Santolino (TE310R) also put the frustration of a less than satisfactory Portuguese GP behind him as he claimed his first top five result of the season. Fighting for a fifth place result throughout the opening day’s competition, Lorenzo eventually placed sixth but less than five seconds away from the coveted top five. Day two was a very different story as the Spaniard’s determination finally came good and he secured a well-deserved fifth place result.
The Enduro World Championship continues with the GP of Greece on June 22-23.
Juha Salminen (Enduro 1 – TE250R): “It’s been a pretty good weekend. There were no major problems or mistakes and my times were very competitive. Day one went as good as I expected it to and I finished just seven seconds behind Meo as the runner-up. On day two Meo just had a little extra than me. Not too much but one second here and there soon added up to a 10 second lead that was hard to catch. But overall I’m happy for the weekend. We achieved a decent set of results that were much better than the last race in Portugal.”
Matti Seistola (Enduro 1 – TE 250R): “I suffered all weekend. It started off with food poisoning on Friday night and could barely sleep because of it. Despite that I started quite fast on Saturday morning. My first lap was very competitive but shortly afterwards I began to get tired and struggled for energy. And then to make it worse I crashed into a tree on the second enduro test and broke my toe in my right foot while also cutting it wide open. I was in a lot of pain but somehow managed to carry on and finish in fifth position. Day two was damage limitation and I placed fourth. It was the best result for the situation I was in. But I’m happy with my results. I had a lot of difficulties but the team really helped me out and I was able to get some decent points.”
Matt Phillips (Enduro Junior – TE 310R): “It’s been great to get another win this weekend. On day one I battled hard with Mario Roman all day. On the cross test I was able to pull an advantage and then if I made a mistake he was able to gain some time back. I think it was probably the toughest fight for the win that I’ve faced all year. He knew he was fast on the enduro and extreme tests so I had to ride really hard to match him. On day one I was lucky to finish second overall. To be honest I didn’t feel like I rode good enough to finish as runner-up but thankfully I was able to take the position right at the very end of the day. I’m happy to have made it onto the podium both days and collected more points towards the championship.”
Lorenzo Santolino (Enduro 2 – TE 310R): “This has been a great race for me and I’ve achieved my best results of the season. On day one I finished sixth but was able to go one place better on day two to take fifth. It was a really good race on day one. I fought all day for fifth position but in the end only missed out on it by a couple of seconds. Day two went even better. I didn’t make any mistakes and was finally able to achieve my goal of a top five result. The team has worked so hard with me to improve my position since the GP of Portugal. I feel more confident in my riding and want to thank them for helping me to make this result.”