WEC gets difficult in Italy
Enduro 1: UFO Corse Yamaha rider Stefan Merriman blazed to a convincing win in the Enduro 1 class on day one of the third round of the Maxxis FIM World Enduro Champion held in Matelica, Italy as the pint sized Australian also managed to top the overall classification aboard his 250cc four-stroke. Finishing ahead of Italian Roberto Bazzuri and team-mate Bartosz Oblucki on day one, the top of the E1 class looked very different on day two.
With heavy rain making for one of the hardest days of WEC competition in several years, KTM Racing rider Petteri Silvan claimed his first win of the season with Swede Rickard Larsson claiming second and Italian Simone Albergoni third. Merriman finished fifth. With four-stroke machines having dominated the opening two rounds of the WEC series in the E1 class the lighter two-stroke machines fought back in Italy on day two with both Silvan and Larsson being mounted on eighth litre two strokes.
Enduro 2: Honda Racing Fast Eddy rider Paul Edmondson claimed an impressive double Enduro 2 class win in Italy to move to the top of the E2 World Enduro Championship ahead of Finn Juha Salminen. With Salminen failing to finish day one due to a broken chain guide, Edmondson managed to claim his first win of the season ahead of KTM Farioli rider Alessandro Botturi and Italian Alex Zanni. It was a close run thing however as Edmondson backed off nearing the end of day one allowing Botturi to close to within less than half a second of the Honda rider at the finish.
With his confidence high, Edmondson repeated his day one result as he battled with Salminen in the challenging, muddy conditions of day two. Eventually topping the class by 14 seconds, Edmondson’s double class win was a popular one as few thought Salminen would be beaten in ’04. Claiming third was Spaniard Arnau Vilanova.
Enduro 3 : Finn Samuli Aro was the second rider to claim a double class win in Italy as he placed his KTM Racing machine comfortably at the top of the Enduro 3 class. Winning day one by close to half a minute, Aro topped day two by 40 seconds and finished as the events fastest overall rider. With Spaniard Ivan Cervantes and Manxman David Knight making it an all KTM podium on day one, on day two Husqvarna riders Anders Eriksson and Mika Ahola battled for thr third place spot with Ahola eventually claiming the final rostrum position. Cervantes failed to master the challenging conditions on day two and placed eighth while Finn Tarkkala, who set the pace early on day one, failed to finish the race.
Photo (C) D. Agrati – Info www.abc-wec.com