WEC series reaches half way point

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The ’04 Maxxis World Enduro Championship reached its half way point at the AMV GP of France this past weekend with a challenging course and mixed weather resulting in yet another mixed bag of results. With all riders faced with three different laps per day, a first for the ’04 WEC series, and with four very demanding special stages testing them during each of those three laps, the event was a difficult one for all. Helping to make the event a memorable one was the huge crowd that came out to watch the world’s best enduro riders in action. In total more than 20’000 spectators attended the event over the weekend, despite day one seeing heavy rain fall for much of the day.


Enduro 1


Stefan Merriman produced a performance good enough to place him at the top of not only the E1 class on day one but the overall classification as well. Comfortably finishing ahead of team-mate Bartosz Oblucki it was a great day for the UFO Corse Yamaha team as they went one-two. TM rider Rickard Larsson made a return visit to the podium in third having finished in the top three on day two at the previous round of the WEC series in Italy. On day two it was a close fight between Silvan and Merriman as KTM rider Silvan topped the class by the smallest of margins. With Merriman second, but extending his E1 class championship lead due to Silvan taking seven minutes of penalties on day one, Oblucki claimed his second podium finish with third place.


Enduro 2


Juha Salminen returned to the top of the E2 world championship in France after winning both days. The surprise result of day one however was veteran Giovanni Sala’s second place finish ahead of New Zealander Paul Whibley who claimed third. It was the first time both Sala and Whibley have finished on a WEC podium in ’04. With Salminen claiming another maximum 25 points on day two, Paul Edmondson placed second having crashed heavily early on day one, which affected his performance. While Salminen recorded a comfortable victory only a hand full of seconds separated Edmondson from third place rider Arnau Vilanova.


Enduro 3


Finn Samuli Aro headed what had been a close four way fight at the top of the E3 class on day one to finish ahead of Spaniard Ivan Cervantes and Manxman David Knight. But with only a handful of seconds covering the top four riders day two was always going to be an exciting one. With conditions again challenging the world’s best riders, D3-Racing KTM rider David Knight claimed his first WEC victory of the year after an eventful day. Riding well, but then having his chain come off on the day’s second extreme tests, Knight worked his way back into the lead allowing him to claim a well deserved victory. Finishing in second was Husqvarna rider Mika Ahola with Samuli Aro third.


Photo (C) Yamaha – Info www.abc-wec.com

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