Claiming victory in the Enduro 2 class on both days of the GP of Romania Husaberg Factory Team rider Pela Renet ensures a dream start for Husaberg’s ’12 model FE 450...For Husaberg Factory Team rider Pela Renet the GP of Romania, round six of this year’s Enduro World Championship held in Buzau, was always going to be an important one. Showing that he had the skill and speed to challenge for victory at the recent GP of Greece, in Romania the Frenchman was determined to secure his first podium topping result of the season, which is exactly what he did – twice!
Competing, for the first time, aboard a ’12 model FE 450 Pela secured the results he so desperately wanted. And he did it in style. With the dry Romanian terrain much to his liking Pela started day one as he hoped to finish it and topped the opening four special tests. Opening up a slender but important advantage Pela held his nerve and claimed a well-deserved win. Topping all but two of the nine tests on the second day Renet earned victory once again.
‘It’s been a fantastic weekend for me,’ explained a thrilled Renet at the end of the race. ‘In Turkey and Greece I could see that I had the speed to win and here in Romania everything worked out perfectly – I felt good during both days and my bike was perfect, too. On the first day in Greece the win was almost mine but things didn’t quite work out, but here I really wanted to show that I could win, which I did. Having the speed to win and winning are two different things, now that I have won I feel much more confidant. Of course I want to do it again.’
Asserting himself at the top of the Enduro 2 class early on both days Renet not only showed that he had the speed to win, but also remained calm and collected as each special test passed. With E2 championship leader Antoine Meo and Spain’s Cristobal Guerrero never too far behind Pela did everything right and thougraghly deserved his double winning result.
‘I took the lead early on both days and stayed out front,’ added the Frenchman. ‘That’s what I was most pleased with – the fact that I continued to ride well even with the pressure of leading. This has been the first race this year where there’s been no stones, which I really enjoyed. I know that I can only win the Enduro 2 world championship with a miracle so my goal now is just to try and claim as many day wins as possible.’
Making it a truly memorable weekend for the Husaberg Factory Team was the fact that Enduro Junior class racer Mathias Bellino also secured victory in Romani. For the first time ever the enduro rookie stood on top of the EJ class podium on day one, some 21 seconds clear of his nearest challenger. Like countryman and team-mate Renet, Bellino made a great start to the day by establishing an early lead after topping the opening two tests. Then, with mistake free riding, he added a further three test wins to his day’s work to claim a memorable win.
‘Day one was great – I started in first position and finished in first position,’ enthused the young Frenchman. ‘Everything went perfectly, there’s not so much more to say. What was incredible was the fact that before the race I didn’t have one point in the extreme test championship (a separate sub-championship based on performances exclusively on the extreme test). I had always struggled on the extreme tests but this time I managed to win. It wasn’t so extreme, not like some of the tests we’ve had this year, but good results there really helped me to win. Day one was just great. The second day wasn’t quite so good, but still it wasn’t bad. I lost a little too much time in the enduro test and had one crash in the motocross test, but I finished fourth.’
For Husaberg’s Enduro 3 class riders it was a good but not great weekend. By their own high standards both Joakim Ljunggren and Oriol Mena were hopeful of podium finishes, but both failed to break into the top three on either day. For Ljunggren, who’d regularly been finishing top three during the last few EWC races, sixth on day one and fifth on day two was the best he could do.
‘I found things a little bit difficult this weekend, mainly because it was quite an easy race,’ offered the Swede. ‘Although it was hot it wasn’t physically demanding at all and the course and special tests weren’t too hard. Even the extreme test was easy, mainly flat grass turns with some easy logs. I wanted to be on the podium again but things didn’t go so well for me. The second day was better, I was just eight seconds off the podium. It’s disappointing to be outside the top three but all in all it was a good weekend, especially for the team with Renet and Bellino winning.’
It was a similar story for Mena, who like Ljunggren finished in fifth and sixth. Once again battling with the fastest riders in the E3 class the former Enduro Junior World Champion was pleased with his weekend’s work. ‘It’s been a very good weekend for me. On day one I was fifth, but importantly I was very close to the riders ahead of me. I was just eight seconds behind the runner-up, which I was very happy with. I had some really good battles with Mika Ahola and Kurt Caselli so although I didn’t manage to finish on the podium I’m really happy with the way the day went. Day started in the worst way for me. I crashed really hard in the opening enduro test and lost 20 seconds. After that it was really difficult to catch up the time I lost, especially with less than one-hour of special test racing during the day. I was down in 12th position and finished in sixth. I was taking one or two seconds back on each special test but I just didn’t have enough special tests left to do any better.’
Despite the lack of any E3 class podium results the victorious performances of Pela Renet and Mathias Bellino aboard their FE 450 machines ensured an extremely positive weekend’s racing for the Husaberg Factory Team. Something that put a large smile on team manager Thomas Gustavsson’s face! ‘It feels great that Husaberg has returned to the top of the podium. We saw a few races ago that Renet had the speed to win, and it was obvious that it was only a matter of time before he would win. This weekend he was superb. He rode incredibly well, and never let the pressure of leading get to him – a truly world class performance. We’re sure that he’ll make a very strong end to the ’11 season now. The fact that he was riding the ’12 model FE 450 just makes things even better. It’s been a perfect debut for the new bike. With Mathias Bellino also winning in the Enduro Junior class as well on day one, well, it’s just been a fantastic weekend for Husaberg.’
Enduro World Championship 2011
Grand Prix of Romania – Day one
1. Pela Renet (Husaberg) 36:26.28; 2. Cristobal Guerrero (KTM) 36:39.56; 3. Antoine Meo (Husqvarna) 36:41.03; 4. Ivan Cervantes (Gas Gas) 37:06.83; 5. Antoine Basset (Yamaha) 37:47.32… 9. Hans Vogels (Husaberg) 38:18.24
1. Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas) 36:39.33; 2. Seb Guillaume (Husqvarna) 36:49.89; 3. Kurt Caselli (KTM) 36:50.73; 4. Mika Ahola (Honda) 36:57.24; 5. Oriol Mena (Husaberg) 36:58.70… 6. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 37:25.35; 8. Marko Tarkkala (Husaberg) 38:33.19
1. Mathias Bellino (Husaberg) 36:49.68; 2. Jeremy Joly (Honda) 37:11.00; 3. Romain Dumontier (Yamaha) 37:13.18; 4. Mario Roman (KTM) 37:13.51; 5. Victor Guerrero (Yamaha) 37:27.07… 11. Kevin Benavides (Husaberg) 38:20.32
Enduro World Championship 2011
Grand Prix of Romania – Day two
1. Pela Renet (Husaberg) 42:15.81; 2. Antoine Meo (Husqvarna) 42:31.53; 3. Cristobal Guerrero (KTM) 43:00.87; 4. Ivan Cervantes (Gas Gas) 43:18.68; 5. Antoine Basset (Yamaha) 44:06.09… 7. Hans Vogels (Husaberg) 44:34.15
1. Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas) 42:22.46; 2. Mika Ahola (Honda) 42:50.82; 3. Seb Guillaume (Husqvarna) 43:19.76; 4. Kurt Caselli (KTM) 43:23.09; 5. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 43:28.06… 6. Oriol Mena (Husaberg) 43:55.72; 7. Marko Tarkkala (Husaberg) 43:58.59
1. Romain Dumontier (Yamaha) 43:15.70; 2. Mario Roman (KTM) 43:17.98; 3. Jeremy Joly (Honda) 43:20.43; 4. Mathias Bellino (Husaberg) 43:31.57; 5. Benoit Fortunato (Yamaha) 43:34.61… 21. Kevin Benavides (Husaberg) 45:49.35
2011 Enduro World Championship, series standings
1. Antoine Meo (Husqvarna) 274; 2. Cristobal Guerrero (KTM) 225; 3. Ivan Cervantes (Gas Gas) 214; 4. Pela Renet (Husaberg) 202; 5. Antoine Basset (Yamaha) 172… 10. Hans Vogels (Husaberg) 121; 19. Aaron Bernardez (Husaberg) 22; 20. Joan Jou (Husaberg) 19
1. Mika Ahola (Honda) 274; 2. Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas) 251; 3. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 218; 4. Marko Tarkkala (Husaberg) 190; 5. Oriol Mena (Husaberg) 182…19. Jakob Morhed (Husaberg) 34
1. Jeremy Joly (Honda) 245; 2. Mario Roman (KTM) 229; 3. Romain Dumontier (Yamaha) 198; 4. Benoit Fortunato (Yamaha) 190; 5. Jonathan Manzi (KTM) 183… 7. Mathias Bellino (Husaberg) 178; 10. Kevin Benavides (Husaberg) 100
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