With two Scandinavian riders among the ranks of the Husaberg Factory Team and Husaberg Factory Support Team Husaberg are looking for success next week, especially in the Enduro 3 class. Representing the home nation of Finland Marko Tarkkala will unquestionably want to top the class aboard his TE 300 while doing his bit to help Finland win the prestigious Trophy Team category. Seen by many as clear favourites, Finland will certainly be hard to beat. And with Tarkkala an experienced six days rider his efforts are sure to assist the Finnish squad.
Swedish Trophy Team member Joakim Ljunggren will also be looking for Enduro 3 class success. Recently competing in the opening round of the US Endurocross championship, which doubled as an X Games event for the first time ever, Joakim narrowly missed the podium placing fourth after giving a superb performance. But it’s in the forests of Finland that Joakim will really be looking to excel. A rider that loves the sandy/rocky terrain Sweden and Finland offer, while Sweden’s senior team are unlikely to excel, Joakim will be looking to do exactly that aboard his TE 300.
Although known to be more of a specialist on harder, drier, southern European terrain Oriol Mena takes to the start of the ISDE as a member of Spain’s Trophy Team. Mixing youth with experience Spain will be gunning for a top three result with Oriol sure to play an important role in supporting his team mates. A member of Spain’s winning Junior Trophy Team in Mexico last year, Oriol, like Tarkkala and Ljunggren has plenty of six days experience to help him through this year’s event.
One rider that certainly won’t forget this year’s six days will be Husaberg Factory Team rider Mathias Bellino, who takes to the start of his first ever ISDE as a member of the much-fancied French Junior Trophy team. Another first for Bellino will be the fact that he’s never raced an enduro in Scandinavia before, so there’ll be much for the former motocross pilot to learn. Producing the best form of his debut enduro season at the recent Enduro World Championship GP of Romania, Mathias, backed by his determined team mates, will certainly be a rider to watch in the ‘junior’ Under 23 category aboard his FE 450.
Sadly for Husaberg Pela Renet, the team’s #1 rider who claimed a sensational double Enduro 2 class win at the GP of Romania recently, won’t be competing in Finland due to there being no French Trophy team. Instead Pela will continue his preparations for the final two rounds of the EWC series, the first of which takes place at the start of September in Andorra.
Each day of the 86th ISDE will see riders start from the city port of Kotka, southern Finland, before heading inland towards Hamina where the organisers have promised ‘daily routes of rugged terrain’. Although largely flat the different kinds of forests, unusual soil conditions and picturesque scenery will ensure a unique and challenging experience for all riders. Faced with six gruelling days of competition, days one and two will follow the same course with day three offering a completely new track. Days four and five will be the same, but on another new course that will take riders further away from the start at Kotka than any of the earlier days. In time honoured fashion day six plays host to the exciting final motocross races.
Joakim Ljunggren will be the leader of the Swedish Trophy Team.
Coming directly from the Endurocross at X-Games in the US Joakim has to change back to Enduro racing for the coming week.
Marko Tarkkala is part of the home team of Finland.
Like in the EWC Marko will be in a close battle with Joakim and Oriol in the E3 class.
After two victories in the Junior Trophy in the past two years Oriol is for the first time member of the Spanish Trophy Team.
After finishing 2nd in E3 at last year's ISDE Oriol will be aiming at placing equally well in Finland this year.
Mathias Bellino will be making his ISDE debut as member of the very strong French Junior Trophy Team.