The KTM Enduro Factory Racing Team is in Sweden and ‘ready to race’ in the GP of Sweden as riders go into the remaining six rounds as title favorites in all three major senior competitions.
Coming off the long summer break, the competition resumes in Karlsborg, Sweden around 300 km southwest of Stockholm with KTM factory rider Antoine Meo (France) leading the E1 competition, Cristobal Guerrero (Spain) topping E2 and Christophe Nambotin (France) dominating E3. So far it has been a season to celebrate in Orange. Meo, in his first year with the team has been the dominant rider in E1. So far he has powered his 250 EXC-F to eight wins in the previous ten rounds and with 160 points in the bag, has a 30-point lead over Rodrig Thain.
Teammate Eero Remes is also well in the points in third place with 128 points and is now in familiar Scandinavian territory. Eero is also at home in Finland for the next two rounds. He was the outstanding overall rider in the 2011 ISDE, hosted by Finland and was instrumental in powering his national team to victory.
Guerrero has been engaged in a tough battle with French rider Pierre-Alexandre Renet in the E2 class riding the light and agile 350 EXC and only four points separate the two riders. But Guerrero has the edge and has been gaining in confidence as the season progresses. He took his first win in the last round before the summer break and has been on the podium in six of the 10 rounds. Guerrero has also spent the last two weeks in Sweden training on terrain that is quite different to his native Spain.
Teammate Johnny Aubert of France has had his share of bad luck this season with several DNFs due to technical issues. He is currently fifth but still has the opportunity to pick up plenty of points in the six remaining races, all of which should suit Aubert. Following Sweden and Finland, Aubert and the factory team’s other French riders Meo and Nambotin will have a huge home advantage when riders contest the last two rounds in France.
KTM riders are also dominating E3 and Nambotin goes into the remaining races as the man to beat with nine victories and one second from ten races. He has an impressive 54-point lead. His main rival is the ever-powerful Manxman, David Knight who has been on the podium seven times and is feeling confident after switching before the GP of Italy to the KTM 300 EXC 2-stroke.
For Sweden, organizers have promised a sandy 70 km track that riders will tackle three times in the course of each race. The paddock will be located in the city center, at Molidens Sport centre. The Enduro Test and the Cross Test are located at the military camp of Karlsborg while the Xtreme Test will be held at the gates of the city, near the huge lake Vattern. The Enduro World Championship was last in Sweden in 2008 in Ostersund.
Image courtesy of KTM