The KTM Enduro Factory Team start the World Championship season in 2013 in top shape and determined to continue the form they showed last season that rewarded them with two World Titles: E1 with French rider Antoine Meo and E3 with his compatriot Christophe Nambotin.
But team boss Fabio Farioli knows that the challenge to stay on top is never easy. “2012 was an amazing season for us,” he said. “Now what we have to do to achieve success in 2013 is to work hard, use the best materials, have the best support of everybody involved and always push hard.
Meo and Guerrero in E1
The team goes into the season with five top riders in the classic Enduro World Championship disciplines. In E1, Meo and Spanish rider Cristobal Guerrero, who was Vice-World Champion in E2 last year will be riding the KTM 250 EXC 4-stroke machines and will prove tough competition both with each other and in the E1 class. Meo will be out to prove he is the undisputed king of the class after a copybook 2012 season where he took 13 victories and two second-place finishes. Guerrero will be at a slight disadvantage in the early rounds as he is still recovering from a shoulder injury that eventually needed corrective surgery. He will however be looking to pick up as many points as possible in the first races and will then challenge for the top spot on the podium.
Cervantes joins Aubert in E2
The factory team welcomes back Spanish rider Ivan Cervantes to join Frenchman and team regular Johnny Aubert in E2. Ivan returns to his familiar team after a two-season outing with a Spanish-based team and is happy to be back under the Orange brand. “Being back with KTM gives me a great feeling. For nine years I raced for them and we enjoyed many great times together.” Cervantes won four world titles and was the overall winner in the International Six Day Enduro on KTM. He will ride the KTM 350 EXC.
Teammate Johnny Aubert, also a double world title winner says he has trained hard all winter with his two coaches. “The first round of the Enduro World Championship is only a few weeks away now, and to be completely honest, I can’t wait for this new season to begin,” he said recently, indicating that he will be trying to add another crown in 2013. Johnny will be on board the KTM 450 EXC. Aubert and Cervantes are teammates and rivals and this will add another dimension to an already competitive E2 class.
Nambotin the man to beat in E3
Christophe Nambotin of France will again be the man to beat in the E3 class. In 2012 he clinched the world title with three rounds still in hand and won a remarkable 14 of 16 rounds. In the two remaining rounds he finished second, proving that he was the man to beat, regardless of terrain and conditions. Christophe will be riding the KTM 300 EXC. The French rider is known for his professional approach and his dedication and has, according to Fabio Farioli worked extremely hard on his preparation for the 2013 season. “Last year Christophe was incredible – I am sure he will want to be every bit as strong again this season,” he said.
Enduro World Championships 2013
The classic Enduro season in 2013 is made up of 14 GPs, starting with the first four rounds in Chile and Argentina before returning to Spain and Portugal, Greece and Romania before concluding in France at the beginning of September. The other highlight of the season will be the 2013 International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) that is being hosted by Sardinia from September 30 to October 5, 2013 when the KTM riders will commit to winning for their various national teams.
Blazusiak on the Extreme attack
It is no secret that Red Bull KTM rider Taddy Blazusiak is at the top of his game in Endurocross and SuperEnduro. But this year, the Polish rider will face more challenges because of additional EnduroCross events on the calendar with the X-Games going global. Spurred on by the growing popularity of the sport that brings the thrill of Enduro into the arena and makes it accessible to a worldwide TV audience has resulted in scheduled events in Brazil (April), Spain (May), Germany (June) and Los Angeles (August). Taddy also goes into the final round of the three-round FIM SuperEnduro Championship as the table leader when the competition wraps up in Tours, France on March 9, 2013. He will again defend his EnduroCross title in the seven round competition from May to November 2013, beginning and ending in Las Vegas. Taddy has made a good recovery from a shoulder injury at the close of the 2012 season and goes into 2013 with only one goal. “I race to win,” he says. “That’s always the goal”
Jonny Walker, the young Extreme challenger
Meanwhile 22-year-old Jonny Walker, signed in 2012 as a full Red Bull KTM factory rider has already contested the classic Extreme events The Tough One and Hells Gate and has a daunting year ahead of him with a full calendar. The British rider, who is getting ever closer to challenging the dominance of veteran Graham Jarvis, will race the final round of SuperEnduro, the four X-Games EnduroCross and the British Enduro Championship. He hopes to gather experience in classic Enduro at the GPs of Spain, Greece, Romania and France. He will also contest the infamous Erzberg Rodeo in Austria, the Red Bull Romaniacs in Romania and the Red Bull Sea to Sky in Turkey.
Image courtesy KTM