The KTM Enduro Factory Team had reason to celebrate on Sunday when French rider Christophe Nambotin added the 2014 Enduro1 World Championship title to his trophy collection when racing at the GP of Italy in Lumezzane.
Nambotin wrapped up the title in what was the penultimate round of the 2014 championship and adds it to the two E3 world titles he already owns.
But the factory team also had disappointment when E3 rookie Matthew Phillips, who is the championship leader in his first season in the senior class, broke bones in his foot in the first Enduro test on Sunday. Team boss Fabio Farioli said he did not crash but got his boot wedged between his KTM 300 EXC factory bike and a rock. He confirmed after Sunday’s race that Phillips had already undergone surgery for the fractures and he expected him to be able to race in France in the final round (September 13-14 in Brioude).
Riders contested three laps of about 50 km – each with three special tests. In the E1 class Nambotin was is great form topping the podium on both days of competition. On Saturday he claimed six of the nine special tests and advanced his points lead to make his claim on the title a matter to finalize on Sunday.
“Nambotin was very fast,” team boss Fabio Farioli said after Saturday’s competition, “but he also had to ride carefully because for him it’s all about the championship.” He went into Sunday’s race knowing he had to finish in front of Finnish rider Eero Remes to seal his third world championship title. It was also a good weekend for E1 teammate Cristobal Guerrero who finished second to Nambotin on Sunday after a fourth place on Saturday. Remes is second in the points but the matter of the championship is already settled. Nambotin and Guerrero both ride the KTM 250 EXC-F.
In the absence through injury of the team’s Antoine Meo – in Italy as a spectator and to support the team – it was Red Bull KTM’s Taddy Blazusiak who flew in to contest the class on Meo’s KTM 350 EXC. The Polish rider, one of the eminent riders in the US EnduroCross Championship surprised E2 riders on Saturday by leading the competitive E2 over the first lap. He made some mistakes in the next two laps, but had a big finish to put himself in a great fourth place only seven seconds off a podium. Taddy and Meo, who still recovering from a crash in Finland were in great demand by the Italian fans and Taddy went out on Sunday and pulled off another fourth place. He is set to ride in the Lumezzane Extreme Enduro on Sunday night along with factory teammate and Red Bull sponsored Ivan Cervantes of Spain.
Phillips mishap in Sunday’s opening enduro test was all the more disappointing because he had been the dominant rider in Saturday’s outing and had picked up compliments from his team boss Farioli for his efforts. Cervantes, who is also hampered by a foot injury that prevents him standing up on the foot pegs, picked up hero points after he finished second on Saturday. The Spaniard finished overall fifth on Sunday and is second in the championship, 11 points behind Phillips. With a 35-point gap back to third placed Bellino and 40 more points up for grabs in the last rounds, it is still possible for either Phillips or Cervantes to close it out in France. They both ride the KTM 300 EXC.
KTM riders took the top five places in the E3 class on Sunday
Enduro World Championship, Rounds 11 at Lumezzani, Italy Sweden
E1 Results – Round 12 (Rd. 11 results in parenthesis)
1, Christophe Nambotin, FRA, KTM (1-1)
2, Cristobal Guerrero, ESP, KTM (4-2)
3, Thomas Oldrati, ITA, Husqvarna (5-3
4, Jeremy Tarroux, FRA, Sherco (6-4)
5, Eero Remes, FIN, TM (3-5)
12, Rudy Moroni, ITA, KTM (7-12)
15, Fabio Bossini, ITA, KTM (17-15)
E1 Standings after Round 12
1, Nambotin, 231 – World Champion 2014
2, Remes, 180
3, C. Guerrero, 176
4, Boissiere, 145
5, Tarroux, 142
E2 Results – Round 12 (Rd. 11 results in parenthesis)
1, Alex Salvini, ITA, Honda (1-1)
2, Lorenzo Santolino, ESP, Sherco (3-2)
3, Pierre-Alexandre Renet, FRA, Husqvarna (2-3)
4, Taddy Blazusiak, POL, KTM (4- 4)
5, Oriol Mena, ESP, Beta (5-5)
8, Mirko Gritti, ITA, KTM (7-8)
E2 Standings after Round 11
1, Renet, 218 (World Champion 2013)
2, Salvini, 168
3, Aubert, 162
4, Santolino 142
5, Meo, 114
E3 Results – Round 12 (results of Rd. 11 in parenthesis)
1, Oscar Balletti, ITA, KTM (6-1)
2, David Knight, GBR, KTM (7-2)
3, Jeremy Joly, FRA, KTM (4-3)
4, Simone Albergoni, ITA, KTM (5-4)
5, Ivan Cervantes, ESP, KTM (2-5)
DNF Matthew Phillips, AUS, KTM (1-DNF) – Crashed and injured foot
E3 Standings after Round 11
1, Phillips, 194
2, Cervantes, 183
3, Bellino, 148
4, Correia, 131
5, Seistola, 127
More at http://www.enduro-abc.com
Image courtesy KTM Racing