Husqvarna's Antoine Meo Is The 2011 Enduro 2 World Champion.
Continuing his amazing season, Meo put his name to the coveted E2 title following two near faultless performances at the season's penultimate event, the GP of Andorra. Starting the race with a commanding championship lead, a winning result on day one put the Frenchman in the perfect position to become the first rider of 2011 to be crowned Enduro World Champion. Despite challenging weather conditions and a demanding course, Antoine and his TE 310 performed exceptionally during day two. With the Frenchman's focus being to win the E2 championship, Meo placed third, just 18 seconds behind the day's eventual winner. In doing so Antoine claimed Husqvarna's 79th world title.
Throughout 2011 Antoine has proved both the performance and reliability of Husqvarna's TE310. Facing rivals aboard more powerful 350cc and 450cc machinery, he took charge of the championship and built on the successes of winning the Enduro 1 World Championship with Husqvarna in 2010. Claiming no fewer than seven day wins and finishing off the podium just once during seven two-day GPs, Antoine and Husqvarna have remained at the top of the competitive Enduro 2 class since the opening round of the series in Spain. In Andorra, Meo overcame a slow start to the opening day to power his way onto the top step of the podium, claiming the win following an outstanding winning performance on the day's final special test. On day two, winning the Enduro 2 World Championship was Antoine's primary goal, which he achieved in style with a solid third place result.
Meo's Husqvarna CH Racing Monster Energy team-mate Juha Salminen was struck by bad luck early on day one when a rare mechanical problem forced him to retire. Bouncing back in style, Salminen claimed the Enduro 1 class win on day two, collecting his ninth class day win of the 2011 season so far. Despite the loss of 25 important championship points Salminen remains 24 points clear of his closest championship rival going into the final event of the Enduro World Championship season, next month's GP of France. Salminen's team-mate Matti Seistola endured a tough GP but the determined Finn nevertheless claimed two third-place podium results. Matti now sits third in the E1 championship standings.
STRONG MX RESULTS FOR HUSQVARNA TC250
After a difficult and demanding season for the Husqvarna Motocross World Championship riders, there were some encouraging signs for the future at last weekend's MXGP in Gaildorf, Germany, where all the great work done in publically developing the Husqvarna TC250 is beginning to bear fruit.
With a machine that is becoming more competitive with every race meeting, there is finally a feeling that the Husqvarna riders are getting to the point where they can compete on equal terms with their rivals, and this was very much in evidence at last weekend's GP, where right from the very first practice on Saturday, there was a feeling that things were starting to gel for the team.
Alessandro Lupino finished the MX2 qualifying race in an encouraging sixth place. Team-mate Michael Leib – responsible for the race debut of the Husqvarna engine that will power the 2012 production bike – finished this same qualifier in a respectable ninth place, showing the potential of this forthcoming model.
Saturday's promising performances continued during Sunday's races. Lupino was the most successful rider, finishing in ninth place overall after an 11th in race one and eighth in race two. The talented Italian got away well at the gate in race 1 but a slide on the first lap put him all the way back in last place, forcing him to battle his way though the pack, eventually climbing up to 11th, which he managed to hold until the chequered flag.
During the second heat, 'Lupo' was circulating as high as seventh but all the energy he had used up battling back from dead last to 11th in the first leg left him with little in reserve for the race two battle. However, he still managed to finish in eighth place, clocking up his best result of season so far.
Team-mate Michael Leib had a day of mixed fortunes. Scoring a fantastic seventh place in the first leg, he was forced to retire from the second race after a few laps due to a recurrence of the physical condition that has blighted his 2011 championship campaign and often left him depleted and unable to train properly. However, despite his withdrawal from race two, his strong result in the first leg meant that he still finished in 13th place overall – still a positive showing for the whole team.
Next weekend will see the MXGP circus travel to Fermo for the start of the Grand Prix of Italy, which is the final round in this year's world championship season. With renewed optimism and increasing confidence, the Husqvarna team is hoping to further improve the good results achieved in Gaildorf.
STRONG RESULTS FOR HERMUNEN AND GONCALVES IN GERMAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
Husqvarna riders have been enjoying success in various German motorcycling championships. Finnish rider Mauno Hermunen enjoyed another victory at the latest round of the German Supermoto Championship, increasing his points tally over his rivals by winning both heats of the weekend on his Husqvarna SMR449.
There was also success for Portuguese rider Paolo Goncalves at the fifth round of the German Cross Country Champioship. On his TE310, the Husqvarna Monster Energy speedbrain rider won the latest round of the series at Schefflenz, with German Husqvarna rider Dennis Schröter finishing in fourth place. After these results, Paulo Gonçalves leads the championship on 119 points, 12 in front of his nearest rival Christian Weiß on 107, with TE310 rider Dennis Schröter in provisional third place on 98 points. There are two rounds left in this year's GCC series.
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