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Continued WEC success for Salminen, victory at GP of France
Although winning just three special tests during the opening days competition Salminen saved his best for last as he won three of the final five tests. Importantly on the final enduro test he remained mistake free, which ensured he secured victory ahead of David Knight and Cristobal Guerrero. In doing so Juha claimed his second E2 class win in as many WEC events.
Day two was a frustrating one for Juha. Making a positive start a small number of mistakes prevented him from reaching the top of the E2 class results. Although winning special tests on a number of occasions the seven-time world champion also made one mistake too many, which prevented him from repeating his first day result. At the end of a tough day Juha placed third, which ensured that he claimed the runner-up position in the final 09 Enduro 2 World Championship standings. Returning to the WEC having been forced to sit out both the GP of Mexico and the GP of Greece Simo Kirssi battled hard to claim 12th and 11th place Enduro 2 class results. More than a little race rusty due to his enforced layoff the cross-country specialist gave the event his all and importantly showed that he is fit and ready for the upcoming final, and all important, round of the German Cross Country series. Despite missing four days of competition due to injury Kirssi placed ninth in the Enduro 2 World Championship.
BMW Motorrad Motorsports Marko Tarkkala enjoyed a positive final round of the 09 WEC series. Performing well on all special tests the Finn claimed fifth in the Enduro 3 class on day one before being pushed into sixth on day two. Tarkkala placed seventh in the Enduro 3 World Championship.
Also competing alongside Tarkkala in the Enduro 3 class was Swede Anders Eriksson. With the event marking the official end to his hugely successful career the former seven-time world champion claimed a well deserved top 10 result on day one. Bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge to the BMW Motorrad Motorsport team when he joined in 08, Anders played an important role in the development of BMWs G 450 X.
Salminen and Tarkkala will now take a well earn break before turning their attentions to the International Six Days Enduro, held in Portugal in mid October where they will compete as members of the Finnish Trophy Team. Eriksson will also compete in Portugal, for the Swedish trophy Team.
Juha Salminen Enduro 2 class: Its been a bit of a mixed weekend. Sometimes things went really well, other times not. The first day went well, really well, but the second day didnt for some reason. I was able to put in a good time on one test, but then not on another. The morning of the first day wasnt easy for me, I made some mistakes and lost a little time, but then the afternoon went well. The season finished too early for us really, it would have been nice to have had some more races because in the last few events things started to come together well. Its been a tough season but with a positive end.
Simo Kirssi Enduro 2 class: Its been a good weekend for me really. The first day wasnt great but coming back from a wrist injury the important thing for me was that despite a little pain I was able to race hard. On day two I crashed on the motocross test a few times and lost some time there, as well as once in the enduro test. Im really looking forward to the final round of the German Cross Country season now, that will be a big race for me and the team.
Wolfgang Fischer, Team Manager: It a really satisfying end to the world championship after a pretty rough starts. Its been like weve had two seasons within one. The first half absolutely didnt go as we planned it, but the second half has been very good. Juha has remained focused on pushing to win in the Enduro 2 class and during the final three races he has been not only competitive but has also enjoyed two class wins.
2009 World Enduro Championship - Grand Prix of France, Day 1
1. Juha Salminen (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 48:55.84; 2. David Knight (Kawasaki) 49:03.24; 3. Cristobal Guerrero (Yamaha) 49:09.38; 4. Rodrig Thain (TM) 49:26.69; 5. Nicolas Paganon (Kawasaki) 49:30.66 6. Oscar Balletti (Honda) 49:41.84; 7. Nicolas Deparrois (Gas Gas) 50:09.63; 8. Alessandro Belometti (KTM) 50:11.90; 9. Antoine Lettelier (Aprilia) 50:18.82; 10. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 50:21.81; 11. Fabrizio Dini (Beta) 50:37.47; 12. Simo Kirssi (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 50:53.67; 13. Emmanuel Albepart (Kawasaki) 51:10.27; 14. Jean Francois Goblet (BMW) 51:48.86; 15. Simon Wakely (Husqvarna) 52:37.55; 16. Kenneth Gunderson (Yamaha) 52:58.18; 17. Kevin Gauniaux (Gas Gas) 53:25.05; 18; Christophe Robert (KTM) 53:42.45; 19. Erwin Plekkenpol (Honda) 54:11.91; 20. Vincent Charbonnier (KTM) 54:52.36
1. Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas) 47:51.81; 2. Sebastien Guillaume (Husqvarna) 49:03.38; 3. Ivan Cervantes (KTM) 49:05.92; 4. Alessandro Botturi (KTM) 50:21.54; 5. Marko Tarkkala (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 51:03.96; 6. Markus Kehr (KTM) 51:05.21; 7. Fabio Mossini (Honda) 51:30.47; 8. Michal Kadlecek (TM) 52:39.32; 9. Rudy Cotton (Beta) 53:04.67; 10. Anders Eriksson (BMW) 53:23.23; 11. Michael Vukcevic (Husqvarna) 54:18.36; 12. Mark Risse (Gas Gas) 54:55.09; 13. Gordon Clarke (TM) 56:51.73; 14. Pierre Tardieu (TM) 1.00:06.35 2009
World Enduro Championship - Grand Prix of France, Day 2
1. David Knight (Kawasaki) 55:38.23; 2. Rodrig Thain (TM) 55:51.39; 3. Juha Salminen (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 56:02.95; 4. Oscar Balletti (Honda) 56:29.56; 5. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 56:26.75; 6. Cristobal Guerrero (Yamaha) 56:47.44; 7. Antoine Lettelier (Aprilia) 57:07.64; 8. Alessandro Belometti (KTM) 57:09.09; 9. Nicolas Paganon (Kawasaki) 57:28.37; 10. Fabrizio Dini (Beta) 57:36.00; 11. Simo Kirssi (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 57:39.39; 12. Nicolas Deparrois (Gas Gas) 57:55.49; 13. Emmanuel Albepart (Kawasaki) 58:11.23; 14. Jean Francois Goblet (BMW) 58:51.84; 15. Erwin Plekkenpol (Honda) 1.01:11.39; 16. Kevin Gauniaux (Gas Gas) 1.00:33.03; 17. Christophe Robert (KTM) 1.02:02.16; 18. Vincent Charbonnier (KTM) 1.03:19.86
1. Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas) 54:36.38; 2. Ivan Cervantes (KTM) 55:41.84; 3. Sebastien Guillaume (Husqvarna) 56:20.66; 4. Fabio Mossini (Honda) 56:36.51; 5. Alessandro Botturi (KTM) 56:52.79; 6. Marko Tarkkala (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 57:34.54; 7. Markus Kehr (KTM) 58:12.75; 8. Michal Kadlecek (TM) 1.00:17.44; 9. Rudy Cotton (Beta) 1.01:01.18; 10. Michael Vukcevic (Husqvarna) 1.02:01.09; 11. Mark Risse (Gas Gas) 1.04:17.91; 12. Gordon Clarke (TM) 1.04:31.01
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