The 2014 Maxxis FIM Enduro World Championship heads to Brioude in France to close out what has already been a dramatic and action packed season to date.
Despite two world titles already decided, the Grand Prix AMV of France has still a lot to offer. The battle for honours in the Enduro 3 class is still very much to play along with the titles in the Junior, FIM Youth Cup 125cc and Women categories!
15 years of patience…
After the Moto Club du Haut Cantal and the city of St Flour in 2013, it is their “neighbours” of the Moto Club de Brioude (Haute-Loire), who have been designated by the FIM and the Federation Française de Motocyclisme (FFM) to organise the seventh and final round of the 2014 EWC. After 15 years of absence, the Maxxis FIM Enduro World Championship finds its way back to the beautiful town of Brioude. This Motorcycle Club – ultra motivated and chaired by Hervé SAUVAYRE – organised in addition to their world round in 1999, 15 rounds of the French Enduro Championship (last organization in October 2012), 4 European Enduro Championship rounds and the ISDT (formerly ISDE) in 1980! With an excellent knowledge in promoting enduro, the Moto Club de Brioude is very experienced and should offer riders and spectators a great show throughout the weekend.
With a very difficult and technical track of about 55 kilometres to ride three times each day, it will be an intense time for the stars of the EWC and all enduro fans with French, Spanish and Italian spectators expected in mass for this exciting season finale. The paddock will be located at the Place de la Liberté, close to the Town Hall. The Cross Test will be located at the “Grèzes” in the municipality of Agnat. For its part, the Xtreme Test will be located on the road to Champagnac. Organisers expect refreshment and meals on site throughout the weekend. Finally the Enduro Test will be held in the municipality of Agnat while the last KTM Super Test of the season will take place close to the city centre of Brioude.
Brioude is located in the region of Auvergne and in the Haute-Loire area. This charming town of Livradois is home to nearly 7,000 inhabitants and is situated along the riverbanks of the Allier. Brioude lies 70 kilometres south of Clermont-Ferrand and 60 km north-east of Le Puy-en-Velay.
PHILLIPS v’s CERVANTES – the last act!
Home hero Christophe NAMBOTIN (KTM) already clinched the Enduro 1 title last time out at the GP Acerbis of Italy but the position of Vice-Champion is still undecided. It will be a battle of wills between Eero REMES (SF – TM) and Cristobal GUERRERO (ESP – KTM) for the championship runner-up result. Just one point separates both riders with the advantage in favour of Remes. Eager to excel on home turf the Sherco duo of Jeremy TARROUX (F) and Anthony BOISSIERE (F) will be fighting hard to reach the podium and should become an important factor in the REMES and GUERRERO duel. Husqvarna riders Thomas OLDRATI (I) and Jaume BETRIU (E) and also Rudy MORONI (I – KTM) will want to finish out the 2014 season in style.
Pierre-Alexandre RENET (F – HVA) was crowned the Enduro 2 World Champion at round six in Lumezzane, Italy but the race for second place remains wide open between Alex SALVINI (I – Honda) and Johnny AUBERT (F – Beta). Although Salvini holds a six-point advantage over Aubert, the Frenchman will be hoping to use home support to his advantage in Brioude. But SALVINI – boosted by his double victory in Italy will be really motivated to end his tough season on a high. Third place finish is not an option for him. Ready to become the spoiler in the SALVINI and AUBERT battle, rising star Lorenzo SANTOLINO (E – Sherco) took a massive step forward in Italy with his runner-up result on day two and will try hard to replicate that form in France. Oriol MENA (E – Beta), Jonathan BARRAGAN (E – HVA), Italian Mirko GRITTI (I – KTM) and the French Romain DUMONTIER (FRA – Yam) are also very motivated for the final round of the series.
In the Senior ranks the Enduro 3 title remains undecided and is set to go down to the final special test of the year in France. Severely injuring his foot in Italy (open fracture of the 4th and 5th metatarsals), the leader Matthew PHILLIPS (AUS – KTM) should still take the start in Brioude to defend his 11-point lead over teammate Ivan CERVANTES (ESP – KTM). The Spaniard is back to full fitness and is more motivated than ever to record his fifth world title following a four-year wait! The final step of the podium also remains to be awarded. Mathias BELLINO (FRA – HVA) is still out due to his knee injury and will not defend his position so Luis CORREIA (P – Beta), Matti SEISTOLA (SF – Sherco) and Jeremy JOLY (F – KTM) are all in contention for the prize. JOLY always excels in France and will be the rider to watch of the trio. Antoine BASSET (FRA – Gas Gas) won’t be far away either while Fabien PLANET (Sherco) – who will make his last race in the EWC – will be looking to end his career on a high. Aigar LEOK (EST – TM) will give everything to reach the top five after a difficult season!
MCCANNEY under pressure?
In Junior class the title seems to weigh in favour of Britain’s Danny MCCANNEY (Beta). With a 22-point lead over his main rival Giacomo REDONDI (I – Beta), the Beta Boano rider has all the cards in hand to win the title on Saturday night. But can the 2013 SuperEnduro Junior World Champ withstand the pressure? Will he bag the Junior title just one year after his one indoors? If he has his way, MCCANNEY will prove that he is the most complete young rider of his generation. But REDONDI – who retains a very slim chance of title – might dispute with him this distinction and win both titles in the same year. Given the results of the last Grand Prix, the two young prospects will also deal with the former crossman Loïc LARRIEU (FRA – HVA) and Jamie MCCANNEY (GB – HVA). Never in the recent history has the FIM Youth Cup 125cc been so undecided. Only 10 points separate Davide SORECA (I – Yam), the current leader, and Albin ELOWSON (S – HVA). The Youth Cup will be worth its weight in gold in Brioude. Especially since some riders like Michele MARCHELLI (I – KTM), Matteo BRESOLIN (I – KTM) or Benjamin HERRERA (CL – TM) and Jesper BORJESSON (S – HVA) have the ability to come and play spoiler in one way or the other. Undoubtedly, a high drama and action packed race awaits Brioude.
Finally, in the Women’s Cup, despite holding a small eight-point lead over Jane DANIELS (GB – HVA), one wonders who will stop Laia SANZ (E – Honda) in her quest for a third world title. Behind her, DANIELS seems destined to defend her position as Vice-Champion while Jessica GARDINER (AUS – Sherco) should retain the final podium spot. For her part, Samantha TICHET (F – KTM) will want to shine on home soil and will be challenged to keep her fourth place against her compatriot Geraldine FOURNEL (F – Sherco) and the Finnish Marita NYQVIST (Yam).
See you soon on Friday, September 12th at 19:00 in the heart of the Auvergne for the KTM SuperTest!