KTM riders made a solid start on Day One of the 2014 edition of the ISDE being hosted by San Juan in Argentina. They took seven of the top ten of the individual rider rankings and played leading roles in their national teams in this classic International Six Day Enduro.
KTM factory rider and E1 World Champion Christophe Nambotin finished second to French teammate Pela Renet after the first round of six tests. Australia’s Toby Price, who rode with the KTM factory team in the recent Morocco Rally was third, US KTM factory rider Taylor Robert took fourth and E3 World Champion and KTM factory rider Matthew Phillips was fifth.
In the coveted World Trophy it was France, with Nambotin that topped the rankings after the opening day. Close behind was Team USA with KTM riders Robert, Charlie Mullins and Kailub Russell while Team Australia with Price and Phillips were third. KTM factory rider Ivan Cervantes was in good form to help Team Spain ride into fourth place and Team Germany are fifth.
In the individual categories Nambotin leads the E1 class, Phillips and Russell are 2-3 in E2, Price, Robert and Cervantes are 1-2-3 in E3.
Fabio Farioli, Manager of the KTM Factory team is in San Juan and reported by telephone on his factory riders, saylng: “Nambotin was very good today. He made no mistakes and his goal is to win the overall competition. Matthew Phillips was new to the KTM 350 EXC and has had little time to practice. He also is still recovering from his foot injury (sustained in the world championship rounds). Cervantes made good speed today but he is still experiencing pain from the leg injury during the season.”
Farioli said he was also impressed with KTM riders Price of Australia and Robert from Team USA.
While weather conditions were fine on the opening day of the Six Days, riders still faced cold winds and very dusty conditions. “I think the biggest problem will be on Days 3 and 4 because there will be a lot of dust and sand and this will be hard on the bike air filters,” Farioli commented.
In the Manufacturer’s Trophy KTM 1 (Nambotin, Phillips and Cervantes) lead the ratings after Day One. KTM2 with Mullins, Robert and Russell are second and KTM 3 (Price, Saunders and Guererro) are fourth.
Some 500 riders from 30 nations are contesting the ISDE in 2014.