True to predictions, riders competing in ISDE Argentina 2014 faced very tough conditions on Day Three of this six-day Enduro classic in San Juan with fine dust a big issue. Leading KTM rider in the individual standings at the half way mark is Toby Price of Team Australia in second with teammate and KTM factory rider Matthew Phillips in third overall.
Pela Renet of Team France remains on top of the list with more KTM factory riders riders in Kailub Russell (USA), Christophe Nambotin (France) and Ivan Cervantes (Spain) in places 4-6-7.
Dust was an issue for engines and fuel injections systems and Price said it had been “a seriously tough day”, adding that from now on it would be a case of “being in survival mode”. “There was just no let up from the dust,” he said. “I was doing a filter change at every time control, it was just brutal dust. Trying to keep it out of the motor is going to be so important tomorrow. It’s already taking its toll on some riders, thankfully my bike’s running great so far. The tests were great.”
Matt Phillips also reported a couple of crashes in what was a mixed day for the Australian, who is the 2014 E3 World Champion. Phillips admitted he was finding the event tough because he is still recovering from a foot injury from the World Championship series. “I’ll keep pushing on and hope everything works out okay,” he commented.
2014 E1 World Champion Nambotin reported two offs during Wednesday’s ride and cut his elbow in the process. “I could see that I wasn’t going to be competitive in the overall results, so I just focused on maintaining my lead in the Enduro 1 class and doing what I need to do to help the French team. My goal is just to finish now. The dust is really hard on the engines, so now I will only push as hard as I need to.”
It was a bitter outing for Taylor Robert of Team USA, who was shaping up to be the fastest rider of the day when he lost a lot of time after his bike took in dust. He said he was gutted but relieved to have finished the day. Cervantes also said it had been a very tough day: “I was looking after my bike today. I knew during the first test that a lot of riders would have problems, and they did.”
KTM Enduro Factory Team Manager Fabio Farioli confirmed it had been a very difficult day with more dust and similar conditions expected on Day Four. He said his riders were doing what was possible to look after the bikes in extreme conditions. “Tomorrow will be the toughest day,” he predicted.
At the half way mark the World Trophy is being led by Team USA, followed by Spain, Germany, Argentina and Chile. While Price and Phillips were on top form on Wednesday other riders in Team Australia were not so lucky and Australia is now in sixth place in the rankings.
USA also leads the Junior Trophy, followed by Sweden, France, Australia and Chile. Australia is currently leading the Women’s competition.