Matt Phillips ensured Team Husqvarna Monster Energy CH Racing had much to celebrate at the final round of the 2013 Enduro World Championship, held in St Flour, France, as the young Australian put the finishing touches to an incredible season, claiming the Enduro Junior World Championship title on his TE310R.
In only his first year of EWC competition Matt secured seven day wins to eventually place 47 points clear at the head of his class.
Entering the final round of the series with a commanding lead Matt’s hopes of a relatively straight forward run to the title were ended mid-way through day one when the heavens opened, causing near chaos. With some Enduro Junior class riders stranded out on the track and unable to finish the day, Matt on hi TE310R battled on to earn a well-deserved runner-up result and with it became the 2013 Enduro Junior World Champion.
For Team Husqvarna Monster Energy CH Racing’s Enduro 1 class riders Juha Salminen and Matti Seistola on their TE250R’s the season’s final GP proved to be a tough one. Marking the end of his incredible career, having announced his retirement from full-time competition only a few weeks prior to the event, the GP of France saw Salminen go head-to-head with team-mate Seistola with both riders hunting down the runner-up position in the Enduro 1 class.
Separated by just a handful of points before the race, it was Salminen who eventually claimed the better result, emerging from the two days of competition with a 4/8 scorecard to secure second in the 2013 Enduro 1 World Championship. Finishing just one place behind Juha on both days Seistola, like many riders, saw a number of small mistakes hamper his performance but nevertheless still rounded out the championship third in the Enduro 1 class.
In the Enduro 2 category Spaniard Lorenzo Santolino on his TE310R placed sixth and eighth respectively, results good enough to ensure he claimed seventh in the Enduro 2 World Championship.
On day two Matt Phillips looked to have done enough to end the championship with a win, but was handed a one-minute penalty for accidentally running outside the track markers. Matt eventually placed fifth.
“Winning the Enduro Junior World Championship has been a great end to my first season in the EWC,” Phillips said.
“All weekend the racing was good, and despite the wet weather at the end of day one I really enjoyed it. Danny McCanney was riding really well on day one, and I knew that a decent result would get me the title, so I pushed hard without going too crazy,” he said.
“Obviously the title was the most important thing, and to get it is just great. Starting the year not really knowing what the EWC was all about, to end it as the junior champion – it’s just amazing. I really have to say a huge thanks to everyone in the team, they’ve been great to me and helped me so much. I really wanted to win the second day, and thought I had. With only four tests on day two the times were really tight. I was pushing hard but made a mistake on a corner and ran outside the tape. I didn’t gain anytime but got penalised for it and dropped back to fifth. Despite that it’s been an amazing event, and to now be a world champion is just great.”
“Results wise this hasn’t been my best performance ever,” Salminen said.
“It was tough to have to race against my team-mate Matti for second in the E1 championship, but despite the fact we were fighting for eight and ninth on day two, I still managed to tie up second overall in the championship,” he said.
“For my last season in the EWC to get a runner-up result is perfect – it would be hard to get better. Day one was challenging – the rain made it interesting, but I enjoyed it. It rained at my first ever EWC race, so my career has ended with the same conditions. Fourth on day one was okay, it was the best I could do. I’ve enjoyed the race – it was certainly an interesting one!”
“It’s been a difficult race. I liked the cross test, but I wasn’t quite able to do what I hoped to do this weekend, which was to get second in the Enduro 1 championship,” Seistola said.
“Unfortunately I made a mistake on the second lap – nothing major – but it cost me some positions and I ended up ninth. It’s disappointing because I needed to beat Juha by a few places to finish the championship as runner-up. All in all the year has been up and down but to finish third is a good end to the season.”
Results – Enduro World Championship, GP of France
Day One – Enduro 1
1. Antoine Meo (KTM) 1.02:00.82, 2. Eero Remes (TM) 1.02:52.23, 3. Jeremy Joly (Honda) 1.03:11.49, 4. Juha Salminen (Husqvarna) 1.03:16.33, 5. Matti Seistola (Husqvarna) 1.03:19.22.
1. Alex Salvini (Honda) 1.03:42.14, 2. Ivan Cervantes (KTM) 1.04:34.07, 3. Antoine Basset (Yamaha) 1.04:36.71…, 6. Lorenzo Santolino (Husqvarna) 1.05.42:72
1. Danny McCanney (Gas Gas) 1.01:13.52, 2. Matthew Phillips (Husqvarna) 1.01:55.69, 3. Nicolo Mori (Beta) 1.05:23.27
Day Two – Enduro 1
1. Jeremy Tarroux (Sherco) 21.15:80, 2. Eero Remes (TM) 21.16:03, 3. Marc Bourgeois (Yamaha) 21.17:71.., 8. Juha Salminen (Husqvarna) 21.42:46, 9. Matti Seistola (Husqvarna) 21.43:57
1. Alex Salvini (Honda) 20.52:97, 2. Johnny Aubert (KTM) 20.55:50, 3. Pela Renet (Husaberg) 21.20:78…, 8. Lorenzo Santolino (Husqvarna) 22.06:36
1. Loic Larrieu (Husaberg) 21.31:40, 2. Jamie McCanney (Husaberg) 21.34:69, 3. Danny McCanney (Gas Gas) 21.37:69…, 5. Matt Phillips (Husqvarna) 22.16:52
2013 Enduro World Championship Standings
1. Antoine Meo (KTM) 264, 2. Juha Salminen (Husqvarna) 190, 3. Matti Seistola (Husqvarna) 185
1. Alex Salvini (Honda) 263, 2. Pela Renet (Husaberg) 216, 3. Ivan Cervantes (KTM) 211…, 7. Lorenzo Santolino (Husqvarna) 126
1. Matt Phillips (Husqvarna) 243 – World Champion, 2. Giacomo Redondi (KTM) 196, 3. Danny McCanney (Gas Gas) 186