At the beginning of March at its headquarters in Varese, Italy, Husqvarna Motorcycles unveiled its ambitious sporting plans for 2011. Team Husqvarna – CH Racing will be competing in all rounds of this year’s Enduro World Championship (WEC), as well as contesting several national enduro series, the International Six Days Enduro and even indoor enduro championships.
Team Husqvarna – CH Racing
In a partnership that spans 22 years of non-stop race action between CH Racing and Husqvarna Motorcycles, endless amounts of hard work have resulted in a historic list of achievements that is truly impressive: 21 individual World Championships in Enduro and four individual championships in Supermoto – after only a few years of participation.
This year the challenge for Team Husqvarna – CH Racing will be stronger than ever. There are seven WEC riders entered in the 2011 series, consisting of two riders in each category and a junior rider. The team will be managed by Fabrizio Azzalin, with Enzo Fontana as the Sporting Director.
WEC events feature three senior classes, split to accommodate different sized machinery. Competing in the E1 class (125cc two-stroke and 250cc four-stroke bikes) on a Husqvarna TE250 will be Juha Salminen. The Finnish enduro legend has an amazing record in off-road motorcycle sport, having won seven individual world championships, five overall world championships, as well as being a five-time International Six Days Enduro champion and double Grand National Cross Country Champion. Thirty-five-year-old Salminen will also contest this year’s Spanish Enduro Championship.
Salminen’s countryman Matti Seistola will also be competing in the E1 class on a Husqvarna TE 250 and aiming for the top step of the podium. The 28-year-old former motocross star was elected “Rookie of the Year” in the 2009 Enduro World Championship and finished last year’s series in fourth place in the E1 class. Definitely one to watch on the TE250, Seistola will also contest the Italian Enduro Championship that starts on 12 March.
The Enduro 2 class features 250cc two-stroke bikes and up to 450cc four-stroke machines. Represented in this class will be reigning Champion Antoine Meo. The 27-year-old Frenchman brought Husqvarna its 78th world title last year, when he became 2010 Enduro World Champion on the TE250 in the E1 class. For this year, the former European Supercross and ISDE star will ride the new TE310 in all WEC rounds, as well as competing in the French Enduro Championship, which he also won in 2010.
Another E2 class rider on the new TE310 will be Italian star Simone Albergoni, who also contests his own national championship on the Husqvarna four-stroke machine. The 29-year-old has consistently been one of the top three WEC finishers in the E1 class since 2004, with three Vice-Championships (2004, 2006 and 2007) and a trio of third place finishes (2008-2010) to his credit. Could this be the experienced Italian’s year for glory?
The E3 class (for over 250cc two-stroke and 500cc four-stroke machines) will be represented by two Husqvarna riders. Team captain Sebastien Guillaume will represent Husqvarna in this class – and the French Enduro Championship – with his WR300. The 33-year-old Frenchman has contested this class for the past five years, consistently finishing either second or third overall, so no one is more motivated than Seb – the current EWC Vice Champion in the E3 class – to be number one in 2011.
Alex Salvini, a Husqvarna family member for the third year, will make his debut in the WEC – also in the E3 class. The 25-year-old former MX3 Motocross World Championship runner-up (2009 and 2010) will switch to the Husqvarna TE511 for WEC and Italian Enduro Championship action.
And finally, 18-year-old Giacomo Redondi will ride the Husqvarna TE310 as the team’s junior rider in the EJ (Enduro Junior) class. One of the brightest young enduro riders on the scene, Giacomo will get his first taste of action this year at the first round of the Italian Enduro Championship that will be held on the 12/13 of March in Sardinia.
This year’s eight-round WEC series takes place on some of the toughest off-road terrain imaginable and is split into stages and special tests – including motocross, cross-country and extreme – where riders will face all sorts of natural and man-made obstacles designed to be technically challenging and physically exhausting. EWC 2011 will begin at Ponts in Spain at the beginning of April, and the series runs until the French GP on the first weekend in October at Mende.
For more information on all of Husqvarna Motorcycles racing activities, please visit www.husqvarna-motorcycles.com