News 19 Apr 2015

Meo, Nambotin and Bellino win Chile EWC day one

Phillips completes E3 class podium as title defence begins.

Source: KTM.

Source: KTM.

An explosive start to the opening day of competition in the 2015 FIM Maxxis Enduro World Championship sees Antoine Meo lead everyone home.

The first day of action in the 2015 EWC series delivered tight, close racing across most classes in Talca, Chile.

As the defending champion, Christophe Nambotin (KTM) proved that he will be the rider to beat in 2015 by claiming a massive 1m02s margin of victory.

Despite suffering a 10-second penalty when his engine failed to start in the morning, Nambotin kept his composure. Working his way to the front at the end of lap one, he pulled clear to win the Enduro 1 class.

Back in the EWC following an injury hit 2014 season, Frenchman Marc Bourgeois (Yamaha) was in top form. Leading early on, he remained strong all day to claim second.

Class rookie Husqvarna’s Daniel McCanney stepped up to E1 in style and worked his way from fifth to record his debut class podium result in third.

Keeping the pressure on McCanney until the very end, Eero Remes (TM) placed eight seconds behind the British rider in fourth with Cristobal Guerreo (Yamaha) battling back from 10th to take fifth.

The Enduro 2 class delivered plenty of excitement on the opening day of the season with Antoine Meo (KTM) fighting through to victory.

After topping Friday’s Super Test, Meo slipped back to third midway during the day as Husqvarna’s Pela Renet controlled the race lead.

But a big crash on the final enduro test from Renet turned the standings on their head. Capitalising on Renet’s error, Meo picked up his pace to take the lead and with it win the day.

With Renet dropping back to second, the fight for the final step of the podium was played out between Alex Salvini (Honda) and Johnny Aubert (Beta).

Fastest on the final test of the day, Salvini edged out Aubert for third. Behind the leading quartet it was Victor Guerrero (KTM) who completed the top five.

Making a very serious statement on his return to competition following a season ending knee injury last year, Husqvarna’s Mathias Bellino powered to victory in the Enduro 3 class.

Clearly well adapted to his new two-stroke, the Frenchman grabbed the race lead immediately and never looked back.

With Bellino out front, Matti Seistola (Sherco) made a late race charge to snatch the runner-up result from Matt Phillips (KTM).

Third during the first half of the day, Seistola passed Phillips on the penultimate test to secure second. For Phillips it wasn’t the winning start to his title defence that he hoped for.

Although topping the Super Test, the KTM rider was unable to hold off both Bellina and Seistola and following numerous crashes had to settle for third.

Ensuring a strong start to his 2015 EWC campaign, Gas Gas’ Antoine Basset placed fourth with Aigar Leok (TM) finishing just over 13 seconds behind in fifth.

Click her for detailed results