EnduroGP makes its return to Scandinavia this coming weekend with the first of two Scandinavian events taking place in Heinola, Finland. The Grand Prix of Finland, which will take place for the fourth time in the town of Heinola, also mark the mid-way point of the 2016 series. Also challenging, like always the Finnish GP will undoubtedly prove to be a key event for those hoping for world championship success.
After 2005, 2012 and 2014 EnduroGP in back in Heinola. Always chaired by Henri SAARI, the Heinolan Moottorikerho ry, with the approval of the FIM and the Suomen Moottoriliitto ry (SML) is again ready for the challenge. Experienced with the organization of four Grand Prix, this Moto Club has also worked to bring the Motocross World Championship in Finland five times (1992, 1994, 1996, 1998 and 2008)...
An efficient Moto Club
Heinola was founded in 1776 and is located in the region of Päijät-Häme. The city covers an area of 835.9 kms2 with 20,735 inhabitants and is situated on a moraine between the lakes Ruotsalainen and Konnivesi and near the starting point of the river Kymijoki. Heinola is internationally known for being the host city of the World Championships of sauna resistance, which takes place every summer since 1998! This city of the Southern-centre of Finland is located 140 kilometres north of the capital, Helsinki.
Henri SAARI and all his Moto Club have created a great track... In addition, the organizers have sought to give life to the EnduroGP paddock by bringing it to the Motocross track of Heinola where the Enduro test is also located along with the Technomousse Xtreme test and the Friday evening Super test! During the two days of racing, the riders will leave the paddock for a tour of 52 km. They will go directly to the Enduro Test, which is expected to be the most demanding aspect of the Grand Prix. Then the stars of the World Enduro series will head to the Maxxis Cross Test located in Lusiin before returning to the Motocross track with the last test of the lap – the Xtreme Test Technomousse.
Can REMES steal the EnduroGP class lead at home?
So far the EnduroGP championship has been full of surprises. Eero REMES (SF - TM) wasn’t a rider expected to be challenging for the overall lead but following his domination in Greece he reduced the gap to the current class leader to only four points. But it is Matthew PHILLIPS (AUS) who still leads thanks to his consistency. Matt knows he will have to ride at his best to withstand the official TM rider who seems full of confidence going into his home GP this weekend.
Remes won't be the only threat to the Australian... Already in Scandonavia training for the event, Steve HOLCOMBE (GB - Beta) will look to resume his impressive form, both in EnduroGP and in his class (E3). Very quick in Morocco, Portugal, and during the first day in Greece, the young Brit is likely to again be fast in Finland.
Beware also of KTM Rookies, Taylor ROBERT (USA) and Nathan WATSON (GB) who have steadily increased their speed during the opening three GPs. Also, Johnny AUBERT (F - Beta) who was back on the podium in Greece and who seems to be able to fight for victory.
Mathias BELLINO (F - Husqvarna) was disappointed with his results in Greece, but two weeks of rest will have allowed him to rebuild mentally. In any event, the Grand Prix of Finland is a pivotal GP for him who is provisionally fourth in the standing – a good performance could bring him back in the fight for the lead.
For his part, Alex SALVINI (I - Beta) will have to raise his level if he is to finally climb onto the podium while EnduroGP Loïc LARRIEU (F - Yamaha), Gianluca MARTINI (I - Kawasaki) and Antoine BASSET (F - KTM) seek to confirm their good start to the season...
Fresh off the EnduroGP ranking, we hope that Ivan CERVANTES (ESP - KTM) will continue his rise in power in Finland along with countryman Jonathan BARRAGAN (E - Gas Gas). Here’s also hoping that Danny MCCANNEY (GB - Husqvarna), the brave Cristobal GUERRERO (ESP - Yamaha), Pascal RAUCHENECKER (AUT - Husqvarna) and Luis CORREIA (P - Beta) can all deliver improved results...
Note the absence of Jamie MCCANNEY (GB - Yamaha) after his metatarsal injury in Greece. The Briton will be replaced by Swede Robert KVARNSTROM within the Miglio Racing team.
EnduroGP also welcomes Matti SEISTOLA (SF) back to the championship, making a ‘freelance’ outing riding a Yamaha of the Finn Yamaha JME team.
STIGELL: eyes on the podium
In the Enduro Junior class no one knows who will really challenge the dominance of Giacomo REDONDI (I - Honda) this year... If Josep GARCIA (E - Husqvarna) or Diogo VENTURA (P - Gas Gas) have the speed to worry him they will have to be much more consistent in their efforts. After tough events in Morocco and Portugal, Davide SORECA (I - Honda) proved in Grevena (Greece) he had the speed to step onto the podium. For his part, Henric STIGELL (SF - TM) will want to do well in front of his home audience. So close to the podium in Greece, he will have only one thing in mind in Heinola – to stand below the Finnish flag on the podium! You will also have to keep an eye on the Finn Matias SAVO (Sherco) or the Swedish Albin ELOWSON (Husqvarna), Oliver NELSON (TM) and Kevin OLSEN (Sherco)...
In FIM Youth Cup 125cc, if Jean-Baptiste NICOLOT (F - Yamaha) wins again he will have had to withstand the pressure from Erik APPELQVIST (S - Yamaha) and Jack EDMONDSON (GB - KTM), just as he did in Greece... especially since the Swede will be competing on familiar territory. Valerian DEBAUD (F - Yamaha), Lee SEALEY (GB - Yamaha) and Ruy BARBOSA (CL - Husqvarna) will also want to challenge for the podium along with a strong Finnish contingent represented by Eemil HELANDER (KTM) and Antti HANNINEN (Husqvarna).
First for Women Class
This Grand Prix of Finland will also play host to the opening round of the season for the Women’s category. Set to do battle in four GPs (Finland, Sweden, Spain, France) of course Laia SANZ (ESP - KTM) will arrive in Heinola as the rider to beat. But riders like Jane DANIELS (GB - Husqvarna), Emelie KARLSSON (S - Yamaha) or Jemma WILSON (AUS - Yamaha) could pull off some surprises, stopping Laia securing yet more victories. Keep an eye on Germany's Maria FRANKE (KTM) or on the Finn Sanna KÄRKKÄINEN (KTM), Jennifer SIEKKINEN (KTM), Elisa AROKOSKI (Husqvarna) and Milla TURUNEN (KTM) as well as REIMANDER sisters (S).
With all the necessary ingredients this Grand Prix of Finland should be a great vintage in a field where the Nordic riders will shine and where the cards could be redistributed! So, appointment on June, 10th, 11th and 12th in Heinola for the fourth Grand Prix of the Maxxis EnduroGP where a fanatic public support is expected.
- Heinola (Region of Päijät-Häme);
- 140 kilometers North from Helsinki;
- Friday 10th of June: KTM Super Test: 19.00
- Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th of June: Start: 9.00 and Finnish at 16.00;
- Organisation: Heinola Moottorikerho ry;
- Websites: www.endurogp.org and http://www.hemk.net/mm;
- Track: 52kms – 3 laps;
- Free Access;
- Airport: Helsinki (140 kms)