Sunday, May 23, 2010



Positive debut for BMW/Husqvarna prototype 450cc enduro bike at Enduro World Championship GP of Italy:

Despite being without their number one rider Juha Salminen, who was unable to compete in the GP of Italy having injured his ankle during a recent Spanish Enduro Championship competition, the BMW Husqvarna Motorrad team completed a very positive first outing of the new BMW powered Husqvarna prototype 450cc enduro bike.

With two machines entered into the Italian round of the Maxxis FIM World Enduro Championship last weekend, ridden by Enduro World Championship regular Marko Tarkkala (pictured) and extreme enduro specialist Andreas Lettenbichler, both bikes finished the two days having performed without fault.

In competing on the prototype machines the BMW Husqvarna Motorrad team started the next stage of development of the new bike, which will remain in competition during the remaining rounds of the ’10 EWC series.

With recent testing of the new bike having centred around Finn Juha Salminen the fact that the seven-time world champion was unable to compete was a sizeable disappointment for the team. Nevertheless, in delivering two top 10 Enduro 2 class results Marko Tarkkala showed that the bike is already a very capable machine. Spending a limited amount of time on the bike before the third round of the ’10 EWC, Marko ended the event extremely pleased with the machine’s performance having himself performed better that at either of the opening two rounds of the series.

Standing in for the injured Salminen, as well as using the event as training ahead of the upcoming Erzberg Rodeo, Andreas Lettenbichler battled his way through the two days of competition placing 20th on day one and 19th on day two.

The BMW Husqvarna Motorsport team will next be in action in the Enduro World Championship at the GP of Poland, which takes place on June 12/13.

Marko Tarkkala – Enduro 2 class:
‘It’s been a very positive weekend for me. I didn’t have much time on the bike before the event, so the set-up wasn’t as developed for race conditions as it could have been. But the bike worked very well and allowed me to improve on my earlier results in the championship. I made some mistakes on one of the hills on the extreme test on day one, which cost me a lot of time. I still managed to finish 10th and without the mistake I would have been around eighth. Day two started really well. I was around fifth during the first lap but I crashed twice on the enduro test. Without that mistake it would have been a really good day. The new bike was really good, I’m looking forward to riding it more and more so that I am really well prepared for the GP of Poland.’

Andreas Lettenbichler – Enduro 2 class: ‘Competing in two days of world championship competition was really good training for me ahead of the Erzberg Rodeo event in a couple of weeks. Getting to race the new bike was great, and although I didn’t get the chance to spend more than an hour on it before the competition I really enjoyed riding it. Using Juha Salminen’s settings took a little getting used to because he is a much faster rider than I am, and I’m used to a bike that’s set-up for extreme racing. But I really enjoyed myself. The new bike worked great, I had no problems all weekend.’

Wolfgang Fischer – Team manager: ‘It’s been a very encouraging weekend for the new Husqvarna bike. Although it’s not a completely new bike as the engine is the BMW motor that we have used for several years now, everything else is new so to have both riders finish the event with no technical issues is great. Both riders only had a very limited amount of time with the bike before the race so we are very pleased with the fact that they both performed well. Marko has been much more competitive this weekend that at the previous two rounds of the championship, and with two top 10 results has shown that he is enjoying riding the new bike. I am sure that with more time on the bike he will only get more and more competitive. A top five result certainly isn’t out of the question for him at the GP of Poland and he will have much more time on the bike before that race. Of course it was disappointing not having Juha racing this weekend but he had to have a small surgery on Friday after injuring his right ankle during a Spanish championship event the week before. We don’t yet know when he will be back, but we hope he will be able to race in Poland.’

2010 Enduro World Championship
Grand Prix of Italy – Day 1, Enduro 2

1. Mika Ahola (Honda) 1.06:27.72; 2. Ivan Cervantes (KTM) 1.06:54.89; 3. Pierre Alexandre Renet (KTM) 1.08:05.31; 4. Thomas Oldrati (KTM) 1.08:28.24; 5. Rodrig Thain (TM) 1.08:43.24; 6. Oscar Balletti (Honda) 1.08:49.75; 7. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 1.08:49.88; 8. Nicolas Paganon (Kawasaki) 1.09:15.61; 9. Valtteri Salonen (Husaberg) 1.09:46.26; 10. Marko Tarkkala (BMW Husqvarna Motorrad) 1.10:14.50… 20. Andreas Lettenbichler (BMW Husqvarna Motorrad) 1.15:49.83

2010 Enduro World Championship
Grand Prix of Italy – Day 2, Enduro 2

1. Mika Ahola (Honda) 1.04:47.40; 2. Ivan Cervantes (KTM) 1.04:47.57; 3. Pierre Alexandre Renet (KTM) 1.06:53.09; 4. Thomas Oldrati (KTM) 1.06:55.37; 5. Rodrig Thain (TM) 1.07:05.43; 6. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 1.07:42.50; 7. Oscar Balletti (Honda) 1.07:45.89; 8. Valtteri Salonen (Husaberg) 1.08:09.06; 9. Marko Tarkkala (BMW Husqvarna Motorrad) 1.08:20.86; 10. Fabien Planet (Sherco) 1.08:23.93… 19. Andreas Lettenbichler (BMW Husqvarna Motorrad) 1.13:40.32

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