Aubert third on WEC debut

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Enduro 2 : Aubert third on WEC debut
Round: 1 - Sweden
Circuit: Östersund
Date: 19 March 2006
Crowd: 4500
Temp: 5ºC
Weather: Sunny

UFO Corse Yamaha rider Johnny Aubert finished the opening round of the 2006 World Enduro Championship with two impressive third place positions in the competitive Enduro 2 class. Making his WEC debut at the Swedish event, the former motocross rider showed that not only is he a fast learner, but that he has the speed to challenge the series' more established riders for podium positions. Placing less than one-minute behind class winner Samuli Aro on day one, Aubert managed to win one of the day's special tests while remaining smooth, aggressive and consistent. On day two the Frenchman again rode well finishing just 37 seconds behind Aro, who again claimed the class win. In finishing in third position on both days Johnny is currently in third position in the E2 world championship standings, just 10 points behind Aro and four points behind runner-up Mika Ahola.

Disappointingly the season opener wasn't a good one for Australian Stefan Merriman. After injury wrecked his 2005 season the former world champion hoped to get his 2006 campaign off to a strong start but struggled to master the challenging conditions in Sweden. Placing fifth on day one Merriman faired even worse on day two and despite not making any serious mistakes on either of the event's motocross, enduro or extreme tests he placed in sixth.

Johnny Aubert

"It's been a great weekend for me. Finishing third on day one was incredible for me, a great surprise. I hoped to learn during the race and before the race I hoped to finish inside the top 10. I am not sure why I was so fast because I didn't make so much training in these conditions. I enjoyed day one but it is so difficult adjusting to the conditions.

"Although I finished third again on day two I didn't feel as good as I did on day one. I rode consistently all day, which I think really helped me. I didn't make any big mistakes and managing to finish on the podium again is great - a perfect start to my first world championship enduro season."

Stefan Merriman

"The best part of this weekend for me has been the finish of the race because I have had two very disappointing days. I really struggled on both days to be honest, I couldn't ride like I wanted to on day one and just paddled my way around the tests as best I could. It feels to me like you have to ride almost out of control, with little control of the front wheel. I like to ride knowing exactly what the front wheel of my bike is doing. If I don't have a good, positive feeling from the front wheel I don't have the confidence to push hard. That's exactly what has happened this weekend, I haven't had the confidence to push hard.

"I didn't have any crashes on the tests but I had several in the checks. I did try making some changes to my bike for the second day but they didn't make any real difference. No, it's not been the best of weekends for me."

David Knight claimed top honours on both days in the Enduro 3 class finishing ahead of Finn Marko Tarkkala with Sweden's Bjorne Carlsson claiming third on both days.

Race classification Enduro 2

Round: 1 - Sweden
Circuit: Östersund
Lap Record: 60' 51.650 (Samuli Aro, 2006)

Race: 1 Laps
Pos. Rider Manufacturer Nat. Total Time
1 S. Aro KTM FIN 64' 53.340
2 M. Ahola Honda FIN +26.720
3 J. Aubert Yamaha FRA +59.600
4 V. Salonen HusaBerg FIN +2' 9.090
5 S. Merriman Yamaha AUS +2' 37.550
6 F. Planet KTM FRA +3' 5.130
7 P. Silvan KTM FIN +3' 8.870
8 P. Wicksell KTM SWE +3' 54.350
9 R. Rihelainen HusaBerg FIN +3' 59.640
10 C. Guerrero GasGas ESP +4' 8.510
11 E. McConnell TM GBR +4' 15.130
12 X. Galindo KTM ESP +4' 25.500
13 T. Klutz Sherco BEL +4' 28.500
14 A. Beconi Beta ITA +4' 46.540
15 F. Dini Yamaha ITA +5' 35.980
16 G. Canova Husqvarna ITA +5' 58.040
17 CJ. Bjerkert KTM SWE +6' 16.600
18 P. Nurminen HusaBerg FIN +6' 31.740
19 T. Burman HusaBerg SWE +7' 0.020
20 A. Botturi Aprilia ITA +7' 4.090

Race 2: 1 Laps
Pos. Rider Manufacturer Nat. Total Time
1 S. Aro KTM FIN 60' 51.650
2 M. Ahola Honda FIN +44.700
3 J. Aubert Yamaha FRA +1' 9.740
4 F. Planet KTM FRA +3' 2.580
5 V. Salonen HusaBerg FIN +3' 12.570
6 S. Merriman Yamaha AUS +3' 14.860
7 P. Silvan KTM FIN +3' 41.160
8 C. Guerrero GasGas ESP +3' 44.220
9 T. Klutz Sherco BEL +4' 16.860
10 X. Galindo KTM ESP +4' 44.310
11 A. Botturi Aprilia ITA +4' 53.120
12 F. Andersson KTM SWE +4' 54.450
13 F. Dini Yamaha ITA +4' 56.260
14 R. Rihelainen HusaBerg FIN +5' 0.860
15 A. Beconi Beta ITA +5' 5.890
16 E. McConnell TM GBR +5' 30.070
17 P. Nurminen HusaBerg FIN +5' 57.470
18 CJ. Bjerkert KTM SWE +6' 7.660
19 P. Wicksell KTM SWE +6' 11.240
20 G. Canova Husqvarna ITA +6' 18.390

Fastest Race Lap:
Pos. Rider Manufacturer Nat. Total Time
1 S. Aro KTM FIN 60' 51.650

Championship standings Enduro 2

Pos. Rider Manufacturer Nat. Points
1 Samuli Aro KTM FIN 50
2 Mika Ahola Honda FIN 44
3 Johnny Aubert Yamaha FRA 40
4 Valtteri Salonen HusaBerg FIN 34
5 Fabien Planet KTM FRA 33
6 Stefan Merriman Yamaha AUS 31
7 Petteri Silvan KTM FIN 28
8 Cristobal Guerrero GasGas ESP 24
9 Xavier Galindo KTM ESP 20
10 Thierry Klutz Sherco BEL 20
11 Riku Rihelainen HusaBerg FIN 19
12 Euan McConnell TM GBR 15
13 Patrik Wicksell KTM SWE 15
14 Fabrizio Dini Yamaha ITA 14
15 Andrea Beconi Beta ITA 13
16 Alessandro Botturi Aprilia ITA 11
17 Fritz Andersson KTM SWE 9
18 Carl Johan Bjerkert KTM SWE 7
19 Pentti Nurminen HusaBerg FIN 7
20 Giuseppe Canova Husqvarna ITA 6

Manufacturers standings Enduro 2

Pos. Manufacturer Points
1 KTM 50
2 Honda 44
3 Yamaha 40
4 HusaBerg 34
5 GasGas 24
6 Sherco 20
7 TM 15
8 Beta 13
9 Aprilia 11
10 Husqvarna 6

Enduro 1 : Sixth for Micheluz
Round: 1 - Sweden
Circuit: Östersund
Date: 19 March 2006
Crowd: 4500
Temp: 5ºC
Weather: Sunny

With UFO Corse Yamaha team rider Arnau Vilanova unable to compete in Sweden due to having injured his ribs while training for the event Italian Maurizio Micheluz competed as the team's only E1 rider. Having never raced in winter conditions before Maurizio placed in sixth on both days showing that despite feeling far from at home in the cold, slippery conditions he was able to produce consistent results and finish both days comfortably inside the top 10.

Finn Petri Pohjamo and Spaniard Ivan Cervantes claimed a day win each in Sweden with Cervantes claiming the lead in the E1 championship standings ahead of Pohjamo and Sweden's Peter Bergvall. Having finishing in sixth on both days Maurizio currently lies in sixth position in the E1 standings with seven rounds remaining.

Race classification Enduro 1

Round: 1 - Sweden
Circuit: Östersund
Lap Record: 62' 47.770 (Ivan Cervantes, 2006)

Race: 1 Laps
Pos. Rider Manufacturer Nat. Total Time
1 P. Pohjamo TM FIN 66' 46.540
2 I. Cervantes KTM ESP +14.870
3 S. Albergoni Honda ITA +18.540
4 P. Bergvall Suzuki SWE +23.870
5 B. Oblucki Husqvarna POL +1' 12.150
6 M. Micheluz Yamaha ITA +1' 38.910
7 A. Belometti KTM ITA +1' 51.230
8 R. Carlsson Yamaha SWE +2' 0.710
9 H. Rodrigues Yamaha POR +2' 12.900
10 F. Georgsson KTM SWE +2' 15.440
11 M. Hartmann KTM GER +3' 35.200
12 P. Olsson Yamaha SWE +5' 19.130
13 L. Holm KTM FIN +5' 2,704.000
14 F. Blanc KTM FRA +6' 51.960

Race 2: 1 Laps
Pos. Rider Manufacturer Nat. Total Time
1 I. Cervantes KTM ESP 62' 47.770
2 P. Bergvall Suzuki SWE +26.490
3 B. Oblucki Husqvarna POL +27.690
4 P. Pohjamo TM FIN +44.910
5 S. Albergoni Honda ITA +48.440
6 M. Micheluz Yamaha ITA +1' 17.840
7 A. Belometti KTM ITA +1' 29.690
8 R. Carlsson Yamaha SWE +1' 47.640
9 F. Georgsson KTM SWE +2' 27.580
10 H. Rodrigues Yamaha POR +2' 57.330
11 P. Olsson Yamaha SWE +3' 43.390
12 M. Hartmann KTM GER +3' 48.620
13 M. Andreasson Suzuki SWE +4' 10.180
14 L. Holm KTM FIN +4' 47.360
15 F. Blanc KTM FRA +6 ' 11.310
16 M. Wiberg Honda SWE +8' 53.100

Fastest Race Lap:
Pos. Rider Manufacturer Nat. Total Time
1 I. Cervantes KTM ESP 62' 47.770

Championship standings Enduro 1

Pos. Rider Manufacturer Nat. Points
1 Ivan Cervantes KTM ESP 47
2 Petri Pohjamo TM FIN 43
3 Peter Bergvall Suzuki SWE 40
4 Simone Albergoni Honda ITA 36
5 Bartosz Oblucki Husqvarna POL 36
6 Mauricio Micheluz Yamaha ITA 30
7 Alessandro Belometti KTM ITA 28
8 Robert Carlsson Yamaha SWE 26
9 Frederik Georgsson KTM SWE 23
10 Helder Rodrigues Yamaha POR 23
11 Mike Hartmann KTM GER 19
12 Pär Olsson Yamaha SWE 19
13 Leit Holm KTM FIN 15
14 Freddy Blanc KTM FRA 13
15 Matts Andreasson Suzuki SWE 8
16 Mikael Wiberg Honda SWE 5
17 Arnau Vilanova Yamaha ESP 0
18 Giuseppe Gallino Yamaha ITA 0
19 Philip Powderly TM IRL 0
20 Emilio Comotti Honda ITA 0

Manufacturers standings Enduro 1

Pos. Manufacturer Points
1 KTM 47
2 TM 43
3 Suzuki 40
4 Husqvarna 36
4 Honda 36
5 Yamaha 30