World champion Salminen wins final season’s E1 race
Juha Salminen, 2007 world champion in the Enduro E1 class on Sunday proved that the top podium spot was his natural habitat when he took the final race of the season in a style that has won him admiration and the season’s title.
The KTM factory rider added yet another title to the ever expanding cache of world championships won by KTM when he put in a superb final day at the French Enduro Grand Prix. It was Salminen’s seventh career title and elevates him into the record books as the most successful Enduro rider in the sport.
The Finnish rider returned to race in Europe after two years of competition in the USA and made a clean sweep of all the first 12 races of the season for a perfect scorecard of 300 points. Then he took a tumble and broke his collarbone while competing in Britain in an event outside the Enduro World Championships. Salminen decided to sit out two world championship races in Slovakia, hoping to heal the shoulder so he could be back racing for the final showdown, a decision that Fabio Farioli, team boss of the KTM Enduro Factory Team said was sensible.
Not wanting to take unnecessary risks and endanger the title, Salminen took it easy on Saturday, finishing third and picking up enough points to give him the title. With the pressure off, he went out to have fun on Sunday and again climbed to the top of the podium.
Salminen winds up the season with 13 victories and one third place finish in the 14 races in which he started, thus firmly stamping his mark on the Enduro record books. His victory also underlined that KTM is always “Ready to Race” and that they remain at the forefront of curing edge technology and development for offroad motorcycles.
Farioli said he was very satisfied with the Enduro World Championship season which ended with victory in the E1 and the E3 championships and a second place in E2. “Over the past three seasons we have now won eight world championships and one second place from nine possible titles, so we have to be satisfied. But now we must look to the future and the pressure will be on us to stay in front.”