Cristobal Guerrero shows talent once again UFO Corse Yamaha mounted Spaniard Cristobal Guerrero produced two well deserved podium finishes at the GP of Portugal, staged in Marc de Canaveses, to once again show that he is the most exciting young...
Cristobal Guerrero shows talent once again
UFO Corse Yamaha mounted Spaniard Cristobal Guerrero produced two well deserved podium finishes at the GP of Portugal, staged in Marc de Canaveses, to once again show that he is the most exciting young talent in the Enduro 1 class in '07. Having claimed a career best result of fourth and third at his home round of the '07 WEC series, the GP of Spain, the former Enduro Junior World Champion placed in third and second in Portugal to claim his first ever double podium result.
With Finn Juha Salminen topping the E1 class results in Portugal as he has in both Spain and Sweden, it was Yamaha France rider Marc Germain who placed as runner-up on day one placing just under one and a half seconds ahead of Guerrero. Placing as runner-up in the three opening special tests on day one Cristobal set himself up well for a good result despite then falling in the opening enduro test. Despite his small mistake the Spaniard went on to perform consistently and placed a creditable third.
On day two Cristobal started in the best possible way by winning the first extreme test and in doing so made his intensions of another good result crystal clear. Going on to post the second fastest E1 class time on three of the day's tests Cristobal spent much of day two locked in a battle with Poland's Bartosz Oblucki. With little to separate the two riders Cristobal managed to claim the upper hand as the day neared its close and in beating Oblucki in the final three tests he ensured that he had done enough to claim the runner-up spot behind Juha Salminen and claim a career best result.
Also performing well in Portugal, despite failing to make it onto the podium on either day, was UFO Corse Yamaha rider Simone Albergoni. Fourth on both days Simone placed less than 11 seconds behind second placed rider Marc Germain on day one and then just 10 seconds away from team-mate Guerrero on day two. Performing well on the second and third laps on both days Simone's slow start to both days ultimately affected his results.
Disappointingly for the UFO Corse Yamaha team's third rider Maurizio Micheluz a seventh place finish on day one was followed by an 18th place finish on day two as the Italian's WR250 took water into its engine as he crossed a river. Due to losing time while working on drying out his bike's engine Maurizio received a 10 minute penalty, which dropped him to 18th position.
Cristobal Guerrero (UFO Corse Yamaha) Enduro 1 class - Day 1 Third, Day 2 Second:
"It's been a really good race for me and to finish on the podium on both days is fantastic. At the start of the season I wanted to finish inside the top five so finishing third on day one and second on the second day is great, I'm really happy with my results. I didn't have too many problems although I had a few small crashes on both days. The start of the season has been great so I hope I can continue to finish with good results."
Simone Albergoni (UFO Corse Yamaha) Enduro 1 class - Day 1 Fourth, Day 2 Fourth:
"My problem this weekend has been my first laps. On both days I was sleeping a little on the opening lap and lost some time there. After that I was able to find my rhythm and my speed. My problem was not being fast enough in the first lap. I won one test on day one and had some good times on both days but I can't afford to be slow on the first lap, not against a rider like Juha Salminen. My results weren't so bad but if my first laps were better then my result would have been better."
Maurizio Micheluz (UFO Corse Yamaha) Enduro 1 class - Day 1 Seventh, Day 2 18th:
"It's not been a good weekend for me. The first day wasn't so bad but I had a really bad extreme test on the second lap, which cost me a lot of time. Day two was a disaster. I managed to get some water into my engine on one of the river crossings and I took a 10 minute penalty trying to fix it. After that I had some ok tests but with a 10 minutes penalty there was no way I could get a good result. I finished so at least I took some points."
Johnny Aubert wins second consecutive GP
UFO Corse Yamaha rider Johnny Aubert claimed his second consecutive double Enduro 2 class win of the '07 World Enduro Championship season by twice topping the podium at the GP of Portugal, staged in Marco de Canaveses. With his confidence running high having claimed two impressive E2 class wins at the GP of Spain one week earlier Aubert opened up an early lead on day one, which was never headed.
Winning the first five tests of the opening day Aubert never looked like being beaten on his WR450 and despite constant pressure from reigning E2 world champion Samuli Aro, Finn Mika Ahola and Australian Stefan Merriman the former motocross racer remained in control and claimed a deserved win finishing just under 12 seconds ahead of his nearest rival. Putting his aggressive riding style to good work Aubert showed, as he did at the GP of Spain, that he has the speed to win the Enduro 2 world championship in '07. Placing second behind Aubert was Finn Mika Ahola who placed close to 30 seconds ahead of Merriman with Aro fourth.
On day two Aubert had to work a little harder for his victory, despite going on to win by close to 40 seconds. Placing eighth on the day's opening special test he then set about his winning ways topping seven of the day's 10 tests. Setting a pace that no other rider could match Aubert made light work of the rough, rutted and demanding special tests and finished the second day, as he had the first, as the fastest overall rider in the event.
As he did on day one Finn Mika Ahola placed in second to Aubert on day two with Samuli Aro claiming third. The UFO Corse Yamaha team's second E2 class rider Italian Fabrizio Dini placed in eighth on day one before moving one place higher with a seventh place result on day two.
Johnny Aubert (UFO Corse Yamaha) Enduro 2 class - Day 1 First, Day 2 First:
"At the beginning of the race I was a little bit nervous. I was looking forward to the race after winning last weekend and although I didn't feel 100 per cent relaxed from the start on the first day after a few special tests I felt good. I opened up a good lead and began to ride smooth. I crashed once in the motocross test, but I only lost a few seconds.
"Day two also went well but I crashed twice in the extreme test, which cost me some time. I had to push hard all day and from the second lap on I felt good. It was a hard race though because the special tests got really rough. Winning both days in Spain was great and winning both days here in Portugal is just fantastic. I'm so happy, and a little surprised. I'm really looking forward to the Italian GP now."