Enduro

Merriman on Podium in opening round of Italian Enduro Championships

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Stefan Merriman
The opening round of Italian Enduro Championships (Assoluta D‰Ûªitalia) was held in Colle Val‰Ûªdesa, Siena Italy on the weekend. The race attracted many top international WEC riders as it marks the start of the season. A few days of rain prior to the race left the two enduro tests a little muddy and slippery. Fortunately the rain cleared up and cloudy, cold and windy conditions dominated on day one. BMS backed Stefan Merriman got off to a good start but struggled to match the speed of motocross specialist Johnny Aubert (FRA-Yamaha) and Antonio Meo (FRA- Husqvarna) in the fast cross test. Merriman was right at home in the long enduro test posting his fastest times but at the end of the day he could not catch Aubert and Italian rider, Maurizio Micheluz closing out the top three in third position. On Sunday the mist cleared to reveal a clear sunny day. However Merriman ran into trouble in the first cross test, which was run in the opposite direction to Day one. The mud hole half way through the test had got quite bad from the four laps the day before, Merriman hit it at full speed in the centre of the track and got cross-rutted and crashed losing a valuable 10 seconds. From there he had trouble getting into the rhythym of the race and crashed another two times in the second cross test and second long enduro test. It seemed the harder he tried the more he crashed. On the final lap Merriman tested some different bike settings and recovered to finish in seventh position, one second short of Mika Ahola (FIN-Honda) who was in sixth. Ahola was disqualified on day one, after missing the final control. We now pack our winter clothes for the first round of World Enduro Championships (WEC) to be held in the snow in Northern Sweden. Day 1 ‰ÛÒ Overall classification of Italian Championships Colle Val‰Ûªdesa 01/03/08
Johnny Aubert (YAM 450) 1.01‰Ûª42‰Û

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