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02/04/2012

Enduro World Championship, GP of Argentina

Mixed Fortunes For Beta Factory Team

The Enduro World Championship GP of Argentina held in San Juan delivered varied results for the Beta Enduro Factory Team.
Failing to finish day one due to a holed engine cover, Beta’s Enduro 2 rider Oscar Balletti recovered on day two to finish seventh. Competing in Enduro 3, Finland’s Marko Tarkkala found conditions tough on day one to finish seventh, but improved his results on day two claiming his first top five result of 2012 with fifth.

After his magnificent podium result just one week earlier at the GP of Chile, Italy’s Balletti arrived in Argentina focused on a repeat performance. Making a steady start to day one, Balletti soon upped his pace and began pushing for a top five result. However, during the third Enduro Test of the day he caught the underside of his engine casing on a rock and his bike began to lose oil. Unable to continue, the Beta rider was forced to retire. Hoping to make amends for his previous day’s disappointment, Balletti found himself in a three-way battle for fifth. Setting a strong pace throughout the day, his result was hampered due to a small crash on the extreme test. Unable to recover the time lost, the Italian had to settle for fifth.

In Enduro 3, Finland’s Marko Tarkkala had hoped to find the loose gravely conditions to his liking. Making too many mistakes throughout day one, Tarkkala could finish no better than seventh. Determined to secure a strong result before the series left South America, Tarkkala started day two in Argentina in a focused mood. Finishing fifth on the first cross test he began setting a fast pace. As his competitors struggled with fatigue due to the scorching South American sunshine and tough, dry conditions, the Finnish rider was able to up his pace for the final two laps of the GP. Finishing in fifth, but only eight seconds short of fourth place, Tarkkala recorded a solid result to end his GP of Argentina.

Marko Tarkkala (Enduro 3): “On day one I made too many mistakes to fight for a strong result. My speed was good but my errors pushed me back to seventh. On day two I tried my best to limit the mistakes and it helped me to secure a good result of fifth. I was able to find a good rhythm and put in a strong finish to the day. Aside from a small crash on the last Extreme Test everything went very good. I’m beginning to gain more confidence on my bike and feel I can continue to improve these results next time out.”

Fabrizio Dini (Team Manager): “*The GP of Argentina was a mixed race for Oscar*. Early on day one he was fighting for a top five finish until he damaged his engine casing on a rock in the third Enduro Test and lost a lot of oil. He tried to continue but unfortunately it was not possible. On day two Oscar again battled for a top five result. However, he made a mistake on the Extreme Test and that set him back. In the end, he finished in seventh but was only 13 seconds short of fifth. Marko seemed to struggle a little on day one. He found it hard to maintain a good rhythm and finished in seventh. Day two proved much better for him. During the last two laps when many of the competitors were tired he was able to up his pace and set some fast times. This strong finish lifted him to fifth place in Enduro 3. Overall this GP was not perfect but hopefully we can improve at the next round of the championship.”

The Enduro World Championship continues on May 5/6 with the GP of Euskadl in Munitibar, Spain.

Results
GP di Argentina – Day One
Enduro 3
1. Christophe Nambotin, 2. David Knight, 3. Joakim Ljunggren, 4. Aigar Leok, 5. Marcus Kehr, 6. Oriol Mena, 7. Marko Tarkkala (Beta)

GP di Argentina – Day Two
Enduro 2
1. Juha Salminen, 2. Cristobal Guerrero, 3. Ivan Cervantes, 4. Pierrer-Alexandre Renet, 5. Alex Salvini, 6. Fabio Mossini, 7. Oscar Balletti (Beta)

Enduro 3
1. Christophe Nambotin, 2. David Knight, 3. Joakim Ljunggren, 4. Aigar Leok, 5. Marko Tarkkala (Beta)