This weekend saw Honda’s World Enduro teams head to France for the final round of the year, where Thomas Oldrati and Alex Salvini claimed the titles of Vice Champions in the E1 and E2 classes respectively.
The race, held in Ambert, started on Friday evening with the Supertest, and continued on Saturday and Sunday with nine special tests per day (one Extreme, one Enduro and one Cross repeated three times).
It was an amazing finale for the Honda Racing RedMoto World Enduro Team, led by Matteo Boffelli, with both Oldrati and Charlier on the podium and the special participation of Antoine Meo and Zachary Pichon.
Despite severe pain in his left foot due to tendonitis, Oldrati fought head to head with Cavallo on Saturday, taking second position and with it an important advantage in the overall E1 standings. On Sunday, he was able to use this advantage to settle for third, which was enough to become E1 class Vice World Champion with his Honda-RedMoto CRF250RX Enduro.
It was also a good season for team-mate Christophe Charlier whose eighth and sixth place finishes across the two days were good enough to claim third in the overall E2 class standings.
Ambert also saw Antoine Meo in action, who raced his home grand prix supported by the Honda Racing RedMoto World Enduro Team. He finished just outside of the podium on Saturday, before he was unfortunately forced to withdraw due to strong wrist pain on the Sunday.
Joining him was Zachary Pichon, son of two-time World Champion Mickael Pichon, who in his first Enduro race on Sunday he finished sixth in the hard-fought E1 class.
There was success tinged with a hint of disappointment for Team S2 Motorsport Sembenini Honda-RedMoto, with Alex Salvini narrowly missing out on the E2 class title.
Salvini arrived in France two points ahead of title rival Loic Larrieau who, bolstered by his home fans, was able to edge out the CRF rider by winning on both days.
It was a bitter-sweet end to the season for Salvini who has battled through pain and injury to prove his strength, determination and skills are worthy of a great rider.
It was also a positive weekend for the Honda RedMoto Lunigiana Team, as they featured on the podium with Davide Guarneri.
After a good fifth position in the Friday evening Supertest, Guarneri hit a tree in an Enduro test on Saturday. This caused him to lose time with a broken rear brake pedal, which prevented him from aiming to finish within the top five. However, he came back stronger on Sunday and finished third, taking fourth place in the E1 standing.
It was also a good race for the Portuguese Diogo Ventura, who finished within the top ten of the hard-fought E2 class.
Honda’s Enduro riders will now prepare for the last round of the Italian Championship in Gaggio Montano, near Bologna (5-6 October).