Dirt Bike Australia - HONDA Pro Racing News & Press Releases (Enduro) - WEC Round 4 Poland Race Report
Honda's race report of round 4 (of 8) in the 2010 FIM Enduro World Championship at Kwidzyn, Poland.
Featuring Mika Ahola's tightly contested double victory on a Honda CRF450R. Posted: 13/06/2010  

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 Mika Ahola - Honda CRF450R
 Photo courtesy Honda Pro Racing
Mika Ahola Honda CRF450R - Photo courtesy Honda Pro Racing

Honda Racing – WEC Round 4 Poland, Race Report

Ahola secures another superb double in a tight Polish GP

One would have to concede that Mika Ahola's two exceptional rides at Kwidzyn in Poland have earned Honda some serious bragging rights. It just shows what a serious investment in dirt bike design as well as rider support can achieve - Editor

Honda-HM-Zanardo Team’s Mika Ahola has won his second successive double-day with a pair of victories at Kwidzyn for the Grand Prix of Poland and the fourth round of eight in the FIM Enduro World Championship. The irrepressible Finn took his potent Honda CFR450R to first position through a damp day of action around four laps of the 55km course and then repeated the achievement on Sunday after a nail-biting climax with principle rival for the E2 title, Ivan Cervantes.

The sandy location in northern Poland was an ideal setting for the former triple world champion –an accomplished performer in the terrain – now searching for his second crown in the E2 division. Strong showers on Friday did not adversely affect riding conditions and Ahola rode to his potential, winning seven of nine specials and in front of Spaniard Cervantes by almost thirteen seconds.

Several errors on Sunday, including two small crashes in a special test, saw Ahola slip into second position by two seconds approaching the last time zone. Cervantes could not handle the pressure and the Honda rider was able to snare the win by eight tenths of a second; another close finish after clinching the spoils in Italy for round three by fractions of a second.

It was an eventful meeting for Oscar Balletti. The Italian suffered a DNF through a technical problem on Saturday and then had a crash in the opening phases of the race which left him far adrift of the competition. He rode well to make ground and arrive to ninth place. Fabio Mossini had not recovered from his back injury and did not participate.

“Another tense race and great to savour a win like this,” commented Ahola. “The second day was not as good as the first but I tried to put pressure on Ivan the whole way and finally got him at the very end. We have started to make a gap at the front and will hope for the same next week.”

“The second day was really close; but this is part of racing,” said Team Manager Franco Mayr. “Mika rode well on Saturday to take the win by virtually thirteen seconds. He had the lead going into the final specials so took it easy. Sunday was harder and some mistakes meant that it was always going to be close right to the end. We are very happy with the result of course and with how the championship is starting to look. The bike worked really well and we had tested some settings with Mika, so technically there was no problem there. Oscar had some bad luck on Saturday and also on Sunday with the crash. He tried hard and took some positions but sand is not really his surface.”

Ahola has now won the last four days of the EWC and with two other victories in 2010 boasts six triumphs from eight. Two runner-up places in the other two outings signify a points tally of 194 (from a possible 200) at the top of the E2 standings with a margin of 12 over Cervantes. Oscar Balletti currently lies in seventh.

“Full congratulations to Mika for his second win in a row and for opening up a bit of a window in what will be a very tight and tough championship,” said Honda Motor Europe Off-Road Racing Manager Roger Harvey. “The CRF450R has shown is versatility by pushing for podium places on the motocross Grand Prix circuit and then winning events in the diverse world of enduro. We are really happy for the team and how things are going.”

The Grand Prix of Poland is set to air on Eurosport 2 at 19.00 CET on Thursday 24th June.

Round five of eight takes place next weekend at Puchov in Slovakia. Mika Ahola will be looking for another strong performance on his Honda CRF450R and to cement his advantage at the top of the E2 championship standings.



 Dirt Bike Australia
Standings After Round 4
Mika Ahola - E2
Ivan Cervantes
Tomas Oldrati
Pierre Alexandre Renet
Joakim Ljunggren
Rodrig Thain
Oscar Balletti - E2
Valtteri Salonen
Jean-francois Goblet
Juha Salminen

For all media enquiries, please contact
Tom Hobbs in the Honda Motor Europe Press Office www.hondaproracing.com
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