When Johnny Aubert won the first of two E2 races in Serres Greece on Saturday it was his thirteenth straight victory for the 2009 season and enough to give him and the KTM Enduro Factory Team their first world championship title for 2009.
Aubert, recently crowned French Enduro Champion and father for the second time with a new baby daughter born just after the last round of the World Championship in Mexico has said he has had a "perfect" sporting season and few would argue. He was looking forward to the races in Greece but with the title at stake, KTM Factory team boss Fabio Farioli said the French rider was still a little nervous when he tackled Saturday’s decisive race.
Aubert conquered his nerves to continue to record top race points in Saturday’s race to the collective joy of the KTM Enduro Factory Team while the second factory rider, Alessandro Belometti came home in fifth place. A small incident at the end of Saturday’s race however was responsible for KTM’s French rider having to withdraw from Sunday’s race on the long, dusty course through the forests of Northern Greece.
In reality Aubert crashed in the last test on Saturday and injured a finger. While he was able to go on to win the race and claim the title, it proved to be too painful to start on Sunday. "Johnny hurt his finger in the crash on Saturday. It was very painful and swollen in the night," said team boss Fabio Farioli. "He tried to start on Sunday but it was just not possible. Fortunately the doctors have said nothing is broken but he will have more medical checks this week.
Belometti of Italy rounded off his weekend with a sixth place on Sunday in a race that was shortened by the organisers from four to three laps. The move was welcomed by the competitors who were on their bikes tackling the tough terrain for eight hours on Saturday.
E2 Results Round 13
1. Johnny Aubert, France, KTM
2. Juha Salminen, Finland, BMW
3. Cristobal Guerrero, Spain, Yamaha
4. David Knight, Britain, Kawasaki
5. Alessandro Belometti, Italy, KTM
E2 Results Round 14
1. Juha Salminen, Finland, BMW
2. Cristobal Guerrero, Spain, Yamaha
3. David Knight, Britain, Kawasaki
4. Oscar Balleti, Italy, Honda
5. Valtteri Salonen, Finland, Husaberg
6. Alessandro Belometti, Italy, KTM
E2 Championship Standings after Round 14
1. Johnny Aubert, France, KTM 325 points – World Champion
2. Juha Salminen, Finland, BMW, 272
3. Joakim Ljunggren, Sweden, Husaberg, 220
4. Bartosz Oblucki, Poland, Husqvarna, 219
5. Cristobal Guerrero, Spain, Yamaha, 211
6. Alessandro Belometti, KTM 182