2011 FIM ISDE | FInland Preview

2011 International Six Days Enduro

This year’s International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) will take place in the Kotka-Hamina region of Southern Finland, beginning Monday, Aug. 8 – Aug. 13, 2011.

The favorites going into the 86th edition of the International Six Days Enduro will be the France team, as the nation has dominated the ISDE for the past three consecutive years, taking the World Trophy in Mexico, Portugal and Greece. As for the Junior Trophy, Spain has taken it in the past two consecutive years.

As for the 2010 ISDE, the riders only competed for five days; the sixth day was cancelled due to wars between Mexican drug cartels.

The last and only time Finland hosted the ISDE was in 1996, when the home-team won both the World and Junior trophies. And the country has been successful since that year, taking six additional ISDE World Trophies (New Zealand 2006, Poland 2004, Brazil 2003, Czech Republic 2002, Portugal 1999, Australia 1998), and the Junior Trophy in Poland, 2004.

This makes Finland one of the most decorated nations in the past 20 years of the ISDE, giving them more optimism heading into this year’s home race.

And this year’s Finnish World Trophy team has experience: Juha Salminen (Husqvarna), Marko Tarkkala (Husaberg) and Jari Mattila (KTM) were all part of the 2006 winning squad during the team’s last win in 2004. And they will be joined by a few new riders eager to take a trophy – Eero Remes (KTM), Valtteri Salonen (TM) and Matti Seistola (Husqvarna).

The FIM reports that Salminen, 34, is regarded by many as one of the greatest off-road riders of recent times, with seven Enduro World Championships to his name. Currently leading the E1 category of the FIM Enduro World Championship, Salminen has reached the podium at every round of the series this season and is on course to take an eighth World title.

Teammate Eero Remes is positioned behind Juha in second whilst Matti Seistola is in third place, proving Finland’s strength and dominance at the highest level of the sport.

In the highly competitive E3 class, twenty-nine year old Marko Tarkkala currently holds fourth spot in the World championship with two rounds remaining. Although Valtteri Salonen and Jari Mattila are not as well known on the World stage they have both experienced success in national competition and have competed in previous ISDE’s.

As for America, the states haven’t won in the International Six Days Enduro since New Zealand in 2006, when the nation took the Junior Trophy. This was the nation’s second Junior since Chechoslawakie in 1991; the USA has never won a World Trophy.

This year’s American lineup includes Destry Abbott, Russell Bobbitt, Kurt Caselli, Jimmy Jarrett, Nathan Kanney, and Kyle Summers.

The ISDE is a true test of endurance and reliability as both man and machine aim to complete six continuous days of grueling off-road competition. Originally established in 1913, the ISDE is the longest standing event to feature on the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) racing calendar and remains a team based competition in which nations go head to head against each other.