With the opening round of the 2009 World Enduro Championship now just a few days away BMW Motorrad Motorsport team riders David Knight, Juha Salminen, Marko Tarkkala and Simo Kirssi headed to Spain to participate in the first round of the 2009 Spanish Enduro Championship, as part of their final preparations for the forthcoming WEC series.



Taking place at Ponts at the foot of the Pyrenees in the Lleida region, the Enduro Del Segre is organised by the Motoclub Segre and is one of the most important national off-road events in Spain. The club itself is one of the biggest in Spain, and has been responsible for nurturing many talented riders over the years, including the likes of Dakar champions Nani Roma and Marc Coma, and many up-and-coming young riders such as Oriol Mena, who was the winner of the opening day. 

 For new BMW Motorrad Motorsport recruit, Juha Salminen, this season opener was of particular importance, as the famous Finn is competing in every round of this particular championship, alongside his WEC duties. With this first round attracting a top-level entry list, including riders such as Ivan Cervantes and Cristobal Guerrero, competition proved to be close between all riders throughout both days. 

With a similar format to the WEC, the weekend’s enduro took place in perfect weather conditions, with riders tackling two 80-kilometre laps each day, interspersed with three Specials each lap. Unlike the WEC, at the end of both days, all the times were added together to give one final result. With Juha Salminen and Simo Kirssi representing BMW Motorrad Motorsport in the E2 Class, and Marko Tarkkala, David Knight and BMW España-supported rider Aaron Bernardez campaigning the G 450 X in the E3 class, all riders proved that they are now fully up to speed and ready to get their world championship ambitions underway this coming weekend in Portugal.  After the first day of competition, it was BMW Motorrad Motorsport’s David Knight who topped the Enduro 3 class and finished third overall. Local rider Oriol Mena was the winner of the opening day, closely followed by Juha Salminen with David third. Simo Kirssi, who had been sick with food poisoning for several days prior to this event, managed to find the strength to ride to a respectable fourth place in the E2 class on Saturday. After the second day of competition it was Juha Salminen who came out on top, winning the E2 class and giving his Spanish championship title ambitions the best possible start. In the E3 class, BMW Motorrad España’s Aaron Bernardez finished in second place, behind overall and class winner Ivan Cervantes, with Marko Tarkkala claiming the final podium spot. In the important ‘scratch’ category, which combines all the results from the various classes, Juha Salminen finished in second position, behind Ivan Cervantes and in front of Cristobal Guerrero.  


BMW Motorrad Motorsport Team Manager Wolfgang Fischer: “It was a very useful weekend in Spain for all of our riders, in particular Juha, as his great results put him in a strong position for contesting the next round of the Spanish Enduro Championship. In the next round, he’ll be able to start from the front of the pack like all his rivals, which he wasn’t able to do this time, due to not having contested last year’s series.  “For the other riders – who were using it as valuable test and preparation time for the forthcoming Enduro World Championship – they knew it was going to be tough racing against top Spanish riders on their home turf, but they have proved themselves up to the task and also shown that the bike is competitive and ready for any challenge. Overall, it was a great final test and it was rewarding for me to see all the new team members working so well together. All the riders are happy with their bikes and looking forward to getting on with WEC business in Portugal this weekend.”