Antoine Meo, KTM’s latest E1 signing for the 2012 season leaves South America with four straight World Championship victories in his pocket marking him as an early title favorite for the coming season.
The French rider won both rounds in Chile last weekend and repeated them this weekend in San Juan, a venue on the other side of the Andes that offered soft gravelly terrain in sharp contract with last weekend’s hard pack surface. His E1 factory teammate, Eero Remes of Finland improved on his last week’s performance and with a late burst at the end of the day to take the final test vaulted onto the podium in third place. Meo was the fastest rider in eight of Sunday’s 12 tests with Remes in second place behind him in five of them.
J.Edmunds photos (enduro21.com)
Meo started the weekend with French flair when he was second on his KTM 250 EXC-F in the KTM Super test on Friday night by five tenths of a second to set up the advantage for the third round in Argentina’s San Juan.
Despite the scorching heat of the South American summer and a very demanding day in the saddle, Meo was once again unstoppable in Enduro 1 and stormed home to take his third victory. He set the pace right from the opening lap and was fastest in every test except the final Enduro Test of the day. He was justifiably satisfied with the outcome of the first race in Argentina saying he had had ‘another incredible day’. “I pushed as hard as I could during the morning to try an open up an advantage as I knew it would be difficult once the special tests became rougher. I am so happy to win another Enduro 1 race.” Sunday was to prove that he got his wish.
Frenchman Marc Bourgeois and Simone Albergoni of Italy took the minor places on Saturday while KTM’s Eero Remes finished fourth, missing the third podium spot by less than two seconds.