| From Andrew Weiss|
Enduro (ISDE) teams have kicked it up a gear, with the junior squad sliding into third position.
Australia’s Junior Trophy Team is made up of Ballard Yamaha’s Jarrod Bewley and newly crowned Australian Champion Chris Hollis, FMF Suzuki America’s Josh Strang and Christensen’s Yamaha’s Blake Hore. The 2007 Aussie ISDE assault also features five of the countries best senior riders, who were in eight position after Day 3 of the event.
Strang has been the fastest of the Aussie’s so far, finishing Day 3 in 28th outright among the absolute best Enduro riders in the world. The 21-year-old was a commendable 12th in the E2 class, which was being lead by multiple world champion, Finland’s Juha Salminen.
“Actually, I have been going a little bit better than I expected… the track’s are quite straight forward but they are getting rougher, which works to my advantage,” Strang said. “I’m used to racing the rough stuff and most of the tests, especially the sand test at Parc Ferme that we do twice every day, is getting really rough. “The only real problem I have had is I busted a clutch cover in one of the tests today [Day 4], I lost some oil but we were able to repair it and it should finish the event ok.”
As at the time of release, results had not been confirmed for Day 4. Strang, who has been based in America for the last season, finished his first ISDE last year in 14th in E2 and 33rd outright. “I wanted to get a [gold medal] again this year and as long as I get through tomorrow [Day 5] and the final motocross [on Day 6], I should hopefully get it,” he said. “It’s also great to see our [junior team] doing so well. It’s disappointing that [Chris Hollis] has had problems with his bike, because [Blake Hore] and [Jarrod Bewley] have been going really well and I think I’m going pretty well too.
“If Chris hadn’t had problems, I reckon we could have won it. But that’s fine, as long as we all go good tomorrow we’ll be sweet for another podium. Strang said although he sees his future racing in the United States, he still wants to represent his country “as many times as possible. “Being on the six day team gives you the opportunity to go all over the road and race, you can’t ask for better than that,” he said. “It’s great being part of the team, there is awesome support, the people at the controls and tests taking stuff have been really good.”
More than 550 riders are competing in the event – six days of gruelling Enduro racing covering about 250km each day. Australia is one of the 30 nations represented. Competitors completed the same trail– which winded south down the coast and was highlighted by rocks and unrelenting clouds of dust – and six special tests on Days 1 and 2. The course changed for Days 3 and 4 and headed into the mountain ranges, where riders were greeted with an all-rock, river bed special test and bike-damaging, rocky trail sections. The track will head north for Day 5 for more fun in the boulders. Day 5 is the longest day of the event and includes eight special tests.
Please visit www.isde2007.cl for full results and keep an eye on the MA website for daily updates and photos.
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