Joakim Ljunggren shines at the Barcelona IEWC

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Making a solid start to the new season Husaberg’s indoor enduro star Joakim Ljunggren secures a well-deserved third place result at the penultimate round of the Indoor Enduro World Championship

Leading Husaberg’s charge at the Indoor Enduro World Championship once again Swede Joakim Ljunggren enjoyed a hugely successful night at the 12th running of the Barcelona Indoor Enduro where he finished third overall with a 3/2/5 result. But more importantly he strengthened his runner-up position in the IEWC championship standings with just one round remaining.

After his superb overall runner-up result at the series opener in Genoa, Italy, Joakim was full of confidence going into the second and penultimate round of the series. With the Barcelona track extremely physical it quickly became clear that fitness would play as important a role in the night’s results as rider skill and determination. Well prepared for the event having spent time training in Spain in the lead up to the race Joakim comfortably qualified through into the might’s finals. Going on to deliver three impressive results he ended the night more than a little happy with his continued good form.

‘I’m so happy to be on the podium again after me good start to the championship in Genoa,’ confirmed Joakim. ‘This has been one of the toughest indoor events I’ve done for a long time but I really enjoyed it. Both David Knight and Taddy Blazusiak are amazing indoor enduro racers so to be on the podium with them on my Husaberg if just fantastic. In the first race I got a bad start, which made things tough for me. I felt fast but when you are behind riders it’s hard to keep your speed. But I felt strong and managed to pass a lot of riders during the second half of the race. Finishing third was a great start to the night, especially with David Knight only eight seconds ahead of me.

‘Things got even better in the second race as I finished second to Taddy. With the faster riders having the last pick of the start gates it made things pretty interesting during the first lap but I managed to race well. I had the third fastest lap time but with David making a mistake I managed to get what would be my best result of the night. Going into the third final I knew I was in a strong position for a good overall result. Things didn’t work out so well for me but I managed to finish fifth, which was good enough to get a place on the podium.

‘With just one round of the championship remaining now I’m going to be working hard over the next few weeks to make sure I’m in the best shape I can be. Anything can happen in indoor enduro racing but obviously my goal is to secure the runner-up position in the championship and keep pushing for a possible win. I’m staying in Spain now to get away from the snow in Sweden, so I’m looking forward to two weeks of hard training.’

Just one place behind Joakim in fourth in the overall results was Spanish Husaberg rider Alfredo Gomez. Finishing with a 4/5/3 result Alfredo ended the event as the highest placed home rider having delivered his best IEWC performance to date. Ensuring a great night for Husaberg the youngster confirmed that despite returning to the Trials World Championship in ’11 he will compete in the opening round of the Enduro World Championship, which takes place in Spain in April. Also, that he is already planning on competing in the IEWC next season.

The third Husaberg rider to finish inside the top six in Barcelona was Britain’s Graham Jarvis who placed fifth. Despite hoping to be a little closer to the eventual top three Jarvis rode well in all three finals but failed to start as well as he normally does, which resulted in him having to battle his way past riders in all three finals.

‘I can’t be too disappointed with my overall result, but things didn’t go exactly to plan for me, commented Graham. ‘I enjoyed the track more than in Genoa as it was a little slower and more technical, which I liked. I struggled a little with my starts for some reason, which meant I had to fight my way through the first few corners. That allowed a few riders to get away at the front of the race while I was working my way forward. I just tried to settle into a good pace and keep out of trouble because the finals were long and there wasn’t much time between them to recover. I guess there was a little room for improvement in my riding so I’m going to make sure I ride at my best at the final round of the series in Lisbon.’

Qualifying into the finals to make it four Husaberg mounted riders competing for IEWC points was Spain’s Xavi Galindo. Still working his way back to full fitness after a prolonged lay-off due to injury, Xavi found the event tough going but still gave the event his all. It was a really hard event because the track was very, very demanding,’ explained Xavi. ‘It was really hard to push for the whole race. I have been riding a lot but still I need more races to get back my full fitness after my injuries last year. After six months off a bike a tough track like in Barcelona was a little too much for me. I made it into the final, which I was really pleased about, but I was only able to really push hard for three or four laps in each final.’

The final round of the Indoor Enduro World Championship takes place in Lisbon, Portugal on March 5.

Results – 2011 Indoor Enduro World Championship, Rnd 2, Barcelona

Final 1
1. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM) 7.14:428; 2. David Knight (KTM) 7.32:795; 3. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg Factory Team) 7.40:132; 4. Alfredo Gomez (Husaberg) 7.45.255; 5. Jonny Walker (KTM) 7.49:675; 6. Graham Jarvis (Husaberg) 7.53:048… 12. Xavi Galindo (Husaberg) 8.13:950

Final 2
1. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM) 7.21:456; 2. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg Factory Team) 7.38:651; 3. David Knight (KTM) 7.47:067; 4. Graham Jarvis (Husaberg) 7.51:648; 5. Alfredo Gomez (Husaberg) 7.53:893; 6. Cristobal Guerrero (KTM) 7.55:596… 12. Xavi Galindo (Husaberg) 8.35:596

Final 3
1. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM) 7.13:497; 2. David Knight (KTM) 7.33:956; 3. Alfredo Gomez (Husaberg) 7.48:773; 4. Mika Ahola (Honda) 7.54:799; 5. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg Factory Team) 7.55:675l 6. Cristobal Guerrero (KTM)7.59:273… 7. Graham Jarvis (Husaberg) 7.59.468; 13. Xavi Galindo (Husaberg) 4 laps

Championship standings – 2011 Indoor Enduro World Championship

1. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM) 103; 2. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg Factory Team) 86; 3. Mika Ahola (Honda) 73; 4. Alfredo Gomez (Husaberg) 60; 5. Graham Jarvis (Husaberg) 57; 6. Thomas Oldrati (KTM) 55; 7. David Knight (KTM) 48

Joakim Ljunggren continues his great IEWC form in Barcelona

With just one event to go Joakim sits in a strong runner-up position in the IEWC series

Local hero Alfredo Gomez finished as the best placed Spanish rider

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