HM Honda’s Simone Albergoni has had a stellar start to his Enduro World Championship season. Securing three podium results in four races, the pint-sized Italian sits second overall in Enduro 1 while also delivering one of the standout performers of the season so far. With the EWC heading to Munitibar in Spain this weekend, Enduro21 sat down with Albergoni to discuss his outstanding season so far…
Simone, you must be pleased to be second overall in the Enduro 1 World Championship as the EWC heads to Spain this weekend?
Yes, very much so! South America was a very strong start to the season for me and I’m really pleased with how everything has gone. Getting three podium results in four races is very satisfying.
Like a lot of people, you also got caught out on the enduro test on day one in Chile but you fought back to claim second on day two. How do you view the success of that GP?
When I arrived in Chile I felt confident that I could produce a good result. On day one I was pushing hard for at least a top five result. Unfortunately there were some incredibly steep and difficult hills in the enduro test and like many riders I made some mistakes on them. One lap I crashed about four times and lost almost two minutes. If it wasn’t for that I may have finished on the podium but in the end I was tenth.
Nevertheless you put that disappointment behind you and finished second the following day.
Yes, I was determined to make up for those mistakes. I knew my speed was good and I felt that if I avoided any major errors then I could challenge for a podium. Antoine (Meo) was too fast for me but I rode the best I could and was so happy to get second place and that podium result.
Proving that your podium result was no fluke you once again scored strong finishes in Argentina with a third on day one and second on day two. How did you find the race?
I really enjoyed the race in Argentina. It was a very physically demanding two days of racing but also very enjoyable. The enduro test suited me the most as it was quite similar to the test I train on at home. I found a good rhythm on it and was able to set some fast times. On day two I started off a bit slow. I was sixth in the morning and it took until the middle of the day to move up some positions. Everybody was finding the heat very difficult so I tried to keep pushing as hard as I could. I knew some people might suffer from it and make mistakes. Finishing second was a very rewarding result.
For many people your results have come as a big surprise. Were you expecting to be this strong so soon in the season?
For me, it has been a dream result to stand on the podium again. The last couple of years have been very difficult and have really tested me. During the winter I trained extremely hard to improve – I pushed myself every day to grow stronger and stronger and leading into Chile I felt ready. By getting these results I have seen the hard work pay off and I really hope it can continue.
As we enter the GP of Euskadi in Spain this weekend, do you think it’s possible to challenge Meo?
At the moment he is riding incredibly fast and also very consistent. It’s difficult to say but I’m happy with my own performance. Entering Spain I’m sitting second overall in the championship and my goal is to try and improve my advantage over third position. For sure I will try to win but Enduro 1 is very tough with many strong riders so it will be important to always aim for a podium result and by doing that then hopefully I can close the gap to Antoine.