With the confirmation of a lengthly absence of 2016 EnduroGP runner-up, Mathias BELLINO (F - Husqvarna), the manager of the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team Andreas HÖLZL has decided to hire the current EnduroGP leader Antti HELLSTEN (SF - Husqvarna), for the forthcoming AMV Seguros GP of Spain...
After further medical examinations on his return to France, it was confirmed that BELLINO has a shattered "left" scapula (broken in several places) and three cracked ribs. Fortunately for the 2015 E3 World Champion, the ligaments in his shoulder have not been damaged and we hope to see him on his Husqvarna 300cc 2-stroke again soon…
To make up for his absence, the manager of the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team, Andreas HÖLZL decided to integrate Antti HELLSTEN into his official team.
“It’s not a replacement for BELLINO…” said the Austrian manager. “… It’s just a big support for the actual EnduroGP class leader!”
The well-known and well-established rider has been with the "Kytonen Motorsport" Husqvarna team for several seasons, but the double Päijänne winner (2015, 2016) didn’t have a clue that, after a spectacular performance in the Päitsi GP race in March, he would be the leader of the EnduroGP ranking!
"It is a source of great pride for me to be the first leader of the new EnduroGP class, but tomorrow I have to go back to work and I really don’t know if I can be in Spain next month to defend this leader's plate…" The Finn quipped during his podium interview.
The former Finnish Enduro frontrunner will team up with Christophe CHARLIER (F - Husqvarna) with the FE 350 in Puerto Lumbreras for the second round of the Maxxis FIM EnduroGP World Championship.
This is a really nice opportunity for the rider who stormed onto the scene in the Junior category in 2011 before a nasty crash in Greece resulted in injury, and deprived him of the title... If HELLSTEN can maintain the impressive pace he showed at Päitsi, the battle is going to be a fierce one in the ‘premier’ category at the AMV Seguros GP of Spain from April 21st to 23rd.
And of course we want to wish a speedy recovery for Mathias BELLINO; we hope to see him back on the World Enduro start line very soon!