The final fourteenth stage of the thirty-fifth edition of the Dakar wound up today in Santiago. Frenchman Cyril Despres became overall winner for the fifth time in a race that had been wide open right up until the end of the last  special test. Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain was once again a main protagonist in this incredible rally with a third place in today’s stage, for Spaniard Joan Barreda taking the team’s tally to twelve podium places. Barreda himself has scored  four partial stage wins, showing just how competitive the Husqvarna TE449RR by Speedbrain is.

The final standings don’t really do justice to Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain or its riders, who were excessively punished for insignificant but costly technical setbacks which had previously not occurred all season. Joan Barreda, in particular, should have finished higher after he dominated the early stages; likewise Alessandro Botturi, who until three days ago was in fifth place.

Corona, CA – Husqvarna CH Racing Monster Energy Team rider Juha Salminen has been crowned Enduro 1 world champion, placing his TE250 on the top step of the E1 class podium on the first day’s competition at the final round of the 2011 series – the GP of France.

Following teammate Antoine Meo’s crowning as Enduro 2 World Champion for Husqvarna at the penultimate round of the WEC series in Andorra, Salminen’s championship success brings Husqvarna’s participation in the ’11 WEC series to a triumphant close.

“It’s a great feeling to have won another world title, and to be a part of what has been a fantastic season for Husqvarna,” Salminen commented. “Everyone in the team has put in a huge amount of effort this year and that’s been rewarded with two world titles. It’s been a fantastic season and it feels great to be world champion again.”

“This has been a fantastic season for us in so many ways,” said Husqvarna Racing coordinator Martino Bianchi. “But the most important thing is that we proved the competitiveness and reliability of both the TE250 and TE310. This is a great time for Husqvarna and for everyone in the company as well as for the CH Racing Team and all of their partners. It’s been a long and challenging season. Now it’s time to enjoy what we have achieved and celebrate.”