All content © Bob MuIIins
Perfect Tour for ELLWOOD, REIS & KNIGHT!
The 2019 Iberian Tour was a tough one and the riders from the Champion Lubricants Enduro Open World Cup will be glad of a month's break before the next round. The four days of racing in the last two weeks offered up some great fights and of the three different classes we now have two new leaders...
In Open 2-stroke, original class leader Richard TUCKER (GB - Sherco) couldn't hold off his big rival Gonçalo REIS (P - Gas Gas), who won all four days! With two fourth places in Portugal and an injury that prevented him from taking part in the Spanish GP, TUCKER had to relinquish the lead and is now relegated to 48 points behind the Portuguese rider. But with only 8 results taken into account in the Open class format, everything is still to play for!
Another impressive rider on this tour (results: 3/3/3/2) was Jorge PARADELO RODRIGUEZ (E - Gas Gas), he moves to 3rd place overall just ahead of Benet GOMEZ (E - Gas Gas).
A special mention goes to Joao LOURENCO (P - Beta), who was brilliant in his native Portugal (2/2) but unfortunately broke his foot on one of the last tests and could not ride in Santiago de Compostela.
FLOCKHART the new leader of Open 4-Stroke!
In the Open 4-Stroke class, Fraser FLOCKHART (GB - Yamaha) took advantage of the absence of Bernhard SCHÖPF (AUT - KTM) and Robert RIEDEL (D - KTM) to take the lead. But in a category where every victory is crucial, the Brit didn't quite make the best deal of the tour (results: 2/2/3/3)...
This was mostly down to Tom ELLWOOD (GB) who was flying on his Kawasaki! Absent in Germany because he couldn't prepare his green machine in time, the smiling Brit achieved four wins on the bounce and is now only 12 points behind his compatriot.
In Valpaços Belgium's Mathias VAN HOOF (Beta) managed two great podiums, and he still holds third overall. But unfortunately he was not able to build on his points in Spain due to commitments in the Belgian Championship. Although, in his place, we saw another Belgian on the podium: Jilani CAMBRE (Husqvarna - 2/2).
Finally in the Senior (over 37 years) class, David KNIGHT (GB - TM) dominated the Iberian tour and he confirms his status as leader. He could even be crowned at the next round in Serres (Greece) next month if he keeps up this form. And there's a twist to the Manxman's comeback; it's 14 years since he won his first World Title in Serres!. Fernando FERREIRA (P - Sherco) is the next best after 'Knighter', (results: 3/2/2/2). He holds second position by only 4 points ahead of the affable Italian Andrea BELOTTI (KTM - 2/3/4/4). Meanwhile, Enrique VEGA GONZALEZ (E - Beta. 4/4/3/3) and Patrik ANDERSSON (S-Yamaha. 5/5/5/5) also enjoyed solid results in the Top 5.
These first back-to-back rounds of the season may have been tough for the Champion Lubricants Enduro Open World Cup, but we're sure to see the riders come back fighting on June 15th and 16th in Serres, Greece.
What They Said:
Gonçalo REIS: "I'm really happy with these four wins! This result is beyond my expectations. I'm also happy to have kept the bike in one piece and well maintained because two Grand Prix in a row is not easy for the machines. I will now do everything to make the trip to Greece. These Open classes are so enjoyable, we're not fast enough to fight with the stars of EnduroGP, but at least we can participate in the World Cup and fight for our own title alongside them!”
Tom ELLWOOD: "ABC Communication and the FIM made a very good decision when they created these Open classes. It allows us to participate in EnduroGP races without competing with the top guns. With these four victories, I now really want to fight to do the whole Open season and win the title!”
David KNIGHT: "Sometimes I would like to improve and get faster, but I am getting older. So for now I'm just doing the right thing; I'm focusing on the title and once it's in my pocket, I'll focus on my riding. The goal was to win the four days of racing and I did it, now i'll head to Greece where I'll need two more victories to get the crown.”
Open 2-Stroke: 1. Gonçalo REIS 111pts; 2. Richard TUCKER 63pts; 3. Jorge PARADELO RODRIGUEZ 62pts; 4. Benet GOMEZ 54pts; 5. Joao LOURENCO 34pts…
Open 4-Stroke: 1. Fraser FLOCKHART 92pts; 2. Tom ELLWOOD 80pts; 3. Mathias VAN HOOF 50pts; 4. Rene SCHILLING 47pts; 5. Rodrigo BELCHIOR 46pts…
Open Senior: 1. David KNIGHT 120pts; 2. Fernando FERREIRA 88pts; 3. Andrea BELOTTI 84pts ; 4. Patrik ANDERSSON 64pts ; Enrique VEGA GONZALEZ 56pts…