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GARCIA…The Comeback Kid!
"The toughest weekend of the season..." This is how many riders summed up the second day at the Acerbis Grand Prix of Portugal. Pouring rain was the theme of Sunday in Marco de Canaveses, but we still saw 99 protagonists take to the start line, ensuring a spectacular day of racing which saw a new winner in the EnduroGP class...
After three years of absence Josep GARCIA (E - KTM) made a great comeback on Saturday when he took 3rd overall, but on Sunday he brilliantly won the EnduroGP category by more than 15 seconds ahead of his nearest rival, Brad FREEMAN (GB - Beta)! Matching the pace of the British duo of FREEMAN - HOLCOMBE from the first lap, the Spaniard increased his speed on the second lap, which allowed him to take advantage of the various errors of the two Beta Factory riders to build a gap of more than 20 seconds! Determined to give everything to get back to the top step of the EnduroGP podium, GARCIA then managed his lead to secure an excellent victory!
7 Points Between HOLCOMBE & FREEMAN
In Enduro 1, after dropping 5 points yesterday in the race for the title, Thomas OLDRATI (I - Honda) gains 3 points back today from his compatriot Andrea VERONA, with the TM rider placing 2nd on the day. The Honda RedMoto rider is now only 4 points behind in the standing and everything remains very uncertain in the small-displacement category. Antoine MAGAIN takes a third podium this season ahead of Davide SORECA (I - Beta Boano) and the local man Diogo VENTURA (Beta)
In E2, Steve HOLCOMBE was toppled! It was the man of the day, Josep GARCIA, who brought the Brit down from the top step of the podium. The Beta Factory rider had to settle for the runner-up position this time around. As on the previous day, it was Danny MCCANNEY (GB - Honda) who completed the podium ahead of Joe WOOTTON (GB - Husqvarna) and Loïc LARRIEU (F - TM).
Over in the big class, E3, we saw the 6th win in a row for Brad FREEMAN who remains on stunning form. To give you an idea of his E3 domination, he relegated today’s 2nd place finish, Jaume BETRIU by 1 minute and 54 seconds. Third place, Antoine BASSET, was more than 3 minutes back! Rudy MORONI (I - KTM) and David ABGRALL (F - Beta) completed the Top 5.
CRIVILIN Makes History!
In J1, KYTÖNEN’s setbacks benefitted the Bruno CRIVILIN who enters the history books of the FIM Borilli Enduro World Championship by becoming the first Brazilian rider to win! He won ahead of Ruy BARBOSA (CL - Husqvarna) and Lorenzo MACORITTO (I - Beta Boano) while in J2, MACDONALD won ahead of ESPINASSE and RUPRECHT.
In the Youth 125cc class, there was a 5th consecutive victory for Fantic D’Arpa Racing rider Jed ETCHELLS (GB - Fantic). This time around, the Manxman had to work hard to see off the attacks from Sergio NAVARRO (E - Husqvarna)! The Spaniard finished just 16 seconds behind the big favourite for the title. Once again, it was Claudio SPANU (I - Husqvarna) who took 3rd position and once again, it was Harry EDMONDSON (GB - Fantic) who finished just off the podium in 4th. Another Fantic rider, Hugo SVÄRD (SF), was 5th.
Finally, in the Champion Lubricants Enduro Open World Cup, Gonçalo REIS (P - KTM) remains undefeated in Open 2-Stroke. He won the day with an advantage of 1 minute and 38 seconds over Arvid MODIN (S - Yamaha) and 2 minutes over Robert FRIEDRICH (CZ - KTM). As for Open 4-Stroke, Damiaens DIEGTER (B - KTM) was given a penalty on Saturday and had to hand the victory over to his rival and compatriot, Mathias VAN HOOF (B - Husqvarna). But the KTM rider made up for it on Sunday and the two men are now tied on points again. Jorge PARADELO (E - KTM), once again completes the podium. In Open Senior Enduro legend Alessio PAOLI (I - Husqvarna) won again ahead of David MARTINEZ (E - KTM) and Duccio GRAZIANI (I - Beta).
What a tough weekend for the riders! And to think that we have to do it all again next weekend, once again in Marco de Canaveses for the season finale of the FIM Borilli Enduro World Championship!
What They Said:
Brad FREEMAN: “I’m so disillusioned again today! Really disappointed! I felt good here and I think I'm setting good test times but unfortunately each time I am beaten… I still took a few points from Steve and everything is still under control, but it's annoying not to win!”
Thomas OLDRATI: “I never really managed to keep in touch with Andrea yesterday and lost a lot of points there so I was keen to make up for it today. Not easy when Andrea was very fast all weekend! I'm 4 points behind, and that's okay! The goal is just for next weekend, always finishing ahead of my rival.”
Hamish MACDONALD: “I was clearly not the fastest rider today. Roni was impressive and I'm disappointed for him that he had this mechanical problem. But that’s part of the racing and I won’t regret having the win. I’m now 19 points ahead, which is really good. Now I have to give everything without panicking to get the title next Saturday!”