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All content Bob MuIIins

HOLCOMBE RETURNS TO FORM WITH DOUBLE ENDUROGP PODIUM IN SLOVAKIA

Beta Factory Racing's Steve Holcombe was back to his best at round five of the FIM EnduroGP World Champi-onship taking a pair of EnduroGP podium results while fighting for the overall event win in Slovakia. Holcombe also raced his way to two runner-up results in Enduro2.

o Double EnduroGP podium success for Steve in Slovakia
o Lingering rain and long special tests made for an enjoyable weekend's racing
o With confidence growing, Steve is putting his run of recent injuries behind him

Working hard during the four-week break prior to the Slovakian event, Holcombe headed to the fifth stop of the FIM EnduroGP World Championship in Gelnica, Slovakia determined to show his true form. Earning a pair of Enduro2 class podium results last time out in Portugal the seven-time world champion was keen to continue his positive return to form following his early season injuries.

Following a wet start on Saturday, Holcombe was riding well in the 15-minute long enduro test, backing that up with solid performances in the nine-minute cross test. Always favouring long, 'true enduro' style special tests, Steve was pushing hard and positioned at the sharp end of the result sheet. Winning the final extreme test, he ended the day third in EnduroGP and second in Enduro2.

Although feeling confident headed into Sunday, Steve made things tougher for himself than they should have been with a slow opening lap. Finding an extra gear on lap two, Steve was charging. Fastest on the cross test, he then pulled a healthy 12 seconds back on race leader Wil Ruprecht in the final enduro test. With a shot of victory within range, Steve blitzed the final cross test to set the fastest time of the day. However, despite giving it everything, he just missed out on the EnduroGP win by an agonising four tenths of a second.

More than pleased with his riding and weekend's work, Steve now heads full speed into next weekend's round six in Hungary on August 5-7.

Steve Holcombe: "I'm pumped with how this weekend went. I feel like I'm getting back to my old self and fighting for wins like I know I can. Naturally, I'm gutted to come so close to winning on Sunday and not quite make it stick, but it's just great to be competitive and fighting for the overall win. I've proved to myself that my speed is there. I can't wait to race in Hungary now, I know what I've got to do!"

Results: GP of Slovakia

Day 1 - EnduroGP
1. Wil Ruprecht (TM) 1:03:55.70; 2. Andrea Verona (GASGAS) 1:04:07.24; 3. Steve Holcombe (Beta) 1:04:13.55
Day 1 - Enduro2
1. Wil Ruprecht (TM) 1:03:55.70; 2. Steve Holcombe (Beta) 1:04:13.55; 3. Josep Garcia (KTM) 1:04:51.84