The penultimate day of racing at this year’s FIM ISDE offered competitors a new course and new challenges. Taking competitors south and into demanding forestry in a route known as the Peñuelas Lake and Wood, both riders and machines were put through another three-hundred kilometres of challenging Enduro terrain. Those remaining in the competition now only have the traditional day six final Motocross race to finish off this year’s gruelling race.
Offering no weakness to their rivals, Australia continued to stamp their authority on the ninety-third edition of the FIM ISDE. Marching ever-closer to their second FIM World Trophy title, they left no one doubting who was in control of the proceedings by topping the standings on day five. With a commanding lead, only the final Motocross race now stands in their way of securing the top step of the podium in Viña del Mar.
Daniel Milner remains untouchable with yet another consecutive day win and heading into the final test tomorrow Milner has an iron fist hold on first place overall, ahead of Taylor Robert from Team USA, by almost one-and-a-half minutes.
Clocking the second fastest time for Team Australia on day five was Daniel Sanders, the Victorian comfortably in third podium position overall.
Rounding out Australia’s World Trophy Team was Joshua Strang who now sits in 10th position overall.
Daniel Milner – Team Australia
“There were two new tests today and I had to try and memorise the first test whilst moving through it, which ended up being a struggle! Although I essentially guessed a lot of it, I ended up being 10 seconds ahead of everyone else, which was fantastic! Thankfully we had already walked through the second test last week, so I was much more comfortable walking into it knowing full well which sections were tricky and the points where I could quicken the pace. After completing the tests, I found myself changing into cruise mode and lost a bit of time, but overall I still won the day by 28 seconds! The team is killing it! We’ve put some more time on Team USA, so all in all its been a good day for me and the team.”
Despite putting in another determined performance, the United States were unable to force the Australians into a mistake and had to settle for second. Barring any final-day drama, they look set to claim the runner-up result this year, holding a healthy four-minute buffer over Italy in third.
After a disappointing week in Chile, defending champions France will be happy to see this year’s event come to an end. Fourth in the FIM World Trophy classification, the hot, dry and dusty conditions have not favoured them, as Loic Larrieu (Yamaha) explains.
“Unfortunately, it’s just not been our year,” admitted Larrieu. “The dusty, hard pack terrain and unique special tests have been difficult to adapt to and we’ve not shown our best. Personally, it’s been a hard race for me, especially having won the overall in 2017. I was carrying some injuries starting and through a combination of too many crashes, I haven’t been able to race like I wanted to.”
Spain are currently fifth, Portugal, the Czech Republic and Sweden round out the top eighth.
In the Enduro 1 category Italy’s Davide Guarneri (Honda) claimed the day win over Spain’s Victor Guerrero (Yamaha) and Andrea Verona (ITA – TM). However, despite suffering some trouble on day five, Verona still tops the Enduro 1 standings from Guarneri and Guerrero.
Aiming for a clean sweep of class day wins, Taylor Robert was again fastest in Enduro 2, winning four of the six special tests. Over five minutes clear of Steward Baylor (USA – KTM) in second, Robert can enjoy his final day of racing in Viña del Mar.
Arguably the standout performer in this year’s FIM ISDE, Daniel Milner added the Enduro 3 class win to his overall victory on day five. Two minutes clear of fellow Australian Sanders in second, the KTM rider will aim for a trouble-free Motocross race to sign off his week in style.
In the FIM Junior World Trophy class, the United States finally got the better of rivals Italy, claiming the day five win. Feeling good on the new special tests, the United States pushed hard to reduce the gap to Italy ahead of day six. But with the Italians fighting back during the latter half of the day, they limited their loss and are three minutes and thirty-five seconds clear with the final Motocross remaining.
Putting the brakes on Chile’s challenge for the final step of the podium, France answered back having lost out to them during the last two days. Third fastest on the penultimate day, France keep Chile one-minute and thirty seconds behind them entering day six. Knowing all is still not lost, expect Chile to lay everything on the line in the hope of a possible debut FIM ISDE podium result, on home soil.
Australia continues to sit comfortably in fifth position, behind Chile in fourth place, who gained ground ahead of Australia by just under 12 minutes. Clocking the fastest time for Australia in day five was Fraser Higlett ahead of Andrew Wilksch and Thomas Mason who fought through the punishing conditions to make a staggering jump from yesterday’s 70th position to a new 52nd position overall!
Easing back as they race towards a recording-breaking sixth consecutive FIM Women’s World Trophy victory, Australia still claimed victory on day five. Beating closet rivals the United States by less than one-minute, the trio of Tayla Jones (Husqvarna), Jessica Gardiner (Yamaha) and Mackenzie Tricker (KTM) have a commanding nine-minute lead. Now eleven minutes behind the United States, Spain are third, with Sweden fourth.
Day two of the FIM Vintage Trophy saw Germany’s Jens Oestreich (SWM) top the ’76 class. Germany’s Jens Bossdorf (SWM) leads the ‘79 class over Rolf Nickolai (DEU -Kramer), while Sven Roth (DEU – Kramer) is the overall leader of the ’82 category. Germany’s Swen Schiller (Kram-It) is best of the Evo 86 riders.
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