Matt Philips, who celebrated his 22nd birthday on Sunday, took clear victories on both days of competition over Husqvarna’s Mathias Bellino at the Maxxis FIM Enduro World Championship GP Acerbis of Italy at Rovetta on the weekend. The wins reduced the Frenchman’s championship lead over Phillips to 16 points.
Despite trailing Mathias Bellino (F-Husqvarna) after the first two tests, Phillips picked up his pace as the conditions deteriorated to claim a 34-second margin of victory. “Winning races on your birthday is a pretty good way to top off a great weekend,” told Phillips. “Mathias attacked hard in the beginning but I wasn’t too far off and felt like I had some more to give. I just concentrated on my times, got my nose in front and managed to pull away for the win.”
Although starting out strongly, Bellino saw his early advantage eliminated with a big mistake on the opening enduro test. Losing 20 seconds to Phillips in the process, the Husqvarna rider did well to recover and secure second position. Firmly up to speed on his new KTM, Antoine Basset (F) delivered his best result of the season to date and joined both Phillips and Bellino on the podium in third place. Improving over his previous day’s result, Beta’s Luis Correia (I) ended his day strongly in fourth while Manuel Monni (TM) gave his home crowd a result to cheer for with fifth.
Mathias Bellino: “I’m happy with how this weekend has gone. I hurt my wrist at last weekend’s French championship and wasn’t able to race quite how I wanted to. But I knew that even if I couldn’t fight for the win then I needed to score as many points as possible. With two second place results I managed to do just that and protect my lead in the championship. On Sunday I felt much better and was motivated for the race. I won the first two tests but in the enduro test I crashed on a slippery uphill and needed to tackle the hill twice. It was unfortunate to lose the lead there but I was pleased that I felt good and strong for the rest of the day. It’s given me good confidence heading to Belgium in two weeks time.”
In attack mode after his loss on Saturday, KTM’s Antoine Meo was determined to leave Italy with at least one E2 victory to his tally. Hitting hard from the off, Meo won the first four special tests to open up an early advantage. Keeping the level high for the remainder day, the Frenchman secured the win. “That was one tough race,” claimed Meo. “It was really hard today on the specials – so rough, bumpy and technical. I feel like I rode much better than Saturday, more controlled, less mistakes. And that’s what made the difference. It’s been a good win and an important win for the championship.”
Faced with a much more determined Meo on day two, Husqvarna’s Pela Renet (F) wasn’t able to make it a double victory in Italy. Despite pushing hard and making no mistakes, Renet was forced to settle for the runner-up result.Still suffering the effects of his crash on day one, Italy’s Alex Salvini (Honda) wasn’t able to challenge for a home win in Rovetta and ended his day third. Carding identical results to that of Saturday, Jaume Betriu (S-Husqvarna) and Loic Larrieu (F-Sherco) were fourth and fifth respectively.
Pela Renet: “It’s been a good weekend for me but for in terms of the championship I wasn’t able to gain many points on Antoine. But I’ve no regrets to lose on Sunday, Antoine was just that little bit stronger all day. Not much, but enough to make the difference. I was really happy to come away with the win on Saturday. It was a tough round of the championship – one of the toughest – the tests were good and it was a real enduro GP. Now we head to Belgium for the penultimate round of the series in two weeks time. Like everyone I’m not sure what to expect there but I’ll fight and give it my best shot to take the top step of the podium.”
Claiming first ever senior class victory, Sherco’s Lorenzo Santolino (S) was the deserved winner of the Enduro 1 class. Making amends for his previous day’s mistakes, the Sherco rider delivered a strong ride. Holding off attacks from both Eero Remes (FIN-TM) and Christophe Nambotin (F-KTM), Santolino was rewarded with the top step of the podium. “It feels incredible to take my first win,” confirmed Santolino. “I was riding well all weekend but mistakes cost me yesterday. I knew my speed was there and today I kept it all together to take the win. I’m so happy right now.” Looking to make it two wins in Italy, Remes didn’t have an answer for Santolino. But by securing the runner-up result, the TM rider became the new championship leader of the Enduro 1 class. Trouble by his injured knee, Nambotin made some uncharacteristic mistakes and lost touch with the leading duo to end his day in third. Giving Kawasaki a top four result in E1, Italy’s Simone Albergoni placed fourth with Husqvarna’s Danny McCanney (GB) dropping two positions from Saturday to fifth.
In the Enduro Junior class, Beta’s Steve Holcombe (GB) topped the podium. Second on day one, the Beta rider found some extra speed throughout day two to edge out Husqvarna’s Jamie McCanney (GB) for the win.Making it two podium visits in his home race, Beta’s Giacomo Redondi (I) completed the top three. Italians Alessandro Battig (Honda) and Matteo Bresolin (I-KTM) rounded out the top five.
Riding high on confidence following his dominant victory on day one, Sweden’s Mikael Persson (Yamaha) made it two wins from two starts in Italy. Following Persson home for the runner-up result, Husqvarna’s Joesp Garcia (S) was second with Italy’s Michele Marchelli (Husqvarna) completing the top three. David Abgrall (F-Yamaha) and Jack Edmondson (GB-KTM) were fourth and fifth respectively.
The Maxxis FIM Enduro World Championship continues with the penultimate round of the series at the GP FunnelWeb Filter of Belgium in St. Hubert on July 11/12.
Maxxis FIM Enduro World Championship GP Acerbis of Italy – Enduro 1
Day One – 1. Eero Remes (TM) 1:07:21.53; 2. Christophe Nambotin (KTM) 1:07:29.11; 3. Daniel McCanney (Husqvarna) 1:07:39.02… 13. Christophe Robert (Husqvarna) 1:15:28.88
Day Two 1. Lorenzo Santolino (Sherco) 1:08:04.53; 2. Eero Remes (TM) 1:08:12.04; 3. Christophe Nambotin (KTM) 1:08:42.00… 5. Daniel McCanney (Husqvarna) 1:09:27.60
E1 Championship Standings – 1. Eero Remes (TM) 181pts; 2. Christophe Nambotin (KTM) 180pts; 3. Daniel McCanney (Husqvarna) 129pts… 15. Christophe Robert (Husqvarna) 11pts
Maxxis FIM Enduro World Championship GP Acerbis of Italy Enduro 2
Day One – 1. Pela Renet (Husqvarna) 1:05:24.62; 2. Antoine Meo (KTM) 1:05:31.98; 3. Alex Salvini (Honda) 1:06:35.85; 4. Jaume Betriu (Husqvarna) 1:08:09.09
Day Two – 1. Antoine Meo (KTM) 1:05:47.64; 2. Pela Renet (Husqvarna) 1:06:11.23; 3. Alex Salvini (Honda) 1:07:25.78; 4. Jaume Betriu (Husqvarna) 1:09:20.53
E2 Championship Standings – 1. Antoine Meo (KTM) 188pts; 2. Pela Renet (Husqvarna) 175pts; 3. Alex Salvini (Honda) 157pts; 4. Jaume Betriu (Husqvarna) 111pts
Maxxis FIM Enduro World Championship GP Acerbis of Italy Enduro 3
Day One – 1. Matthew Phillips (KTM) 1:06:37.71; 2. Matthias Bellino (Husqvarna) 1:07:21.10; 3. Aigar Leok (TM) 1:08:02.93… 9. Thomas Oldrati (Husqvarna) 1:09:55.14
Day Two – 1. Matthew Phillips (KTM) 1:07:34.24; 2. Matthias Bellino (Husqvarna) 1:08:09.14; 2. Antoine Basset (KTM) 1:08:34.29
E3 Championship Standings – 1. Mathias Bellino (Husqvarna) 177pts; 2. Matthew Phillips (KTM) 161pts; 3. Matti Seistola (Sherco) 132pts… 7. Thomas Oldrati (Husqvarna) 91pts
Maxxis FIM Enduro World Championship GP Acerbis of Italy Enduro Junior
Day One – 1. Jamie McCanney (Husqvarna) 1:08:13.02; 2. Steve Holcombe (Beta) 1:08:29.20; 3. Giacomo Redondi (Beta) 1:09:28.45
Day Two – 1. Steve Holcombe (Beta) 1:09:17.70; 2. Jamie McCanney (Husqvarna) 1:09:42.40; 3. Giacomo Redondi (Beta) 1:09:54.78
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