Claiming his second EnduroGP class win of the 2016 season, Tasmanian Matt Phillips (Sherco) moved ahead of Frenchman Mathias Bellino on the event’s final and closing Extreme Test to claim victory on day one of the GP of Portugal in Gouveia.
With just over three seconds separating the two riders, third in EnduroGP went to Enduro 3 class winner Steve Holcombe (Beta).
Day one in Gouveia proved to be a brutal one. With weeks of rain falling on the course, the soft Portuguese terrain soon became extremely cut up with parts of both the transfer sections and the special tests all but impassable. With the day reduced to two laps from three, all three special tests were altered in order to keep the event running.
Continuing their battle that started at the championship opener in Morocco, Bellino and Phillips ended the day comfortably ahead. But for much of the race senior class rookie Steve Holcombe looked poised to challenge for the win.
Entering the final test of the day Bellino, Phillips and Holcombe were all well placed to win, but mistakes by Holcombe stopped him finishing higher than third.
“It all came down to the last extreme test and I went for it,” explained Phillips after the race. “It was pretty much a battle ground so I took some completely different lines and gave it everything, and it worked. It’s great to get on top of the podium in these conditions. It was a tough day for everyone. Day two’s going to be interesting.”
Despite competing on the unfamiliar terrain for the first time ever, Taylor Robert (KTM) placed just seven seconds off the EnduroGP podium having again put in a solid day-long performance. Frenchman Antoine Basset placed fifth with Alex Salvini sixth.
Placing in seventh in the overall EnduroGP results Finn Eero Remes (TM) claimed another Enduro 1 class win, placing 34 seconds ahead of his closest rival. Despite making a slow start to the day, Eero went on to win the second, third and fourth special tests to establish himself at the head of the class. Using his experience to ensure a trouble free ride to the finish, he secured a deserved win.
British duo of Jamie McCanney (Yamaha) and Nathan Watson (KTM) placed second and third respectively. For Jamie the day ended having made next to no mistakes. For Watson it was a very different story. Putting in a strong opening lap the EnduroGP rookie parted company with his bike on more than one occasion to end his day 18 seconds behind Jamie. Kawasaki mounted Italian Gianluca Martini again performed well to place fourth with Rudy Moroni (KTM) and Danny McCanney (Husqvarna) rounding out the top six in Enduro 1.
In finishing first and second at the top of the EnduroGP classification, Matt Phillips and Mathias Bellino also took the top two spots in Enduro 2. Taylor Robert earned himself a career first podium result in third, finishing 15 seconds ahead of fourth placed Alex Salvini (Beta) who crashed on the closing Extreme Test.
In the Enduro 3 class Steve Holcombe was clearly enjoying himself in the muddy conditions, winning five special tests on his way to the class win.
Giacomo Redondi (Honda) comfortably topped the Enduro Junior class results placing more than one-minute ahead of Portuguese rider Diogo Venture (Gas Gas).
Results – 2016 FIM Enduro World Championship, Round 2 – Day 1
1. Matthew Phillips (Sherco) 33:13.37; 2. Mathias Bellino (Husqvarna) 33:16.62; 3. Steve Holcombe (Beta) 33:30.45; 4. Taylor Robert (KTM) 33:37.79; 5. Antoine Basset (KTM) 33:39.37… 18. Danny McCanney (Husqvarna) 35:59.10; 19. Thomas Oldrati (Husqvarna) 36:05.02… 33. Ramon Quer Molgo (Husqvarna) 39:11.57
1. Eero Remes (TM) 33:59.64; 2. Jamie McCanney (Yamaha) 34:34.36; 3. Nathan Watson (KTM) 34:53.10; 4. Gianluca Martini (Kawasaki) 35:27.96; 5. Rudy Moroni (KTM) 35:58.72; 6. Danny McCanney (Husqvarna) 35:59.10
1. Matthew Phillips (Sherco) 33:13.37; 2. Mathias Bellino (Husqvarna) 33:16.62; 3. Taylor Robert (KTM) 33:37.79; 4. Alex Salvini (Beta) 33:52.89; 5. Cristobal Guerrero (Yamaha) 34:19.02
Continuing to impress in his first season of senior class competition, Steve Holcombe (Beta) claimed his first overall EnduroGP win of 2016 on day two of the GP Polisport of Portugal. Showing that he had the speed to win on day one, Steve remained mistake free during the second day of competition to place just under seven seconds ahead of Finn Eero Remes (TM) with enduro rookie Nathan Watson (KTM) an impressive third.
“I’m made up with this result. I got close to winning on day one so to finally get the job done and a first EnduroGP win to my name is great,” enthused Holcombe. “I enjoyed the day. The tests were pretty tough in places but the organisers did a great job in working on the track over night. I just kept pushing on all tests and everything went well.”
Showing that as well as topping the Enduro 1 class podium he’s also more than a match for the bigger bike riders in the EnduroGP class, 250f TM mounted Finn Eero Remes pushed Holcombe hard though out the day. Also 250f mounted, Nathan Watson enjoyed a good day. Despite his lack of enduro experience he again showed impressive speed to place just 15 seconds behind winner Holcombe. Behind Watson US rider Taylor Robert (KTM) excelled in conditions that were anything but familiar. Unable to repeat his day one winning result Matt Phillips (Sherco) placed in sixth with Mathias Bellino bringing his Husqvarna home in ninth following a day full of mistakes.
As a result of their strong overall performances Eero Remes and Nathan Watson placed first and second in the Enduro 1 class with Jamie McCanney (Yamaha) third.
With just under nine seconds separating Remes and Watson, McCanney battled his way to a podium result more than one minute behind Watson. Jamie’s brother Danny McCanney (Husqvarna) enjoyed his best day of the championship so far finishing fourth while Pascal Rauchenecker (Husqvarna) and Gianluca Martini rounded out the top six.
Just four days into his first ever season of EnduroGP competition Taylor Robert enjoyed his first winning result, impressively topping the Enduro 2 class aboard his KTM. Riding well throughout the day he placed ahead of Matt Phillips with Alex Salvini (Beta) joining them on the podium.
“All-in-all it’s been a really good day for me,” explained Taylor. “I lost some time to Phillips early on but seemed to come good in the middle of the day. I had a good crash in the final extreme test as I was pushing hard to try and get onto the overall EnduroGP podium, but luckily I didn’t lose too much time and managed to get the win in Enduro 2.”
Loic Larrieu (Yamaha) finished closer to the Enduro 2 podium than on any previous day of the series so far, finishing just over five seconds behind third placed Salvini.
As the overall EnduroGP class winner Steve Holcbome also topped the Enduro 3 class in dominant fashion. Close to one-minute ahead Italian Manuel Monni (TM) Steve never placed lower than third in class during the day’s nine special tests. Third went to Antoine Basset (KTM) with local favourite Luis Correia (Beta) fourth, Jaume Betriu (KTM) fifth and Thomas Oldrati (Husqvarna) sixth.
In the Enduro Junior class Italian Giacomo Redondi (Honda) claimed a sizeable win, placing more than one minute ahead of Diogo Venture (Gas Gas). Winning the day’s first special test Josep Garcia (Husqvarna) was an early retirement as the Spaniard was forced to withdraw with a technical problem. Third went to Swede Albin Elowson (Husqvarna).
Erik Appelqvist (Yamaha) was the day two winner in the 125cc Enduro Youth class, placing 25 seconds ahead of British rider Lee Sealey (Yamaha).
The EnduroGP championship now heads to Greece on May 20-22.
Results – 2016 FIM Enduro World Championship, Round 2 – Day 2
1. Steve Holcombe (Beta) 43:58.12; 2. Eero Remes (TM) 44:04.63; 3. Nathan Watson (KTM) 44:13.29; 4. Taylor Robert (KTM) 44:23.29; 5. Matthew Phillips (Sherco) 44:31.56… 9. Mathias Bellino (Husqvarna) 44:58.31… 13. Danny McCanney (Husqvarna) 45:26.38; 14. Pascal Rauchenecker (Husqvarna) 45:27.18… 34. Ramon Quer Molgo (Husqvarna) 48:14.87… Jonathan Manzi (Husqvarna) 49:32.40
1. Eero Remes (TM) 44:04.63; 2. Nathan Watson (KTM) 44:13.29; 3. Jamie McCanney (Yamaha) 45:16.99; 4. Danny McCanney (Husqvarna) 45:26.38; 5. Pascal Rauchenecker (Husqvarna) 45:27.18… 17. Jonathan Manzi (Husqvarna) 49:32.40
1. Taylor Robert (KTM) 44:23.29; 2. Matthew Phillips (Sherco) 44:31.56; 3. Alex Salvini (Beta) 44:40.55; 4. Loic Larrieu (Yamaha) 44:45.89; 5. Mathias Bellino (Husqvarna) 44:58.31
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