Mathias Bellino secures double EnduroGP win in Spain
With two rounds remaining Matt Phillips looks on course for the EnduroGP and E2 championship double
Wrapping up a near perfect weekend at the AMV GP of Euskadi in Gordexola, Mathias Bellino (Husqvarna) was again the rider to beat in the overall EnduroGP class as the Frenchman claimed victory on day two. Repeating the form that saw him top the EnduroGP results on day one, Mathias ended Sunday’s competition close to 30 seconds ahead of Frenchman Loic Larrieu (Yamaha) with Nathan Watson (KTM) rounding out the top three.
With cloudy skies soon replaced with full sun, day two saw riders face dry and largely dusty conditions. With seemingly only Bellinoable to pull time on his rivals, competition was close at the head of all classes, with the day proving to have a sting in the tail for Finn Eero Remes.
While Bellino distanced himself form overall runner-up Loic Larrieu by 26 seconds, just five seconds separated Loic from third placed Nathan Watson. With both riders riding well throughout the day the pair were made to work hard by Alex Salvini (Beta) who eventually claimed fourth overall and ended up less than two seconds behind Watons. Matt Phillips (Sherco) mixed good special test times with not so good times to finish fifth with Steve Holcombe bouncing back form his day one disappointments to claim sixth.
Fastest outright aboard his Husqvarna, Mathias Bellino also headed the Enduro 2 results to finish ahead of countryman Loic Larrieu. Just as he did on day one Alex Salvini (Beta) enjoyed another strong performance to round out the E2 class podium.
Matt Phillips ended the day in fourth, close to 45 seconds from the wining pace of Bellino. Retiring from day one Christophe Nambotin was a non-starter on day two.
For Italian Manuel Monni (TM) the second day in Gordexola didn’t end well. One of the stand out performers on day one when he secured a career first world championship victory, on day two he was handed a 30-second penalty that dropped him from the top spot of the podium to second. The rider to benefit most from Monni’s penalty was Steve Holcombe (Beta).
The fastest rider on the day’s opening two tests Holcombe battled hard but wasn’t quite able to match Monni’s pace. However, in claiming the win the Brit put the disappointment of his day one technical issue behind him to secure important championship points.
Johnny Aubert (Beta) rounded out the E3 podium with Luis Correia (Beta) and Jaume Betriu (KTM) fourth and fifth.
At the top of the Enduro 1 class Nathan Watson (KTM) repeated his day one form to claim victory, eventually finishing ahead of Husqvarna duo Danny McCanney and Pascal Rauchenecker. Challenging Watson for the win throughout the day, Finn Eero Remes’ saw his event end in the worst possible way when a technical issue forced him out of the race during the very last special test. Victor Guerrero (KTM) and Ivan Cervantes (KTM) placed fourth and fifth respectively.
In winning the Enduro Junior class Giacomo Redondi (Honda) put himself in a position to become the first world champion of 2016. Claiming his 12th day win of the series, Giacomo can now secure the junior title at his home round of the championship in Italy in two weeks. Just as he did on day one Giacomo finished ahead of Swede Albin Elowson (Husqvarna) and Spain’s Josep Garcia (Husqvarna).
Laia Sanz (KTM) moved herself to the head of the Women’s championship standings with a winning ride on day two. Just as she was on day one she comfortably outpaced her rivals, claiming a winning margin of more than one minute. Runner-up for the majority of the day, Jane Daniels (Husqvarna) started the final motocross test eight seconds ahead of Germany’s Maria Franke (KTM) but ended the day four seconds behind to finish third. With just two points now separating Sanz and Daniels each rider has everything to play for at the final round of the series in France.
Just as he did on day one Jack Edmondson (KTM) topped the 125cc Enduro Youth class on the second day’s competition in Gordexola, extending his championship advantage in the process. Enric Francisco (KTM) secured the runner-up result with Lee Sealey (Yamaha) rounding out the podium.
The Maxxis FIM EnduroGP World Championship next heads to Fabriano, Italy in two weeks time.
“It’s great to get back to riding well and to return to the top of the podium. After the races in Scandinavia I really worked hard to improve in several areas and I feel like I rode well this weekend. Even if it was dry it was still a tough race, but very different conditions compared to Finland and Sweden. I really felt good on my bike. I took some great championship points and generally had a really good weekend. Winning the super test and then each of the two days, it feels like it’s been a perfect weekend. Now I’m looking forward to the Italian GP, where I hope I can continue this form.”
“I don’t normally do so well on the super test so to win it here in Spain was a real surprise. It set me up well for the weekend ahead. I didn’t feel the best on the first lap on day one but as the day went on I felt better and better. I enjoyed the day. I pushed hard on the extreme and motocross tests but just wasn’t quick enough. The most important thing for me was that I closed the gap to Watson and Remes. Day two was good, I felt strong during the first lap and had a decent enough enduro test but after that I just felt drained. I didn’t have a great third lap but I gave everything I could and got second, which is great.”
“It’s been a mixed weekend for me. I started pretty well in the first enduro test on day one but then on the extreme test I lost more than one-minute because I got a trackside banner stuck in my rear wheel. I tried to push as hard as I could after that but the time was gone and it was always going to be very difficult to get it back. I finally ended up ninth, so it wasn’t the best. The second day was much better. I felt better and made some good times. Eventually, with the bad luck of Eero Remes, I managed to get on the podium, which was great.”
“The weekend was good for me, especially considering that I spent two weeks in bed before coming here trying to rest my injured knee. I felt good, and importantly my knee was good. But because I did nothing for two weeks I struggled with my fitness a little. With more time to train before the Italian GP I hope I can be stronger. But I’m pleased with two podium results.”
“It’s been another great weekend for me. I had to push hard on day one because the tests weren’t overly technical, which meant that everyone was fast. It was a pretty intense day. I had one crash, but generally the day went really well. I started pretty steadily like I always seem to do, but I won the E1 class so it ended up being a good day. I felt really tired at the start of day two and it was another tough day. I made a few mistakes and lost quite a lot of time. There was only two seconds ahead going into the final test but again I got the win. I got some really good championship points, so a great weekend for me.”
“It just wasn’t a good weekend for me. I didn’t have any big crashes, just a few small tip overs, but the times weren’t what I needed. There were a few times when I felt good but I just couldn’t get the times. I never really felt confident enough to push like I wanted. It was just a weird weekend really.”
“I made a really strong start to the GP with a good performance in the Super Test, but I made too many mistakes and didn’t have a great feeling with the tests. In places I felt really good, but in other places I just wasn’t fast enough. It was very strange, and difficult to understand. I pushed as hard as I could, but it’s frustrating because two weeks ago in Sweden I was fighting for the podium. I will work hard ahead of the Italian GP and hope things are better.”
“It was a difficult start to the GP for me. My bike wasn’t quite running perfectly, which made it difficult for me during the super test. I also made a mistake ahead of the race and decided to use a hard mousse inside my rear tyre, which made things really difficult during the first lap. The rain on the hard ground made things very slippery. But I ended the day fifth, only 11 seconds from third. I pushed hard during the second day and didn’t make any big mistakes. The day went much better and it was good to finish second in E2 and overall. After a difficult start to day one it’s great to finish the race with these very positive results. Now I’m hoping the weather will also be dry for the GP of Italy in two weeks.”
“I feel like it’s been one the most frustrating GPs of my career. After the Swedish GP I felt really good and prepared well for this race. I really wanted to get a good result here in Spain. In the first enduro test on day one I crashed twice and then also crashed again in the first extreme and motocross tests. I lost something like 40 seconds in that first lap. I pushed hard after that but it was impossible to take back the time I’d lost. Things were better in some tests on day two but it’s been a disappointing home GP for me.”
AMV Enduro GP of Euskadi in Gordexola – Day Two Results
AMV Enduro GP of Euskadi in Gordexola – Day One Report / Results
Husqvarna mounted Frenchman Mathias Bellino bounced back from his disappointing results at the recent GP of Sweden to claim a well-deserved win on day one of the GP AMV Seguros of Euskadi, Spain. Finishing an eventual 25 seconds ahead of his closest challenger at the end of another tough day of EnduroGP competition, the former Enduro 3 World Champion claimed his first win since topping the opening day of the series in Morocco.
With EnduroGP front runners Steve Holcombe (Beta) and Eero Remes (TM) both having tough days it was Alex Salvini who claimed the overall runner-up result aboard his Beta. Injecting some excitement into the top of the EnduroGP results Italian Manuel Monni (TM) delivered a year’s best performance to place third with Nathan Watson (KTM) once again delivering a strong result for fourth. EnduroGP championship leader Matt Phillips ended day one in Gordexola in fifth.
“It’s been a really good day for me,” commented Bellino, having struggled during the GP of Sweden. “I felt good during the day and really enjoyed the motocross and extreme tests. Luckily the rain didn’t make things too slippery so I was able to push hard. I hope day two will go well like day one has.”
In the Enduro 1 class KTM’s Nathan Watson continued his good form, topping the class by 38 seconds. Winning seven of the day’s special tests the British youngster took control of the class lead early in the day and never faltered. Claiming the runner-up spot for the first time this season Danny McCanney delivered a much-improved result, helped by a winning performance on the final enduro test on the last lap. Seemingly finding the form that took the Manxman to the Enduro Junior World Championship title in 2014, Danny placed 13 seconds ahead of Eero Remes (TM). Starting the day well with a winning time on the opening enduro test REMES then failed to perform at his best, yet still managed another podium result. Just 22 seconds behind Remes Spaniard Victor Guerrero (KTM) claimed his best result of the championship to date in fourth, with Rudy Moroni (KTM) and Mikael Persson (Yamaha) rounding out the top six.
As the event’s outright fastest rider Mathias Bellino also topped the Enduro 2 class, followed by Alex Salvini (Beta) and class leader Matt Phillips (Sherco) third. Bellino delivered the type of form not seen since the start of the season and remained both fast and consistent throughout the day. Also performing well Alex Salvini ended the day having won two special tests, battling with Matt Phillips for the runner-up position. With 14 seconds separating the two riders, Phillip’s result was hampered by an off-the-pace opening enduro test. One of the day’s stand out results came from Oriol Mena (Honda) who finished fourth, less then half a second behind third placed Matt Phillips. Strong from the start of the day, Mena kept Phillips honest right up until the end of the day’s closing motocross test. Yamaha’s Loic Larrieu and Davide Guarneri (Honda) rounded out the top six.
The Enduro 3 class was full of drama with Manuel Monni (TM) securing his first win of the season while championship leader Steve Holcombe (Beta) was struck with a technical issue that saw him plummet to the bottom of the E3 results. Adding to the drama Jeremy Joly(KTM) came close to claiming the class win on his return to the championship, only to have a huge crash on the final motocross test and eventually place fourth.
“This is a very special day for me,” admitted Monni. “For many year’s I’ve pushed hard to get a world championship win and today I finally achieved it. It was a great day, I really enjoyed the tests and everything went well. The motocross test was great for me.”
In topping the opening enduro test things looked good for Holcombe, but his fortunes soon changed. Clearly struggling on the first extreme and motocross tests, at the end of the opening lap his team was forced to make much needed repairs to his bike that resulted in a 12-minute time penalty. Finishing the day Steve placed as the last finisher in E3. For most of the day it was JOLY who lead the way in E3. Competing at the back of the class due to the GP AMV Seguros of Euskadi being his first EnduroGP outing of 2016, he made the most of his advantage during the opening lap and established a strong lead. Performing well throughout the day Jeremy undid all of his good work with a huge crash on the final motocross test. Losing around 30 seconds he dropped to fourth. Third in E3 went to Jaume Betriu(KTM) with Antoine Basset (KTM) and Lorenzo Santolino (Sherco) fifth and sixth.
Giacomo Redondi (Honda) continued his unbeaten run of form, comfortably winning the Enduro Junior class in Gordexola. Although it was Josep Garcia (Husqvarna) who topped the opening enduro test, Redondi quickly found his rhythm and went on to top each of the day’s remaining tests to finish more than one-minute ahead. Albin Elowson (Husqvarna) finished closest to Redondi to claim the runner-up position and place ahead of Garcia, who returned to competition after missing the GP of Sweden with a knee injury.
Laia Sanz returned to top form in Gordexola, enjoying a near perfect day. Winning all of the special tests in the Women’s class she finished more than one-and-a-half minutes ahead of runner-up Maria Franke (KTM). Championship leader Jane Daniels (Husqvarna) placed third, just 10 seconds behind Franke. Fourth placed Sanna Karkkainen was the only other Woman not to pick up any time penalties.
Jack Edmondson (KTM) enjoyed a commanding win in the 125cc Enduro Youth class. Building a sizeable advantage during the opening two laps the EY championship leader then eased his pace with two tests to go to ensure victory. The runner-up result went to Alexis Beaud (Husqvarna) with TM mounted Leo Le Quere third. Injuring his wrist during Friday night’s Super Test, Erik Appelqvist was a non-starter on day one.
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