Matt Phillips back into EnduroGP Championship lead
Steve Holcombe (Beta) put the finishing touches to a perfect weekend at round five of the Enduro World Championship by topping the overall EnduroGP results on day two of the GP Maxxis of Sweden in Enkoping. After finishing comfortably ahead at the end of day one, the young Briton was made to work hard for his victory on day two, eventually placing just three seconds ahead of Matt Phillips (Sherco) with Johnny AUBERT (Beta) a strong third.
EnduroGP 2016 – Round Five -Enkoping, Sweden – Day Two Report
Thankfully the rain that poured throughout the opening day’s racing in Enkoping was replaced by largely clear skies and dry conditions. But while conditions overhead were vastly improved the damage done to the track on day one resulted in another hugely physical day’s racing.
Topping the overall results Holcombe was the rider to beat on four of the opening five special tests on day two but then crashed twice in the third and last enduro test to make things extremely tight at the top of the results. With both Phillips and Aubert giving their all in the hope of preventing Steve from securing the win, as it turned out less than five seconds separated the three riders after more than one-hour of racing.
“The conditions were drier but every bit as difficult as they were on the first day with the ruts, tree roots, rocks and stones,” explained Steve. “Everything was going great right up until the last enduro test. I pushed just a little bit too hard and paid for it. I crashed once, picked myself up and then crashed again. So two fairly big crashes in one test. It all came down to the final motocross test then and I went for it. I did enough to get the win, and some very important championship points.”
Behind Holcombe it was Matt Phillips who claimed the runner-up position, just ahead of Johnny Aubert. With little to separate the duo Nathan Watson got the close to the EnduroGP podium on his 250f, finishing 21 seconds behind Aubert.
Claiming his first class win of the series and in doing so stopping Eero Remes’ run of victories at the top of the Enduro 1 class, Nathan Watson (KTM) delivered a hugely impressive performance on day two.
“Day two was hard work,” explained Nathan. “But despite a pretty big crash in the log section in the enduro test I’m so pleased to get my first Enduro 1 class win. Winning has certainly made the tough weekend worthwhile.”
With Remes the E1 class runner-up it was Pascal Rauchenecker who eventually placed third, close to two-minutes behind the Finn.
Danny McCanney held third for much of the early part of the day but clipped a rock on his Husqvarna in the extreme test and bent his rear sprocket. Losing a huge amount of time he nevertheless managed to finish the day.
Ivan Cervantes (KTM) finished less than one-second behind Rauchenecker with Swede Mikael Persson (Yamaha) fifth.
Finishing comfortably ahead in the Enduro 2 class Matt Phillips distanced himself from all other Enduro 2 class riders, claiming his seventh class win of the season to date.
Behind Phillips there was little to separate the next four riders, with Taylor Robert (KTM) eventually claiming the runner-up result ahead of Cristobal Guerrero (Yamaha).
Less than three seconds behind Robert, Cristobal Guerrero (Yamaha) settled for his best result of the year so far in third.
Mathias Bellino (Husqvarna) saw his day end with a crash on the final motocross test, dropping him down the results to fourth.
“It was a long, tiring day today,” admitted Phillips at the finish. “I have to say it was another great team effort from the CH Racing Sherco guys. It was also really cool to race to the end with Steve for the overall, with just a few seconds between us going into the final test. He got me for the overall but it was important to get another E2 class win.”
As the event’s outright fastest rider Steve Holcombe finished at the top of the E3 class results, but less than four seconds ahead of team-mate Johnny Aubert. With both riders on top of their game throughout the day, Holcombe’s mistake ensured everything was to play for during the closing special stages.
Despite Aubert topping the final two tests Holcombe picked up the win.
Rounding out the E3 podium was Manuel Monni (TM) who placed close to half a minute ahead of Antoine Basset (KTM) with Jonathan Barragan (Gas Gas) and Joakim Ljunggren (KTM) rounded out the top six.
Giacomo Redondi(Honda) took another step towards claiming the 2016 Enduro Junior title on day two in Sweden claiming his 10th class win of the series and placing more than one-minute ahead of second placed Albin Elowson (Husqvarna).
In the Women’s class Laia Sanz (KTM) claimed her first win of the championship, finding her form around the challenging special tests. Finishing 30 seconds clear of her closest challenger it was Germany’s Maria Franke (KTM) who finished second with day one winner Jane Daniels (Husqvarna) third.
Jack Edmondson enjoyed a sizeable winning margin in the 125cc Enduro Youth class, winning each of the day’s nine special tests. With it the young Brit moved himself to the top of the championship standings following the DNF of Jean-Baptiste Nicolot (Yamaha). Runner-up on day two went to Sweden’s Joakim Grelsson (KTM) with Lee Sealey (Yamaha) third.
EnduroGP – 1. Steve Holcombe (Beta) 1:04:28.02; 2. Matthew Phillips (Sherco) 1:04:31.11; 3. Johnny Aubert (Beta) 1:04:32.59; 4. Nathan Watson (KTM) 1:04:54.35; 5. Eero Remes (TM) 1:05:10.97
Enduro 1 – 1. Nathan Watson (KTM) 1:04:54.35; 2. Eero Remes (TM) 1:05:10.97; 3. Pascal Rauchenecker (Husqvarna) 1:07:01.22; 4. Ivan Cervantes (KTM) 1:07:02.15; 5. Mikael Persson (Yamaha) 1:08:00.47
Enduro 2 – 1. Matthew Phillips (Sherco) 1:04:31.11; 2. Taylor Robert (KTM) 1:05:40.35; 3. Cristobal Guerrero (Yamaha) 1:05:43.58; 4. Mathias Bellino (Husqvarna) 1:05:48.31
“I feel like I’ve ridden steadily all weekend. I just wish I’d have been a little faster on the enduro tests. With the tight time control directly before the enduro test you had to push really hard to stay on time, then on the enduro test I found it difficult to push even harder. But I finished the day on the podium so that was really good. Day two was going well, I had some decent enough tests on the first lap but I hit a rock on the final extreme test and bent my sprocket. Thankfully, we managed to fix it but it took me nearly 12 minutes to finish a three-and-a-half minute test. It’s a little disappointing but in general it was a good weekend for me.”
“It’s been a tough race, a really tough race. But I’m pleased with my results. I started steadily on the first day, managed not to make any big mistakes, and was pleased to finish fourth. I didn’t want to take any risks with the conditions being as difficult as they were. I tried to push harder on the second day, and things went really well. I was about 10 seconds behind Danny, which I was pleased with, but then he had a problem and Ivan Cervantes got ahead of me. I gave everything during the final two special tests and managed to finish on the podium again in third. I’m really happy about that.”
“Fourth and fifth place results isn’t what I hoped for from this GP but it’s been really tough for me. The conditions on the first day were really, really hard and I wasn’t able to find a good rhythm. Things were better on the second day, but I crashed on the final special test and dropped to fifth. With some time to prepare for the GP of Spain I hope the next race will be better for me.”
“Day one was really hard for me. I was sick after the race in Finland and that together with the bad weather and difficult conditions made it really hard for me. I crashed a lot, like many riders, but I got through the day and was pleased to finish on the podium in third. The second day was really hard for me. I crashed in the very first special test, on a small uphill. I got stuck behind a big rock, crashed trying to re-join the track and lost a lot of time. After that I lost some confidence with the conditions. I didn’t have any more crashes but I didn’t feel so good. Things improved during the day but when you lose so much time so early in a day it’s really hard to come back strong.”
“It’s been a difficult race with the weather, the tight time controls and incredibly difficult special tests. Day one was about survival and not making any big mistakes. Finishing fifth in Enduro 2 and 10th overall was really good for me on day one. I certainly feel like I worked hard for those results on the first day. I started the second day really well but I made a few mistakes. I pushed hard all the day and managed to finish fourth, which was good. I was just four seconds from finishing in second, so I am really pleased with that. The next race in my home GP, so I’m looking forward to that. I feel great with my bike so I hope I can challenge for the podium at the next GP.”
“The weather was horrendous on the first day, so before the day started I knew it was going to be a really difficult race. And it was. I felt like I rode pretty well but I crashed in the second Motocross test and got stuck underneath my bike and lost 35 seconds. I was really annoyed with that because I ended the day just 15 seconds behind Remes. Day two was hard work but despite a pretty big crash in the log section in the Enduro test I managed to get my first Enduro 1 class win. Winning has certainly made the tough weekend worthwhile.”
“It’s amazing how different the two days were here in Sweden. Like a lot of riders I struggled on day one – I had a lot of crashes because I wanted to better and better. I was looking for a fifth place result but I crashed in the last two special tests. I lost all the work I did during the day. I started the second day with a different suspension set-up, and enjoyed the conditions more. I was really focused on getting a podium result but I just missed it, by only one second. I’m happy with my performance on day two.”
“It seems like each race this season is harder than the one before it, which is unbelievable. Finland was incredibly tough yet this event in Sweden was even harder – the conditions were really, really brutal in places. The first day was almost like just surviving – the rocks, tree roots and mud were so challenging. I feel like every rider hit the ground a lot this weekend. I got off to a better start on day two but annoyingly still made some pretty big mistakes. But all-in-all I’m pretty happy to have come away with two runner-up results in Enduro 2.”
“Things are getting better and better. Last week in Finland was really hard for me. I really struggled to find a good feeling simply because I’d not ridden much due to injury. We did some testing after the race and found some good suspension settings and I got a much better feeling. This weekend things were better for me. Although it was a tough weekend I feel like I’m moving in the right direction with things. I had one crash on the first day but apart from that things went well. I had three crashes on the second day, so I’m disappointed about that. They weren’t big crashes but I lost time. Physically I still have to get stronger. But it will get better.”
“I’m happy because I feel like I rode ok this weekend. Both the Swedish and Finnish races were really difficult for me because I wasn’t able to do so much training before them. It was hard to find my rhythm back on an Enduro bike again. I made too many mistakes and just didn’t feel good. But on the second day I felt better. The terrain was better because it was drier and I was able to control the race the way I wanted to. It wasn’t a perfect day but it was a good one.”
Championship Standings (After Round Five)
EnduroGP – 1. Matthew Phillips (Sherco) 159pts; 2. Eero Remes (TM) 151pts; 3. Steve Holcombe (Beta) 138pts; 4. Nathan Watson (KTM) 114pts; 5. Mathias Bellino (Husqvarna) 105pts
Enduro 1 – 1. Eero Remes (TM) 197pts; 2. Nathan Watson (KTM) 167pts; 3. Daniel McCanney (Husqvarna) 111pts; 4. Ivan Cervantes (KTM) 103pts; 5. Gianluca Martini (Kawasaki) 97pts
Enduro 2 – 1. Matthew Phillips (Sherco) 189pts; 2. Taylor Robert (KTM) 146pts; 3. Mathias Bellino (Husqvarna) 144pts 4. Loic Larrieu (Yamaha) 137pts; 5. Alex Salvini (Beta) 120pts
Round six of the 2016 EnduroGP series takes places in Gordexola, Spain on July 2-3.
EnduroGP 2016 – Round Five -Enkoping, Sweden – Day One Report
Steve Holcombe (Beta) claimed his second overall EnduroGP winning result of the 2016 season on Saturday. Putting his disappointing day two result at last weekend’s GP of Finland well and truly behind him he finished one-minute ahead of overall runner-up Matt PHILLIPS(Sherco). Third in EnduroGP went to Eero REMES (TM).
Winning each of the three enduro tests was key to Steve’s overall podium topping result. While just about every other rider made mistakes on the long and technical forest based enduro test at some point during the day, Steve managed to remain mistake free to claim his significant margin of victory.
“It was a difficult day, but I managed to stay upright and I think that was the key to my result,” explained Holcombe. “I knew the enduro test was going to be where the day would be won or lost so I pushed hard there and things went well. The conditions were tough, but I enjoyed the day.”
While Holcombe ended the day with a one-minute advantage over Matt Phillips, the Tasmanian had his work cut out staying ahead of Eero Remes. Yet despite hitting a rock and breaking his rear brake pedal and right footpeg that’s what Phillips managed to do.
As the event’s outright fastest rider Steve Holcombe comfortably topped the Enduro 3 class. Finishing one-and-a-half minutes ahead of Antoine Basset.
Matt Phillips endured a tough day, yet came out on top in the Enduro 2 class aboard his Sherco. Clipping a rock in the extreme test the former Enduro 3 World Champion broke both his rear brake lever and right footpeg and was forced to ride the second motocross special test before fixing his bike. Despite the problem PHILLIPS was a class above in E2 and close to one-minute faster than runner-up Taylor ROBERT (KTM). “That was a tough one,” explained PHILLIPS as he exited the parc ferme. “I crashed in the first enduro test and lost around 20 second, tried to pull it back in the second enduro test and made another mistake and then lost my brake lever and foot peg in the second extreme test. To get the E2 win after all that is great.”
Just as in the Enduro 3 class things were extremely close between the second and third placed riders in Enduro 2. Despite being beaten by Loic Larrieu (Yamaha) on the final motocross test Taylor did enough to claim the runner-up result finishing three-and-a-half seconds up on the Frenchman. Mathias Bellino (Husqvarna) placed fourth with Cristobal Guerrero (Yamaha) fifth and Christophe Nambotin (KTM) sixth.
Jane Daniels (Husqvarna) extended her position at the top of the Women’s championship standings by claiming victory on day one in Enkoping. Making it three wins from three days of competition, Jane placed ahead of Germany’s Maria Franke (KTM) with Laia Sanz (KTM) third
EnduroGP – 1. Steve Holcombe (Beta) 1:11:12.12; 2. Matthew Phillips (Sherco) 1:12:12.98; 3. Eero Remes (TM) 1:12:19.11; 4. Nathan Watson (KTM) 1:12:34.08; 5. Antoine Basset (KTM) 1:12:44.99
Enduro 1 – 1. Eero Remes (TM) 1:12:19.11; 2. Nathan Watson (KTM) 1:12:34.08; 3. Daniel McCanney (Husqvarna) 1:15:04.67; 4. Pascal Rauchenecker (Husqvarna) 1:15:50.20; 5. Gianluca Martini (Kawasaki) 1:16:16.08… 11. Jonathan Manzi (Husqvarna) 1:19:25.89… 13. Kalle Svensson (Husqvarna) 1:21:15.69
Enduro 2 – 1. Matthew Phillips (Sherco) 1:12:12.98; 2. Taylor Robert (KTM) 1:13:06.89; 3. Loic Larrieu (Yamaha) 1:13:10.47; 4. Mathias Bellino (Husqvarna) 1:13:42.53; 5. Cristobal Guerrero (Yamaha) 1:14:02.87… 12. Robert Forsell (Husqvarna) 1:40:27.7
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