EnduroGP Round 3 sees Steve Holcombe and Loic Larrieu take a win a-piece
Matthew Phillips suffers technical issues, Josep Garcia dominates the Enduro 2 class with a double win
Steve Holcombe and Loic Larrieu each took their first win of the season at the GP of Italy, on days one and two respectively, as the Enduro 2 class saw Josep Garcia take a dominant win across the round, moving into the championship lead. Holcombe finished the weekend as EnduroGP class winner by two points from Larrieu.
Matthew Phillips was hindered by technical problems on day one and took home 14-points over the weekend, leaving him third overall following Round 3.
“DNF and 7th for the GP of Italy. Tough weekend for the team. A big thanks to the team and fans for making it a great weekend despite the circumstances. Ready for the challenge to come back!”
Claiming his first EnduroGP class win of 2017 to move to the top of the provisional EnduroGP World Championship standings, Steve Holcombe was the big winner on day one of the GP of Italy.
Battling with Beta team-mate Alex Salvini throughout the day, the British rider eventually placed 11 seconds ahead following a costly mistake by Salvini during the day’s final enduro test.
Rounding out the EnduroGP podium was Yamaha rider Loic Larrieu. EnduroGP championship leader coming into the Italian event, Matt Phillips failed to finish the day due to a technical issue. In the Enduro 2 category KTM mounted Josep Garcia came out on top of a close fought battle with Yamaha’s Jamie McCanney to claim victory.
Agonisingly close to topping the EnduroGP class at the GP of Spain, Steve Holcombe battled for the top step of the podium throughout day one in Italy before finally edging ahead of his Beta team-mate Alex Salvini.
“This first win of 2017 feels great, but I feel for Matt Phillips, I never like to see any rival run into technical troubles. As far as my day went it was pretty much all good. Although the enduro test was really long it was hard to get any kind of advantage anywhere, it was really close at the top of the EnduroGP class. The only mistake I made was on the final enduro test, but I still topped the test, so it’s been a very positive day for me and for Beta.”
With Salvini placing as runner-up, despite his crash in the final enduro test, the Beta duo were joined on the podium by Yamaha’s Loic Larrieu. Crashing on the opening extreme test the Frenchman pushed hard to take back the lost time, placing just 20 seconds behind winner Holcombe.
“I felt like I rode well today, but my mistake early in the day cost me. It’s great to be on the podium but without my mistake maybe I could have been fighting for the win.”
Showing impressive speed, Giacomo Redondi (Honda) joined Alex Salvini as the second Italian rider inside the top four in the EnduroGP class.
Just under four seconds behind Larrieu, Redondi finished comfortably ahead of Christophe Nambotin (KTM) in fifth with privateer Yamaha rider Cristobal Guerrero sixth. Christophe Charlier (Husqvarna), Jaume Batriu (KTM), Nathan Watson (KTM) and Denny Philippaerts (Beta) rounded out the top 10.
Removing the mistakes that prevented him challenging for the top step of the EnduroGP podium on day one, Loic Larrieu proved to be the rider to beat on day two in Spoleto. Winning six of the day’s 10 special tests he earned both his and Yamaha’s first winning result in the premier EnduroGP class.
“It was a very good day for me today, the big difference was that I didn’t make any big mistakes like I did on day one. The first lap ended well and I really pushed hard during the second lap, which worked very well. The last lap I was able to be a little more cautious so not to make any mistakes. It feels great to win.”
Runner-up, but unable to match the pace of Larrieu, was day one winner Steve Holcombe. Fast and consistent throughout the day, Steve found himself battling with Christophe Nambotin (KTM) during the first half of the race, until Nambo’ lost time in the extreme test following a mistake. Nevertheless, Holcombe’s runner-up result saw him extend his lead in the EnduroGP championship standings to 21 points.
“Larrieu was riding extremely well today, I wasn’t comfortable pushing as hard as he was so I focused on securing the second place result. Getting more championship points was more important that taking big risks today.”
Making a costly mistake on the second extreme test Christophe Nambotin rounded out the EnduroGP podium in third, proving like he did on Spain that he has the speed to.
“It’s been a very good GP – a really long and demanding, and typically Italian, race. Generally, I can say that I am happy with my results. Of course I wanted to be fighting for the podium on both days but day two was better for me – apart from one mistake in the extreme test on the second lap. I didn’t have the speed to fight for the win, but I was having a good battle for second before my mistake.”
Alex Salvini (Beta) placed as the highest finishing home rider in fourth, just four seconds adrift of Nambotin. Fifth went to Nathan Watson who made a notable improvement over his day one result of ninth – a result made all the more impressive considering he was forced to stay off a bike since the GP of Spain due to his wrist injury.
Privateer Yamaha rider Cristobal Guerrero delivered one of the day’s most impressive result to earn a well-deserved sixth.
Back in action after being forced out on day one with a technical issue Matt Phillips (Sherco) placed seventh with Jaume Betriu (KTM), Giacomo Redondi (Honda) and Deny Philippaerts (Beta) rounding out the top 10.
EnduroGP Day 2 Top Five
Loic Larrieu (Yamaha) 58:19.65
Steve Holcombe (Beta) 58:52.66
Christophe Nambotin (KTM) 59:06.95
Alex Salvini (Beta) 59:11.00
Nathan Watson (KTM) 59:17.35
…7. Matthew Phillips
EnduroGP Championship Standings (After Round 3)
Steve Holcombe (Beta) – 127pts
Loic Larrieu (Yamaha) – 106
Matthew Phillips (Sherco) – 102
Christophe Nambotin (KTM) – 91
Antti Hellsten (Husqvarna) – 84
Enduro 2 Day 1
Although only topping two of the day’s special tests in the Enduro 2 class, Josep Garcia (KTM) claimed his second day win of the series despite feeling less than 100% when arriving in Italy.
“I really didn’t think I would be winning here this weekend, I got sick after the last Spanish championship race and had to delay my flight to Italy to try and recover. I wasn’t able to prepare for the race like I wanted, but thankfully I didn’t feel too bad during the race. It was a very close battle with Jamie McCanney, but I’m really pleased to have won and also to have taken a lot of points in the E2 championship.”
Just over five seconds behind Garcia, Jamie McCanney (Yamaha) secured the runner-up spot in Enduro 2 having topped three of the day’s special tests. Showing just how close things were at the top of the E2 class, Pascal Rauchenecker (Husqvarna) rounded out the podium in third – less than 10 seconds behind winner Garcia.
Husqvarna mounted Italian Thomas Oldrati claimed his best result of the season so far in fourth while Manuel Monni (TM) also secured a strong result on day one of his home GP with fifth.
Due to illness, Eero Remes (TM) struggled throughout day one in Italy. Although managing to maintain his lead in the E2 championship standings he could only manage an eighth place result.
Josep Garcia (KTM) and Jamie McCanney (Yamaha) battled it out for the Enduro 2 class win on day two. Garcia was the first to establish a lead, which he threw away when he crashed on his second run threw the extreme test. For the remainder of the day Josep and Jamie pushed one another to the limit with the Spaniard eventually wining by just under seven seconds.
“I’m very, very pleased with my results here in Italy. I was sick before the GP, so I had to delay my arrival at the race. That wasn’t the perfect way to prepare for the event so I really didn’t know what to expect going into day one. But things went great. To win again after my first victory at the GP of Spain was more than I expected. Then I made a really positive start to day two and managed to open up a small advantage at the top of the results. But I made a mistake in the second extreme test and lost 15 seconds. That made things very close between myself and Jamie McCanney. Thankfully, I managed to get the win again and complete a perfect GP. Things have gone much, much better than I expected so far this year. I always saw this year as a learning season – my first year out of the junior class – but to be winning is amazing. With many GPs ahead of us I know things can change but I want to stay focused on training hard and continue to do all I can to fight for the Enduro 2 title.”
Despite finishing as runner-up Jamie McCanney was rightfully pleased with his runner-up performance on the second day.
“Josep and myself have been pushing each other all day today. I don’t think either of us could have gone any faster. Together with my second place result on day one I’m more than happy with how I’ve performed this weekend.”
Rounding out the podium, and matching his third place result from day two, Pascal Rauchenecker finished comfortably ahead of Spain’s Jonathan Barragan (Gas Gas) who in turn secured his best result of the series to date.
“I’m very pleased with finishing on the podium on both days, but as a racer I want to be fighting for the win. This weekend my speed has been really good so that is very positive. If I can remove a few small mistakes I know I could have been fighting for the win. Day one went well from the start. I put in some good test time, got a good rhythm going, and was really pleased to finish third. I tried to improve on third on day two and really wanted to fight for the win. I took the Enduro 2 class lead at one point but lost my rhythm a little at one point. It’s been a very positive GP for me with good points. Now my focus is to try and finish one step higher on the podium.”
Fifth went to Danny McCanney (Husqvarna) with Eero Remes (TM) managing to improve on his day one result to sixth. Lorenzo Santolino (Sherco), Thomas Oldrati (Husqvarna), Rudy Moroni (KTM) and Manuel Monni (TM) rounded out the top 10.
Enduro 2 Day 2 Top Five
Josep Garcia (KTM) 58:53.34
Jamie McCanney (Yamaha) 59:00.05
Pascal Rauchenecker (Husqvarna) 59:25.75
Jonathan Barragan (Gas Gas) 59:52.40
Danny McCanney (Husqvarna) 59:54.03
Enduro 2 Championship Standings (After Round 3)
Josep Garcia (KTM) – 129
Eero Remes (TM) – 123
Jamie McCanney (Yamaha) – 119
Pascal Rauchenecker (Husqvarna) – 107
Daniel McCanney (Husqvarna) – 80
Enduro Junior Day 1
In the Enduro Junior class Davide Soreca (Honda) enjoyed the largest winning margin of all classes, finishing comfortably ahead of Swede Albin Elowson (Husqvarna) after a consistent day’s racing. Some 13 seconds adrift in third was Mikael Persson (Yamaha).
Andrea Verona (TM) was the winner in the 125cc Enduro Youth class, finishing ahead of Ruy Barbosa (Husqvarna) and Alex Iscala (KTM).
Enduro Junior Day 2
Competing in his first Italian GP Brad Freeman (Beta) claimed victory in the Enduro Junior class, just as he did on the second day of the GP of Spain.
Finishing 30 seconds ahead of team-mate Matteo Cavallo (Beta), Freeman topped six of the day’s special tests to climb to fourth in the Enduro Junior championship standings despite missing the season opening event in Finland.
Finishing third and just three seconds behind countryman Cavallo, Davide Soreca (Honda) remains comfortably out front in the Enduro Junior standings – 37 points ahead of second placed rider Mikael Persson (Yamaha) who failed for finish day two.
In the 125cc Youth Cup Andrea Verona (TM) claimed victory ahead of Leo Le Quere (TM) with Brit Dan Mundell (KTM) placing third.
The Maxxis FIM EnduroGP World Championship now moves on to the GP of Hungary on July 23-25.
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