New Zealand’s Hamish Macdonald shines in Italy

Steve Holcombe tops EnduroGP

Brad Freeman tops the E1 class

Eero Remes claims E2 win

Holcombe wins both E3 races

Matteo Cavallo tops Junior class


Kiwi enduro racer Hamish Macdonald has become the first New Zealander to win an Enduro GP after the Sherco rider dominated the Enduro GP of Italy in Edolo over the weekend.

Macdonald won both Saturday and Sunday’s rounds of racing aboard a Sherco 125 SE-R in the hotly contested 125cc Youth Cup. Macdonald currently holds second place in the 125cc Youth Cup of the 2018 Enduro GP Championship.

EnduroGP Italy Hamish Macdonald
Hamish Macdonald

Akrapovic Super Test

Despite the rain, there were many Italian fans around for the Akrapovic Super Test and they were not disappointed with the spectacle offered by the 84 riders entered into the Grand Prix of Italy…

EnduroGP Italy ALEX SALVINI
Alex Salvini

It was an Italian who won the first special of the weekend… not Alex Salvini as many expected, but instead it was the provisional leader of the Junior category Matteo Cavallo. The Boano rider took full advantage of lighter rain and a less “cut up” test to fire up the timesheets with a 1’48”00, after a magnificent duel with Andrea Verona who set a 1’49’26. Behind Cavallo, his teammate Brad Freeman took the second fastest time with 1’49”03, in front of another Brit, Danny McCanney, 1’49”10.

Provisional Classification

  1. Alex SALVINI 31 points
  2. Steve HOLCOMBE 27
  3. Brad FREEMAN 27
  4. Christophe NAMBOTIN 23
  5. Danny MCCANNEY 23
  6. Thomas OLDRATI 21
  7. Loïc LARRIEU 17
  8. Mathias BELLINO 17
  9. Jamie MCCANNEY 13
  10. Matteo CAVALLO 10

Saturday

Rainy and chilly this morning, this first day of the Acerbis Grand Prix of Italy turned sunny from midday onwards, offering fans and riders alike a welcome change in the weather.

In EnduroGP Alex Salvini was forced to retire on the third lap, due to poor quality fuel… the Italian losing points and left watching as his closest competitor, Steve Holcombe took first place.

EnduroGP Italy steve holcombe
Steve Holcombe

The reigning World Champion barely put a wheel out of line, proving very comfortable in the mud, the factory Beta rider impressed everyone by winning with a gap of more than 1 minute 27 ahead of his first pursuer, Brad Freeman.

It’s now Holcombe who leads the standings, 12 points ahead of the unlucky Salvini. Jamie McCanney also had to give way to Eero Remes today, and his teammate in the Loïc Larrieu completed the top five.

Salvini’s DNF also shook up the standings in Enduro 2, with the victory of Eero Remes and the second place of Larrieu, the rider can now count only 13 points ahead of the Frenchman and 14 ahead of the Finn.

“Salvo’s” misfortune also benefited Thomas Oldrati, often well placed this year, taking his first podium with the 450CR-F! He was ahead of his compatriot and crowd favourite, Giacomo Redondi by only three seconds, while Christophe Charlier proved that he has recovered from his fall at the Trentino GP taking a convincing fifth place.

EnduroGP Italy THOMAS OLDRATI REDMOTO
Thomas Oldrati

In Enduro 1, Brad Freeman for much of the day was in a fight with his compatriot, Jamie McCanney, for the final victory. But the official Yamaha rider slowed as the day went on (perhaps due to the collarbone injury suffered in Pietramurata).

The accuracy of the reigning Junior World Champion, Freeman, allowed him to widen the gap and eventually win by 20 seconds. For his part, Antoine Basset took his seventh podium of 2018 ahead of Davide Guarneri, who returned after the nasty back injury he suffered in Portugal, and the Wild Card, Diego Nicoletti.

In the big E3 class, Steve Holcombe left no chance for his rivals. As proof, Christophe Nambotin  took second place with a 3 minutes 20 seconds gap! At ease on this type of terrain, Danny McCanney, for his part could not resist the fury of the Basque Anthony Geslin, also known to be very comfortable in mud. The official Gas Gas rider finished just off the podium after taking a penalty. Romain Dumontier and Nicolo Mori completed the top five.

EnduroGP Italy STEVE HOLCOMBE BETA
Steve Holcombe dominated E3

Matteo Cavallo won in Junior despite taking a very long time to close the gap on his rival Andrea Verona. He is now 29 points ahead of the factory TM rider but, as with Salvini, we know that everything can change overnight in Enduro.

In J1, it was Andrea Verona who won in front of Léo LE Quere – who took his first podiums of the season – and Kirian Mirabet. Matteo Cavallo topped J2 in front of Edmonsoon and Czech sensation Krystof Kouble.

Finally in Youth 125cc, the current leader Ruy Barbosa, had to concede defeat in conditions he’s not very comfortable in! The Chilean could not cope with the pace of New Zealander Hamish McDonald on the Sherco, who for the first time in his career won a day in the World Championship and became the first New Zealander to win a round of EnduroGP. Dan Mundell made put another CH Racing team Sherco on the podium, while the Belgian Matthew Van Oevelen was forced to retire with bike troubles on the first lap…


Sunday

Once again, the survivors of the first day where not spared the rain and Sunday morning they started again for four new laps of a very demanding course set up by the Moto Club Sebino. Despite the bad weather, the fans once again responded by turning out in droves and cheering their favourites such as Salvini, Redondi, and Oldrati.

EnduroGP Italy steve holcombe
Steve Holcombe

With encouragement from the fans, Alex Salvini, eager to catch up after yesterday’s mechanical difficulties, started the day in sixth position, and would push all the way to snatch an important third place overall. With this he was able to limit the damage done by new EnduroGP class leader, Steve Holcombe.

Steve Holcome

“I always knew that this Italian GP would be a really important one for me and my World Championship campaign, but I never imagined things would go as well as they did. Not just because of my winning result, but it’s been a great event – a true Italian enduro. It’s never great when one of your rivals has technical issues like Alex (Salvini) did, but that’s racing unfortunately. The wet weather was good for me in a way, I guess, but I was really up for this race. I’ve been working hard during the summer to be ready for the final races of the season and everything went really well here. I pushed hard from the start of day one, and that really paid off. I felt comfortable throughout the day and managed to open up a good lead, which I held till the end of the day. I always knew it would be harder to open up such a gap on the second day. I made a few mistakes on the first lap but felt strong so I pushed hard for two laps and managed to get the job done. It’s great to be leading the championship, now it’s all about continuing to work hard and staying focused on the upcoming races.”

EnduroGP Italy steve holcombe
Steve Holcombe tops the Italian EnduroGP

The factory Beta rider laid down the law once again and took his first double win of the season in the scratch category! He is now 16 points ahead of Salvini before the Grand Prix of France. Behind Holcombe, we find the smiling Brad Freeman.

Thomas Oldrati, Christophe Nambotin, and Giacomo Redondi, all fought for the last step of the podium all day long, could not overhaul Salvini and they had to settle for fourth, fifth and sixth places respectively.

EnduroGP Italy THOMAS OLDRATI
Thomas Oldrati

In Enduro 1, it was Brad Freeman who was uncatchable once again and he increased the gap on his rival and countryman, Jamie McCanney. Although he finished second, the rider was not able to keep pace with the 2018 Junior World Champion and finished almost three minutes behind him.

Freeman now has a 24 point lead after these two days of racing. Behind the British duo, it was factory Gas Gas rider, Antoine Basset who climbed onto the third step of the podium. He left no chance for Davide Guarneri who, for his part, struggled for a long time with Diego Nicoletti to secure the 14 points of fourth position.

EnduroGP Italy JAMIE MCCANNEY YAMAHA
Jamie McCanney
Brad Freeman

“I’m very happy with these two victories! I’ve increased the gap in the standings in E1, and I must admit that I was annoyed to finish so far from Steve yesterday… So I’m pretty happy to have stood up to him today.”

It was a 100 per cent Italian podium in the Enduro 2 class. Unhappy yesterday, Salvini raised the bar by winning the day even if he had to give everything he had to counter the pace of his compatriots Oldrati and Redondi. For a time, Oldrati obviously thought he could take his first victory but Salvini, as in Portugal, put in an electrifying last lap.

Alex Salvini

“After the inexplicable fuel problem yesterday, I was keen to catch up today. I quickly realised that I could not get Steve, but I’m still happy with this podium in EnduroGP, and I limited the damage. Nobody is immune to a mechanical problem and there are still four days (two rounds) left to race, so I remain confident in my title chances in EnduroGP… “

Less frenetic than the day before, Eero Remes had to make do with fourth place, while Loïc Larrieu, despite great difficulty all day with his chain coming off twice, closed out the top five. This allowed Salvini to widen the gap a little more and to arrive in France with a 20 point lead ahead of the Finn, and 21 over the Frenchman.

EnduroGP Italy EERO REMES TM
Eero Remes

The domination of Steve Holcombe has not let up in Enduro 3. The double World Champion flew with ease to his seventh win of the season in the category, which he took out with more than 2 minutes 40s seconds on his rival of the day, Christophe Nambotin.

Behind there was a duel between Danny McCanney and Anthony Geslin for the last step of the podium. And as the day before, it was the young Frenchman who won and signed off the first “double podium” of his career! Behind McCanney it was Nicolo Mori who snatched 5th position, to the detriment of Romain Dumontier…

EnduroGP Italy LOIC LARRIEU
Loic Larrieu

In Junior, there was an air of Holcombe about Matteo Cavallo… The Italian won by almost three minutes! It seems that only mechanical issues could prevent a dominant Cavallo from being crowned this season. Struggling early in the day (9th at the end of the first lap), Andrea Verona fought back to take another second position. Joe Wootton, after his unfortunutate DNF yesterday, finished in an excellent third place, ahead of Théo Espinasse and David Abgrall.

With this new victory in Junior, Cavallo also won J2 ahead of Joe Wootton and David Abgrall, while Verona won J1 in front of Théo Espinasse and Leo Le Quere.

Finally in Youth 125cc, the Kiwi sensation Hamish Macdonald continued to trouble Ruy Barbosa, who could only manage fifth. Flawless and confident in Edolo, Macdonald is now only 6 points behind the Chilean (in Youth Cup the three worst results of each rider are cancelled at the end of the season). After a 3rd place yesterday, Dan Mundell gritted his teeth for second, demoting Belgium’s Matthew van Oevelen to third, making a Sherco triple in the smallest class.

Next round is in Méthamis on September 22nd and 23rd for the Grand Prix of France.

Hamish Macdonald

“I am very proud to be the first New Zealander to win a round of EnduroGP, and in addition to that I’ve now done the double! I have not called my parents yet, but I’m sure I’ll wake them up and tell them! Everything is still to play for with the title and especially now that I have tasted victory…”

EnduroGP Standings

  1. Steve HOLCOMBE 170
  2. Alex SALVINI 154
  3. Brad FREEMAN 142
  4. Eero REMES 135
  5. Jamie MCCANNEY 115
  6. Loïc LARRIEU 103
  7. Christophe NAMBOTIN 84
  8. Daniel MCCANNEY 73
  9. Thomas OLDRATI 62
  10. Antoine BASSET 54

E1 Standings

  1. Brad FREEMAN 206
  2. Jamie MCCANNEY 182
  3. Antoine BASSET 162
  4. Eemil POHJOLA 109
  5. Manuel MONNI 85
  6. Davide GUARNERI 63
  7. Jiri LEINO 42
  8. Jussi ARVAJA 42
  9. Victor GUERRERO 40
  10. Alex SNOW 36
EnduroGP Italy LOIC LARRIEU YAMAHA
Loïc LARRIEU – E2

E2 Standings

  1. Alex SALVINI 192
  2. Eero REMES 172
  3. Loïc LARRIEU 171
  4. Thomas OLDRATI 132
  5. Deny PHILIPPAERTS 110
  6. Christophe CHARLIER 94
  7. Josh GOTTS 85
  8. Matthew PHILLIPS 83
  9. Giacomo REDONDI 46
  10. Mathias BELLINO 32

E3 Standings

  1. Steve HOLCOMBE 204
  2. Christophe NAMBOTIN 174
  3. Daniel MCCANNEY 166
  4. Anthony GESLIN 130
  5. Aleksi JUKOLA 64
  6. Romain DUMONTIER 60
  7. Toni ERIKSSON 36
  8. Henri HIMMANEN 28
  9. Jiri HADEK 27
  10. Nicolo MORI 22

EJ Standings

  1. Matteo CAVALLO 174
  2. Andrea VERONA 143
  3. Jack EDMONDSON 101
  4. Théophile ESPINASSE 94
  5. Davide SORECA 85
  6. Antoine MAGAIN 75
  7. Kirian MIRABET 71
  8. Joseph WOOTTON 70
  9. David ABGRALL 62
  10. Enric FRANCISCO 48
EnduroGP Italy ANDREA VERONA TM
Andrea Verona – EJ

Enduro Youth Standings

  1. Ruy BARBOSA 122
  2. Hamish MAC DONALD 108
  3. Matthew VAN OEVELEN 96
  4. Dan MUNDELL 90
  5. Roni KYTONEN 87
  6. Hugo SVARD 79
  7. Marcus ADIELSSON 54
  8. Robin FILHOL 48
  9. Gerard GOMEZ 31
  10. Killian LUNIER 28

ENDURO / RALLY

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