Tom Vialle extends KTM contract for four more years
Sammy Halbert injured at Charlotte Half-Mile
Jonny Walker reinstated into Hixpania 2021 results
A4DE returns in 2022 at Victoria’s Dandenong Motorcycle Club in Erica
Haiden Deegan joins Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing
Speedway of Nations Final line-ups revealed
Whale tops AFT final but Daniels Singles champ – Mees claims SuperTwins title
Ben Kelly wins 2021 Buckwheat 100 GNCC
Herlings tops 2021 MXGP of France
Jed Beaton fourth as Tom Vialle tops MX2
2021 EnduroGP of Portugal Wrap
2021 Racing Calendars
2021 Provisional MXGP
2021 Yamaha AORC presented by MXStore
2021 Australian Penrite ProMX
2021 Speedway GP
2021 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship
2021 FIM Cross-Country Rallies
2021 AMA Supercross
2021 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross
2021 Progressive American Flat Track
2021 New Zealand Motocross
2021 New Zealand Cross-Country
2021 New Zealand Enduro
2021 Australian Supercross (provisional)
Rallye du Maroc Update Stages 1-3
Round four of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship – 2021 the Rallye du Maroc – opened with a short 10-kilometre Prologue to determine the start order for Saturday’s stage one. With riders opting for strategy rather than all-out speed, easing off to ensure a mid-pack result so as not to open the first full stage.
At 441 kilometres, the shortest of the event, stage one included a timed special of 288 kilometres, raced against the clock. Opening with a fast section of tracks, the route challenged competitors with 30 kilometres of dunes before returning to the sandy and stony pistes on the way to the finish.
Stage 1 proved a great one for the Monster Energy Honda Team, with Joan Barreda claiming the early lead, then Ricky Brabec and Pablo Quintanilla completing the podium in a Honda 1-2-3. Top KTM rider was Matthias Walkner in fourth, followed by Australia’s Daniel Sanders (GASGAS) in fifth.
Toby Price was second fastest in the prologue and soon took the lead, but a sandstorm causing Price and many other riders to lose time, with almost no visibility Price lost around 40 minutes to finish the stage 25th.
At a total of 609 kilometres, stage two was the longest of the race and included a challenging timed special of 334 kilometres. KTM’s Matthias Walkner hit his rhythm in the sand dunes to claim the stage win from Jose Cornejo and Pablo Quintanilla while Daniel Sanders moved up to fourth.
Toby Price had to start the day from 29th, he was proving dast but had to deal with the dust of all the slower riders in front of him. TP brought his KTM 450 Rally home in 13th, moving up through the standings.
Stage three in contrast featured the longest timed special of the event, the 604-kilometre stage proving a real challenge for all competitors. With the section raced against the clock and covering over 341 kilometres, the test was made up of fast, stony tracks to the northeast of the bivouac town of Zagora, it delivered incredibly tricky navigation that caught out many of those riding near the front.
American Ricky Brabec was the leading protagonist of the day with some excellent navigation and a pace that no other rider was able to match. Brabec not only won the stage but also snatched the overall Rally du Maroc lead. Hero Motorsports’ Sebastian Buhler finished second for the stage, Yamaha’s Andrew Short third.
Finishing just over one minute ahead of team-mate Walkner who opened the stage, Toby Price showed strong pace throughout the day’s special. Falling foul of the same note that caught out many riders, Toby eventually got back on track relatively quickly to complete the stage 11th fastest.
“Day three has gone well, we’re not trying to do anything too crazy, just get some good race time on the bike. Yeah, we all had a little issue there later on after the refueling, the drawing on the road book just didn’t seem quite right and it caught a lot of the guys out. But on a positive note, we’re making good progress on the new bike, getting really comfortable on it, and definitely going in the right direction. The plan is to stay healthy and keep doing what we’re doing.”
A couple of minor navigational errors by Daniel Sanders on stage three resulted in a lowly – by his standards – 15th place finish. Nevertheless, after beginning the rally with two impressive stage times, the Australian only loses one spot in the provisional rally classification with an overall podium result still very much on the cards.
“It’s been a really tough day today. Early on, about 30 kilometres in, I made a mistake with my navigation, so I then had to ride at my limit for the rest of the stage to make up for lost time. I think I lost around nine minutes there which was quite frustrating. After the refueling station at 220 kilometres I was then into a pretty difficult navigation area and the lines from the guys in front were all over the place. There were some tricky notes in the roadbook, and it just caught me out. It was a learning day for sure today and in a way, it’s good to experience something like this to make me a better rider in the future and I definitely learned from it. Two days to go now and I’m looking forward to getting back up the sharp end tomorrow.”
Sanders now holds sixth overall, while Price sits 16th overall, with two stages left to compete.
2021 Rallye du Maroc Standings after Stage 3
VAN BEVEREN Adrien
CORNEJO José Ignacio
Tom Vialle extends KTM contract for four more years
Tom Vialle has extended his contract with KTM for a further four years and will defend his MX2 title on the 250 SX-F in 2022, before stepping up to the premiere class in 2023.
20-year-old Vialle claimed the 2020 MX2 title and has already won four Grands Prix in the current campaign. The Frenchman is rapidly climbing the standings after suffering a broken right hand earlier in the season and has risen from 11th to 4th position with seven rounds still to go.
After entering the Red Bull KTM squad as an MX2 rookie in 2019, Vialle has made incredible progress and mixed his blossoming technique, fitness, racecraft and intelligence with outstanding results. He has now committed his future to the factory effort to bring his association with KTM up to more than half a decade.
As well as aiming for another MX2 crown in 2022 – where Vialle will also help develop the latest generation of the KTM 250 SX-F – #28 is also lined-up to make his debut with the KTM 450 SX-F in MXGP in 2023 where he will be given time and scope to learn the intricacies of the division in a deal that will stretch to the end of 2025.
“I’m so happy to continue with KTM. I want to give special thanks to Robert and Pit because they understand me and my wish to make another year in MX2 because I had some bad luck this season. I want another title. I feel so good with the team – Dirk, Joel, Valentina, Harry, the whole crew – and I wanted to carry on with them. It was an easy decision. KTM is my first team! They were the first people who believed in me, so I am very grateful.”
Sammy Halbert injured at Charlotte Half-Mile
Sammy Halbert was injured at the weekend’s Charlotte Half-Mile, ending up in hospital, receiving stitches to his eye. He was caught up in Bauman’s crash and with nowhere to go ended up being launched, ending his race.
He did however make it to the Awards Banquet regardless, appearing in good spirits.
“Not ded, plastic surgeon sewed up my eyelid and just like that I’m all ready for Halloween. Not one to miss a party, [I] broke out of the ER last night and still made the American Flat Track awards banquet with my babe.”
Jonny Walker reinstated into Hixpania results
British rider Jonny Walker has been reinstated into the results of round seven of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship – the 24MX Hixpania Hard Enduro, being allocated fifth overall in the race as a result.
During round seven of the series in Spain, Walker was excluded from the results of The Lost Way race due to a course violation. Walker later received incorrect information from the FIM Jury Secretary regarding his right to appeal the decision.
Winfried Kerschhaggl – FIM Hard Enduro World Championship Series Manager
“While there is no doubt that that the decision of the Clerk of the Course to disqualify Jonny was correct, based on the fact that he left the track to return to the paddock and repair his motorcycle, which was not permitted, the decision has to be reversed due to a procedural error. Simply, Jonny was given the wrong information by the FIM Jury Secretary regarding what he needed to do about protesting against his disqualification. Therefore, his fifth place result is reinstated.”
2021 FIM Hard Enduro Championship Standings (Revised)
A4DE returns in 2022 at Victoria’s Dandenong Motorcycle Club in Erica
The Australian Four Day Enduro (A4DE) is back on the calendar for 2022 where it will be hosted by Victoria’s Dandenong Motorcycle Club at Erica. Scheduled to be held May 4-7, 2022 the Championship returns to Victoria – where it was last hosted in Mansfield back in 2016.
Conceived in 1978, the A4DE is renowned nationally for its fierce competition, as the riders tackle all elements of the off-road terrain over three days of traditional enduro battling against the clock and finishing off on day four with a spectacular final Motocross.
The Erica location will provide the perfect landscape for the highly anticipated event as it did back in 1987 when it was first hosted in the town. The event will include excellent spectator vantage points, plus easy access from the township.
Frank Gogol – Dandenong Motorcycle Club
“Many older Enduro enthusiasts will have fond memories of the 1987 A4DE at Erica with the Park Ferme on the edge of the State Forest that contains epic enduro trails in typical Victorian heavily treed gum forests. With the event scheduled for May, the trail conditions should be prime. With the assistance of DELWP (Forests Vic) and Parks Victoria the trails have been approved for use and are vast within the surrounding State Forests. Long trail loops planned with the Park Ferme at the hub of the expansive trail network. This event will create a significant economic benefit to the surrounding towns, bringing hundreds of competitors, officials and supporters to the region during the four-day event.”
Haiden Deegan joins Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing
Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing will team up with Haiden Deegan in a multi-year deal to join the team’s amateur motocross program. At the young age of 15, Deegan is already one of the most popular riders in the sport with his on-track success and engaging personality.
“I’m excited to ride with champions and learn from them at Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing. I feel good on the bike and have a lot of work to do, and I am looking forward to it!”
The son of motocross icon Brian Deegan, racing is in his blood and he shares his father’s work ethic and passion for the sport. He has won championships at every level that he has raced, including winning four in a single day. In addition to his impressive number of titles, at 10 years old, Deegan became the youngest rider in the world to land a backflip on a motorcycle.
Jeremy Coker – Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing 450 Team Manager
“We’re really happy to have a rider of Haiden’s caliber join our team. He has a great presence on and off the track and is a proven championship contender. We look forward to the upcoming season and look to bring home some more number-one plates!”
Speedway of Nations Final line-ups revealed
The starting line-ups for the 2021 Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations Final in Manchester on Saturday and Sunday have been confirmed. Hosts Great Britain, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, Latvia and France battle it out over two days in the ultimate test of team riding, staged at Britain’s iconic National Speedway Stadium.
Each country must select two senior riders and one under-21 from their five-man squad as they compete to become FIM world champions. The Brits track their two FIM Speedway Grand Prix stars, triple world champion Tai Woffinden and 2020 European champion Robert Lambert.
British Under-21 champion Tom Brennan is named as their under-21 rider on his SGB Premiership home track in Manchester, but his Belle Vue team mate Dan Bewley is overlooked by joint team managers Simon Stead and Oliver Allen, with Woffinden and Lambert ending SGP 2021 in strong form.
Last year’s Monster Energy SON runners-up Poland draft in Maciej Janowski for his first appearance in the competition since 2019. He replaces Dominik Kubera, who partnered double world champion Bartosz Zmarzlik to victory at Semi-Final 1 in Daugavpils, Latvia on September 17.
New FIM Speedway Under-21 world champion Jakub Miskowiak teams up with Zmarzlik and Janowski to complete a stellar side in team manager Rafal Dobrucki’s first Final as Polish boss.
Semi-Final 2 winners Australia are led by 2017 world champion Jason Doyle and former Belle Vue star Max Fricke, who returns to his former British home track. Keynan Rew is their under-21 star.
Denmark list an unchanged side from Semi-Final 1, with double European champion Mikkel Michelsen, former world No.2 Leon Madsen and FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship runner-up Mads Hansen bidding for the country’s first world team title since 2014.
The Swedes are without their SGP icon Fredrik Lindgren, who has ended his season early due to an ongoing battle with long Covid and a hand injury.
His place is taken by double Swedish champion Jacob Thorssell, who partners stand-in skipper Pontus Aspgren, while promising young gun Philip Hellstrom-Bangs is their under-21.
Making historic first-ever final appearances, both Latvia and France name unchanged sides from Semi-Final 2.
Former European champion Andzejs Lebedevs leads Latvia into action, alongside 2020 FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship bronze medallist Olegs Mihailovs. European Under-19 champion Francis Gusts is named as their under-21.
The French side features David Bellego and Dimitri Berge, who teamed up to help Swedish side Masarna win the Bauhaus Elitserien in 2020. FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship rider Steven Goret is their junior man.
The seven sides battle it out over 21 heats on Saturday, followed by another 21 heats on Sunday as each of the countries face each other once on each day.
The highest scoring nation over two days earns automatic qualification for the Grand Final, with the second and third-placed sides meeting in the Grand Final Qualifier. The winning team in that race faces the top-scoring country in the Grand Final for the Monster Energy SON world title.
Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations Final Line-Ups
Monster Energy FIM SON Final Day 1 (Saturday) Draw
A – GREAT BRITAIN
B – LATVIA
C – POLAND
D – AUSTRALIA
E – SWEDEN
F – FRANCE
G – DENMARK
Monster Energy FIM SON Final Day 2 (Sunday) Draw
A – LATVIA
B – SWEDEN
C – AUSTRALIA
D – FRANCE
E – GREAT BRITAIN
F – POLAND
G – DENMARK
Whale tops AFT final but Daniels Singles Champ
Mees claims SuperTwins title
Images by Scott Hunter/Kristen Lassen
An epic American Flat Track season finale was all but guaranteed with the SuperTwins title on the line. Even still, the Charlotte Half-Mile at the Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., proved more dramatic than anyone could have foreseen.
After the checkered flag dropped and a season’s worth of points were stacked up, the legendary Jared Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) completed his two-year climb to reclaim the Grand National Championship.
Following 15-and-one-half rounds, a titanic Grand National Championship fight took a fateful turn in the blink of an eye. Two-time defending SuperTwins king Briar Bauman (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) shook free from an early dogfight with Mees to stretch out several bike lengths at the front. The two title contenders would spend the next several minutes in a game of cat-and-mouse, with Bauman managing a gap of just under a second despite Mees’ desperate attempt to eat away at the advantage.
If Bauman held that lead to the checkered flag, he was set to become just the sixth rider in history to win three consecutive Grand National Championships. But that dream became a nightmare when he got loose in the wet section and his machine stood up underneath him.
After nearly pulling off a miraculous save, Bauman ultimately clipped a hay bale and was sent over the bars. His bike then skittered directly into the path of podium contender Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Coolbeth-Nila Racing Indian FTR750), who had nowhere to go and was sent high into the air in a dramatic crash.
After some time, Bauman was able to return to his feet while Halbert was unfortunately unable to continue the race and was transported to be evaluated for injury.
Further proving his worthiness as a champion, Bauman mounted his back-up machine and lined up at the back of the grid for the restart with five minutes plus two laps remaining to decide the title. Unfortunately, his battered body was unable to match his bravery, and after a short stint, Bauman was forced to retire into the pits.
While the title was effectively decided at that point, the race was not. JD Beach (No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) stepped forward to provide Mees a fierce fight for the win. As the time ticked away, the two were slowly reeled in by Davis Fisher (No. 67 BMC Racing/Dick Wall 60 Indian FTR750) and Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750), who turned it into a four-way scrap as the clock hit 0:00.
With two to go, Beach took his shot, which was skillfully brushed away by Mees. Fisher, however, took advantage of their tussle, slipping under Beach and then lining up Mees in the year’s final corner. He got underneath the champion-to-be and powered past him as they sprinted to the checkered flag.
The paddock erupted as Fisher hit the stripe 0.114 seconds ahead of Mees to claim his maiden premier class victory. Beach held on for third, followed by Vanderkooi and Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750) to complete the top five.
“Oh man, it was a fight. All season long was a grind, just to stay fit and keep working on the bikes all week long. It feels so good. I even had thoughts to not even come to Charlotte this year. We loaded up the van and left the trailer at home and made the trip. This morning my sponsor said he was glad we came and asked me if I was glad too. I said, ‘I don’t know — I’ll tell you tonight!’ It feels so good. I’ve got 41 hours to think about it on the way home.”
Future Hall of Famer Mees now boasts the ’12, ‘14, ‘15, ’17, ’18, and ‘21 Grand National Championships, along with the 2009 and 2011 GNC1 Twins Championships and the 2012 GNC1 Singles Championship.
“I hand it to Briar. He’s definitely one of the toughest competitors — if not the toughest competitor — I’ve ever dealt with. The famous saying is you win ‘em any way you can. I don’t know… the hype isn’t there at this very second… but to win these things you have to cross the finish line. Man, he made me step up my game these past few years — there’s no doubt about that. He’s one tough competitor. We had a little ‘bro-out’ moment back there, and I told him, ‘Hey, you’re gonna heal up and the battle will resume next year.’”
The AFT Singles finale played out about as tensely as possible considering the situation at hand, but in the end, Dallas Daniels (No. 1 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) did exactly what he needed to in order to become the class’ first-ever back-to-back champion.
With a 20-point gap separating Daniels from second-ranked Max Whale (No. 18 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE), the only way Daniels wouldn’t hold onto the #1 plate was if Whale won and Daniels finished lower than 13th.
While that seemed like an unlikely prospect in theory, it felt a whole lot more realistic once the rubber actually hit the dirt. As the deciding race took shape, Whale put himself up front in an intense battle with Kody Kopp (No. 143 Smartop/Jones Honda/Latus Motors CRF450R) while Daniels cautiously circulated down in 12th on a tricky course that repeatedly demonstrated the capacity to catch riders out without notice.
Adding to the tension, the race was red-flagged late following a Morgen Mischler (No. 13 Mission Roof Systems KTM 450 SX-F) crash. That forced Daniels to navigate the close quarters of a restart, but he actually made up ground in the process, getting away well to slot into a safe sixth.
Whale did all he could, slashing past Kopp to claim his class-leading fifth win of the year. Just behind, Trent Lowe (No. 48 WBR/Suzuki Motor of America RM-Z450) pulled off a spectacular late strike to ace Honda teammates Cole Zabala (No. 51 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R) and Trevor Brunner (No. 21 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R) in order to pick up his first podium of ‘21 in his very final attempt.
And then came Daniels, who rolled across the line in sixth to successfully complete his championship defense.
“This championship has been tough – a lot of ups and downs this season. I can’t thank my team enough. It’s been a hard season and these guys stuck behind me. To make history like this is awesome. It was tough tonight because the track was treacherous. It just means the world to me.”
“It’s really satisfying. You’re only as good as your last race. You know, it’s awesome to get the win, and I’m super pumped. The team and I worked so hard today. But I’m also bummed because I really wanted to win the championship this year. But that’s how it goes really – it’s motorcycle racing. Congrats to the whole Estenson team and Dallas – he rode great all year.”
AFT Production Twins
The late-season transition of Jesse Janisch (No. 96 Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XG750R) from the couch to AFT Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines podium contention ended on the top step of the box.
Once regarded primarily as a 450cc TT ace, Janisch proved he more than belonged on a twin after being drafted to sub for the injured Dalton Gauthier (No. 79 D&D Cycles/Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XG750R). With finishes of second, third, third, and fourth to his name in limited duty, Janisch put the cherry on top with a narrow victory in the finale over Ben Lowe (No. 25 Vance & Hines/Mission Roof Systems Harley-Davidson XG750R).
“It’s insane, right? I didn’t expect it. Honestly, I don’t think anyone really expected it. It’s such an honor to get a chance with such a prestigious team. Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson, they’ve got the XG750R working amazingly. Like I’ve said before, I think it’s the best bike in the class. And to just get the opportunity is unreal.”
With the class crown already decided in favor of Cory Texter (No. 65 G&G Racing/Yamaha Racing MT-07), Chad Cose (No. 49 Vance & Hines/Ranger/Roof Systems Harley-Davidson XG750R) and Dan Bromley (No. 62 Memphis Shades/Vinson Construction Yamaha MT-07) came into Charlotte set to decide the championship runner-up between them.
Cose was the race’s early leader and Bromley joined Cose, Janisch, and Lowe in a mid-race tilt for first place. Cose ultimately faded to seventh while Bromley rounded out the podium, but the differential still wasn’t quite enough for Bromley to catch Cose for runner-up honors.
Johnny Lewis (No. 10 Moto Anatomy X Powered by Royal Enfield Twins FT) hustled the Royal Enfield to fourth. Meanwhile, class champ Texter added one final top five to a championship-winning season that tallied up seven wins, 11 podiums, and 13 top-fives in 16 races.
The Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series concluded its penultimate round of racing on Sunday, at the AMSOIL Buckwheat 100 in Newburg, West Virginia. Sunday’s weather brought warm, sunny and mostly dry conditions to the track, however, some muddy remnants remained throughout the course for the motorcycle racers.
When the green flag waved at the start of the race it was the AmPro Yamaha of Steward Baylor grabbing the early lead and an extra $250 thanks to the All Balls Racing XC1 Holeshot Award. Baylor would continue to hold the early lead as the pack made their way through timing and scoring on lap one.
Coastal GASGAS Factory Racing’s Ricky Russell would have a great start, coming through two seconds behind Baylor on the opening lap. Russell would soon make the pass for the lead and hold that position for the second lap of the race. Unfortunately, Russell would suffer a crash on lap three and fall back to seventh.
On lap three, FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Ben Kelley had made the move to the lead from his fifth place start to the day. Kelley had continued to push for the first two laps, coming by just one second behind whoever was in front of him at the time. Kelley was determined to get into that lead position and push for the overall win, and that is just what he would do. Kelley held the lead from lap three until the checkered flag flew.
Baylor found himself in second for the remainder of the day, but he would continue to push his hardest to make up time on Kelley and battle for that lead position. Baylor now sits just four points behind Kelley in the National Championship standings that will now go down to Ironman to see who will be crowned the 2021 GNCC National Champion.
Rockstar Energy Factory Husqvarna Racing’s Thad Duvall battled for the entirety of the three-hour race to return to the podium with a third overall on the day. Duvall would find himself in sixth early in the race, but he would put his head down and continue to move forward for the next six laps of racing.
Duvall would make the pass for third on the final lap, only to find himself on the ground just before the finish line. Duvall would quickly re-fire his bike only to find it not running properly, as he jumped off the bike, he began to push the motorcycle across the finish line.
West Virginia native, AmPro Yamaha’s Layne Michael would have a good race as he came through to finish fourth overall on the day. Michael found himself making passes throughout the first half of the race, eventually moving into third on the fourth lap of the race. Michael would continue to hold onto third place for three laps, however, he would be unable to hold off Duvall on the last lap.
After battling for a top three finishing position for the first half of the race, Magna1 Motorsports/Husqvarna’s Jordan Ashburn would come through to cross the finish line fifth overall on the day. Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki Team Green’s Josh Strang worked his way up from a ninth place start to the day to finish sixth overall.
The start of the race looked to be a bit of a rollercoaster ride for Coastal GASGAS Factory Racing’s Jonathan Girroir. However, as Girroir charged on from his fourth place position on lap two he would soon find himself making the pass for the lead with just two laps to go.
Girroir only needed to finish inside the top 5 of the XC2 competitors to clinch the 2021 XC2 GNCC National Championship, but he has the mindset of a winner and he wanted to win the race and the championship. Girroir would do just that as he crossed the finish line 1.3 seconds ahead of second, clinching the XC2 250 Pro National Championship.
Rocketing towards the first turn was Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki Team Green’s Lyndon Snodgrass as he edged out Factory Beta’s Thorn Devlin for the $100 Hot Cams XC2 Holeshot Award. Snodgrass would continue to battle with the top three for the duration of the race, making the pass for second on the last lap and setting his sights on first. Ultimately, Snodgrass would run out of time to battle for the lead, but he would only be one second from Girroir.
Rockstar Energy Factory Husqvarna Racing’s Craig DeLong had a mid-pack start in fifth place, but he would put his head down and push, and would soon find himself battling for the lead position on lap four. DeLong would try his hardest to hold off Girroir, but with two laps remaining in the race would lose the lead to Girroir and begin to feel the pressure from Snodgrass. DeLong continued to fight until the checkered flag, but he would cross the line third on the day and a second place in XC2 for the season.
Making the switch to the 125cc motorcycle and FMF XC3 class was MX Tech Suspension/Tely Energy/Moose Racing’s Hunter Neuwirth, who would come through to earn his first win. Neuwirth would have to make up time after coming through in third on the first lap. As the race continued Neuwirth would make the pass for the lead on the fourth lap of racing, and he would hold that lead until the checkered flag flew.
Canyon Motorsports/FXR Gear/JDP Suspension Jason Lipscomb would hold onto second place after being unable to hold off Neuwirth in the lead position earlier in the race. Lipscomb would try to battle back, but he would cross the finish line eight seconds behind the leader. Enduro Engineering/Husqvarna/FXR’s Jake Froman rounded out the FMF XC3 top three finishers after running a consistent race.
Making his way to the center of the Top Amateur podium once again this season was Team Green Kawasaki’s Joseph Cunningham who finished 19th overall and first in the 250 A class. Cunningham currently sits first in the championship hunt. Triston Landrum came through to take second in 250 A and on the top amateur podium with his 20th overall finishing position. Will Sievenpiper made the move to the 250 A class from Open A to finish third in class and 21st overall earning him the final spot on the top amateur podium at round 12.
In the 10 a.m. race it was the Enduro Engineering/MEPMX/Fly Racing/XC Gear’s Mackenzie Tricker grabbing another $100 Trail Jesters Holeshot Award and lead the pack of women pro rider through the woods for the opening lap. However, it was the BABS Racing Yamaha/Fly Racing/Maxxis/Pro Circuit’s Becca Sheets making the pass on Tricker during the second lap.
Sheets would continue to push as AmPro Yamaha’s Rachael Archer made her way into second. Sheets and Archer who are battling for the WXC National Championship, would swap the lead position throughout the remainder of the race.
As the white flag flew it was Archer out front with Sheets ready to strike in second, and as the pair made their way through the woods Sheets would emerge in the lead position with a six second lead over Archer as they came through the finish line. Sheets holds a 7-point lead over Archer as they head into the final race of the 2021 season.
Coming through to earn another podium finish was Team Green Kawasaki’s Korie Steede. As the race got underway Steede found herself in second, but she would be unable to hold off Sheets and Archer. Steede would battle back between the third and fourth place positions, ultimately pushing for the podium position as the checkered flag flew.
A familiar face would take the overall win in the 10 a.m. race from the Sportsman A class, as former XC1 Pro racer Andrew DeLong made an appearance at this year’s Buckwheat 100 GNCC. DeLong would be joined by Zach Nolan, former XC2 racer, as he came through second overall and in the Sportsman A class.
In the 8 a.m. youth race it was the No. 550 KTM of Cole Forbes coming through to earn his 10th youth overall and YXC1 Super Mini Sr. class win of the season. Earning second in the youth race was South Carolina’s Nick DeFeo. DeFeo currently sits second in the points standings, and he continues to battle for the lead as the series heads into the finale in two weeks. Thor Powell came through to earn the third youth overall finishing position and third in the YXC1 class.
In the YXC2 Super Mini Jr. class it was Peyton Feather taking the class win with Van Gosselin and Ryan Amancio earning second and third in the class. Ryder Sigety took the win in the 85cc (12-13) class win, while Jiggs Fustini earned the 85cc (7-11) class win. Nash Peerson came through to earn the 65cc (10-11) class win with Hunter Hawkinberry coming through first in the 65cc (7-9) class. Korah Jones took the Girls (8-15) class win over Ellie Winland and Ruby Fustini. Brady Isner finished first in the youth trail rider class.
This wekeend’s AMSOIL Moto Hero was awarded to Charleston, West Virginia’s Sam Stamper. Sam races in the Warrior Bike class during the 10 a.m. race on Sunday’s and is currently ranked fourth with six top three finishes in the class this season. Sam serves in the United States Army, and he has served two combat tours in Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia.
Sam continues to serve his country, and has been for 10 years now. He has continued to help serve through the pandemic and aid in the COVID-19 relief. Sam will receive a set of GBC Kanati Truck Tires, an AMSOIL Shopping Spree, 100% Goggles, ARMA Blitz Kit and an American Flag courtesy of Columbia Flag & Sign Co.
This year’s Ironman GNCC will follow an amended race schedule, along with revised race times. One significant change is due to the high number of entries in the Bike Amateur Race, there will now be two separate Bike Amateur races on Sunday morning.
Another important change to the weekend’s race schedule is that the Youth Bike race will be held on Saturday afternoon at 4 pm to further accommodate the two separate bike amateur races.
Lacapelle Marival held Round 12 of the MXGP Championship over the weekend, as riders duked it out in France for top honours, with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing topping both classes.
Jeffrey Herlings took the narrowest of wins from Romain Febvre, with the two tied on points, while Tom Vialle swept the two MX2 races, although Renaux retains a healthy lead.
MXGP Race 1
In the opening MXGP race, it was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings who was fastest out of the gate and went on to claim the Fox Holeshot. Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Seewer was second ahead of Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Romain Febvre and Glenn Coldenhoff of Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing.
Team HRC’s Tim Gajser struggled in the start and started the race in around 10th position.
While Herlings led, Febvre was quick to get around Seewer, as he set his sights on the Bullet. Meanwhile a little further behind there was Jeremy Van Horebeek of SDM Corse Racing Team who was having a great ride in fifth place, ahead of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli.
Gajser was pushing his way up the field as he found himself in eighth place behind Arnaud Tonus of Hostettler Yamaha Racing. The Slovenian then made a small mistake which cost him two positions, which meant he had to start all over again.
Meanwhile, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado was keen to salvage some important championship points as he fought inside the top 20. It was clear that the Spaniard was struggling after the crash in Germany as he only managed to come back to 16th.
Herlings continued to lead, but it was clear that Febvre was not going to let him have the win. The Frenchman set the fastest lap of the race as he worked away at the gap and before he knew it, he was on the rear wheel of the factory KTM rider.
On lap eight we saw Febvre take over the lead, as Herlings dropped to second. Meanwhile Seewer was still third followed by Standing Construct GasGas Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass.
Gajser then managed to pass Gebben Van Venrooy Yamaha Racing’s Calvin Vlaanderen to move into eighth and then worked hard to get around Tonus too. Also making moves was Cairoli who finally found an opportunity to get past Van Horebeek, as Gajser also caught onto the Beta rider.
Unfortunately, Van Horebeek did not finish the race as he crashed while under pressure from Gajser.
In the final few laps, we saw Herlings step it up, as he caught onto the back wheel of Febvre, and it was game on for the win! Febvre did a great job to manage under immense pressure from the Dutchman and his efforts paid off as he was victorious in the first race. Herlings was second as Seewer held on to third.
MXGP Race 2
In race two, it was Cairoli who took the Fox Holeshot from Herlings, Febvre, Gajser and Seewer.
Cairoli’s time in the lead did not last long as the Italian made a mistake which allowed both Herlings and Febvre through. Herlings then controlled the race by 2.835 seconds but that gap came down quite quickly as Febvre was on a charge.
Gajser then caught onto the back of Cairoli. The Slovenian needed to make the pass, not only for the championship points, but also for a spot on the podium.
Herlings then has a small bobble which played into the hands of Febvre who wasted no time to get out in front. The Frenchman was the new race leader on lap eight and immediately stretched out his lead to 3.614 seconds.
Gajser continued to search for a way past Cairoli, as Herlings was looking to make up for lost ground. And he did just that. As Herlings closed in, Febvre started to make little errors which proved to be costly in the end as Herlings was able to pass the Frenchman on lap 16.
The factory Kawasaki rider tried to respond but it was not enough, as Herlings took the win with Febvre second and Gajser third. And that’s exactly how the riders finished on the podium, with Herlings taking a 95th career Grand Prix victory.
Herlings is now back in the driving seat of the MXGP championship standings as he leads the way with 460 points, while Febvre moves to second and is just six points behind, while Gajser drops to third on 450 points.
Jeffrey Herlings – P1
“Actually today was pretty good. I raced here three years ago so I definitely knew Romain was going to be good today and that I had to step up my game. This morning you could see that nobody could really match my speed. We were two seconds ahead of the 3rd. Going into the race I knew I had to bring my A game. Actually, the set up I had for race one was pretty difficult. I was struggling a bit and got arm pump. Then I just could not hold Romain and he made a pass. I had to let him go and try to close him at the end of the race but it was too late and I could not put a good fight anymore. He won fair and square. Second race, I had a good start again. He beat me on the first turn, then I managed to pass him on the second or third turn. I was trying to pull away, but it was tough with his speed. I think I had a 2 or 3 second gap, then I had an issue. I’m lucky I did not lose much time and kept the 3 second gap. I managed to win this race and win the overall and looking forward to next weekend.”
Romain Febvre – P2
“I was happy to win the first race, especially because I haven’t won a race in a long time so I am happy with that. Our speed with Jeffrey was really fast which made the second race really challenging because we were again 1 and 2 after a few turns, I knew it was going to be challenging until the end. Like he said, he made a mistake in the turn which allowed me to go around him and pass him. I tried to make a few fast laps to make a gap. At the end, I wasn’t that fast in a few sectors, then he caught me. Obviously, I was disappointed because I almost won at home, but anyway it’s good to be on the podium. It’s great to see a lot of fans out there. They deserved the win but I could not make it happen. We are really close in the championship which means every weekend you can take the red plate, which for me is fine. Hopefully we keep it like this until the end and we have to find something in the pocket in the few last rounds.”
Tim Gajser – P3
“It was a bit of a frustrating day here, despite ending up on the podium. I knew coming in that starts would be crucial because the track is so tight and narrow in a lot of places, and unfortunately I wasn’t able to get out of the gate well enough in either moto. In the first race I was around 10th place early on and it was just really difficult to make any passes, it was hard to find a good rhythm, but eventually I worked my way through to sixth, which was all I could manage. In race two, my start was a bit better but I couldn’t latch onto the top two and battle with them and so once I got into third, I was too far behind to catch them. Still, there are a lot races to come and I will now focus on next weekend when we head to Spain.”
Jeremy Seewer – P4
“I was quite close to a podium. I had two really good starts, but I had Jeffrey (Herlings) come somehow into my line and then into a scary straight. I ended up losing some spots to the freight train behind me. So, that was a bit unlucky. Overall, P.3 in moto one was a massive comeback, two good starts and a good timed practice. To sum it up, it was one of my best GPs of the whole year. I am starting to enjoy it again. I had a lot of fun riding my bike today. I am on my way up. I still have energy, and I feel like I am becoming more fresh. There are still plenty of GPs left and I just want to keep moving up and hopefully be back on the podium soon.”
Tony Cairoli – P5
“It seemed better today compared to last week in Germany but I’m still struggling a lot. It’s four weeks now since I’ve been able to ride during the week. I didn’t do much before Sardinia because I knew it would be a heavy GP but then I crashed and haven’t trained since. I cannot do much cardio either because the ribs hurt. It’s hard to keep my condition like it was before. Today I was 5th in the first moto and could push until the end but in the second I started to suffer. It was good to get the holeshot in the second and be 3rd. I was riding a bit conservative but Gajser was chasing me a lot and I started to get cramps in my side and back. I was hard to hang-on anymore. It was a shame to be 4th because another few laps would have given me the podium. I have to accept that things are not easy for me at the moment in this condition and with the training. I can only hope that this week I can do a bit more than I could recently and regain some more speed with the bike.”
Jed Beaton fourth as Tom Vialle tops MX2
MX2 Race 1
In the opening MX2 race it was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle who once again grabbed the Fox Holeshot as he led Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jago Geerts, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Mattia Guadagnini and Rene Hofer.
Championship leader and home hero Maxime Renaux of Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing did not get the best start as he began the race in around 10th position.
Geerts then looked like he was closing in on Vialle for the lead but a couple of laps later, the Belgian crashed and fell back to fourth place, which allowed Guadagnini and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jed Beaton through.
Renaux spent a couple of laps to find his rhythm but once he did, we witnessed the type of intensity from the Frenchman than we did not see before. After eventually finding his way past F&H Kawasaki Racing’s Roan Van de Moosdijk, Renaux went after Hofer.
A couple of laps later Renaux was in sixth after finding his way past Hofer, and his teammate Thibault Benistant was the next rider he needed to get around. It wasn’t easy but Renaux was able to make it happen to steal fifth position from Benistant.
Geerts was the next rider to come under attack from the hard-charging Frenchman who was looking to put on a show for his home fans. Renaux and Geerts battled intensely for fourth, but after several laps Renaux was finally able to get the job done.
In the end, it was Vialle who won the race on home soil, crossing the finish line ahead of Guadagnini and Beaton.
MX2 Race 2
In race two, it was Vialle once again who grabbed the Fox Holeshot ahead of Guadagnini, Geerts, Benistant and Hofer. Renaux started down in eighth.
Bike it MTX Kawasaki rider Wilson Todd started well and was fifth behind Hofer, before going down and fading down the order. In the end he was able to recover and come back 15th.
At the top end of the field, Vialle stretched his lead to 3.100 seconds over Guadagnini as Geerts kept it close too. But further behind the leaders, Renaux was keen on making some fast passes once again. First to come under attack was Beaton and after it was Hofer.
The pressure only pushed Hofer further as he set his fastest lap of the race and caught onto the back of Geerts who was ahead in third. Despite his best efforts to keep the Frenchman behind him, Hofer lost out on a spot as Renaux went through.
And then it was like ‘Déjà vu’ of the first race as we witnessed a nice fight between Geerts and Renaux. It took Renaux four laps before he was able to pass his teammate and set his sights on Guadagnini ahead in second.
With just a few laps remaining, Vialle was comfortably in the lead as Guadagnini was coming under attack from Renaux. The pair were not afraid to get their elbows out, as they touched at one point coming into a turn and eventually it was Renaux who came out on top and took over second place.
But as the chequered flag fell it was Vialle who celebrated his victory in race two, with Renaux crossing the line second ahead of Guadagnini.
With two race wins, Vialle stood on the top step of the podium which sent the French crowd wild, as Guadagnini celebrated on the second step of the podium while Renaux was forced to settled for third.
Renaux now leads the MX2 World Championship standings with an impressive 91-point gap to his teammate Geerts, while Guadagnini is a further four points behind in third.
The riders will continue their championship battle next weekend in Arroyomolinos at the MXGP of Spain.
Tom Vialle – P1
“I was a really nice day, it’s the first time I won the French GP, so it’s just amazing to ride in front of the public and it’s really nice to have them at the race. There was a little bit more pressure than a normal GP but I managed to do good. I’m really happy because the start was really important today as it was not so easy to pass and I did two great starts. I’m really happy to win both races again and it’s just amazing for the fans.”
Mattia Guadagnini – P2
“I’m happy to be back on the podium, especially coming back from last weekend because the feeling was really bad, I was not very good. We come here and we did great job, so I’m really happy and I was also about taking my first pole position and here was really important for the start, I took two good starts and I tried to do my best. The track was tough, the start was really important, I’m happy to finish second. The second race, I lost a bit of rhythm on the track, made a few mistakes and Maxime passed me but anyway I’m happy to take second place and hopefully we will have some good races in the next few weeks.”
Maxime Renaux – P3
“The intensity actually came from a bad start. At that point you are just ok, now you go and you don’t think. So I had to really work hard in both races and I think I started two times out of the top ten, eventually could find a great intensity, great lap times and I find some different lines and try to pass. I had to keep my elbows out sometimes, the track was really nice, I am really happy about myself because I did the job, just struggled with the starts but anyway I’m really happy for the riding as I got good points for the championship, no risks, no crashes, everything is good.”
Jed Beaton – P4
“I guess overall It was a good day but on this track you really needed two good starts. I got a great one in race one and brought it home for third so that was pretty decent, and I was happy with my riding. I didn’t quite execute the same start in race two but I was able to make a few passes early on and ended up sixth. Not too bad but with a better start I know I could have been much closer to the front. It’s a little frustrating but now it’s onto Spain next weekend.”
Jago Geerts – P5
“It was a good day for me. Last night I felt really bad and needed to throw up a couple of times. This morning i didn’t even know if I could ride. I was really unwell, so I’m really happy with 5-4 moto scores. Now I will rest this week and hopefully feel 100% again in Spain.”
Wilson Todd – P11
“Something happened at the start of race one but I had the inside at turn one and came out round about tenth. I settled in through the opening laps and then I closed down Roan and got round him. I went after Renaux too but I got held up and he was gone. I got a good start the second race but I ended up on my head. I’m looking to finish top ten every moto when I can and move into the top five. It all depends on getting out of the gate and how I’m gelling with the track.“
The fifth and penultimate round of the 2021 EnduroGP championship ran over the weekend in Portugal, with Josep Garcia taking a commanding victory as riders returned from their summer break.
The 2021 Borilli FIM EnduroGP World Championship concludes with the sixth and final round next weekend in Langeac, France, October 15-17.
Day 1 – EnduroGP
After an extended summer break, the Borilli FIM EnduroGP World Championship returned to action in Santiago do Cacem in southern Portugal and from the word go the action came thick and fast as riders went head-to-head in the Friday evening AKRAPOVIC Super Test.
Britain’s Joe Wootton (Husqvarna) lead the way for the majority of the night until he was bested by the final two riders to hit the track – Brad Freeman (Beta) and Josep Garcia (KTM). Both were almost inseparable, but it was Freeman who narrowly took the win by just one tenth of a second.
However, knowing the sandy special tests would be to his liking, Garcia was quick to take over. Winning the opening NERVE by JUST1 Extreme Test, the Spaniard then topped the next five special tests to further extend his lead. Signing his day off with the fastest times in both the final CHAMPION Enduro Test and ACERBIS Cross Test, he won the day by an impressive 54 seconds.
Behind him the fight for the remainder of the podium positions was closely contested. Freeman faced a strong challenge from Italy’s Andrea Verona (GASGAS), with Britain’s Nathan Watson (Honda) and Steve Holcombe (Beta) both within striking distance. With four seconds to his advantage, Freeman held on to the runner-up position, with Verona taking third.
Watson made a welcome return to EnduroGP action for fourth, while defending EnduroGP champion Holcombe showed he’s returning to form following a difficult season plagued with injury and illness with fifth.
“I felt great on the bike today. I knew the conditions would suit me out there, so my goal this morning was to push hard from the beginning and see how I got on. I managed to build up a good lead and from midway I managed it as best I could. I’m excited for tomorrow now.”
Locked in a battle for the overall runner-up result, Andrea Verona (GASGAS) pulled clear of his Enduro1 classmates to take the win. A strong ride throughout the day saw him build up a comfortable 40-second margin of victory.
For Davide Guarneri (Fantic), the veteran Italian wasn’t able to match the pace of his countryman from the word go. Losing time in the morning, he came on stronger in the afternoon, taking two special test wins. For Sunday, he’ll look to come out swinging against Verona early on.
Ensuring an Italian sweep of the podium, Matteo Cavallo (TM) took third, with France’s Christophe Charlier (Beta) and Italy’s Samuele Bernardini (Honda) completing the top five.
Saturday was a day to savour for Garcia, with the Spaniard also claiming Enduro2 honours to take over the championship lead. With a dominant ride in Enduro2, the KTM rider was almost untouchable, winning by one minute and 22 seconds.
After a couple of years absence, Nathan Watson (Honda) wasted no time getting back into the swing of EnduroGP action. Second on day one and edging out Holcombe by just six seconds, the addition of Watson to the series in these closing stages of the championship certainly added excitement.
Behind the top three of Garcia, Watson and Holcombe, Australia’s Will Ruprecht (TM) was fourth – losing his championship lead to Garcia in the process. The Australian will need to fight back on Sunday to keep those title hopes alive. Only six seconds behind Ruprecht, Italy’s Thomas Oldrati (Honda) placed fifth.
The opening day of the TERRA ÚNICA GP of Portugal marked another Enduro3 class win for Beta’s Brad Freeman. Although not the most commanding of Enduro3 victories seen from Freeman this season, he still did more than enough to secure his ninth consecutive win.
Feeling quite at home in the soft sandy terrain, Spain’s Jaume Betriu (KTM) ended his day was runner-up to Freeman. Sherco’s Danny McCanney put in a solid day to take third, closing the gap to Betriu to 10 seconds come the end of the final test. Jamie McCanney (Husqvarna) was fourth and Andrew Wilksch (Husqvarna) took fifth.
The Enduro Junior class saw Roni Kytonen (Honda) come to the fore to secure his first victory of the season. After an early lead by Lorenzo Macoritto (TM), Kytonen topped the second NERVE by JUST1 Extreme Test to take over the proceedings. Continuing to fend off attacks from title favourites Matteo Pavoni (TM) and Macoritto, the Finn took a well-earned win.
The racing was tight in Enduro Youth with Fantic riders Albin Norrbin and Kevin Cristino leading the way. Norrbin looked strong all day, but with Cristino able to match his pace, he couldn’t relax.
With just five seconds separating the duo – in Norrbin’s favour – it’s sure to be another tight affair tomorrow. Behind them, Samuli Pujkainen (TM) was third, with Harry Edmondson (Fantic) and Federico Rocha (TM) rounding out the top five.
EnduroGP of Portugal Day 1 – Top 20
BETRIU ARMENGOL Jaume
Day 2 – EnduroGP
After the previous day’s dominant EnduroGP class win by Garcia, the KTM rider was forced to work much harder for the top step of the podium on day two.
Although off to a flying start by winning the opening NERVE by JUST1 Extreme Test, he faced a much tougher challenge from points leader Brad Freeman (Beta) throughout the day. The British rider was determined not to allow the Spaniard to gain any early advantage and piled on the pressure immediately.
At the end of the second Extreme Test on lap two, the duo were separated by less than one second, as Freeman eyed up the race lead. But Garcia was determined to hold him at bay and answered back by topping the CHAMPION Enduro Test. Freeman responded with the quickest time in the following ACERBIS Cross Test and as they began the final lap Garcia’s lead was just three seconds.
A mistake by the Spaniard in the final Extreme Test allowed Freeman to momentarily lead, but Garcia fought back by winning the final two tests to take a hard-earned EnduroGP class win. With just two days remaining in this year’s title chase, Freeman now holds a 16-point lead over Garcia, setting up an exciting finale in France next weekend.
“I was a bit bummed out with yesterday’s result, so I wanted to bring the pace to Josep today and I managed that. I would have loved to have got the win, but it was a great battle all day. Props to him on the win, but I hope I can turn the tables on him in France!”
Behind the top two, Nathan Watson (Honda) proved his day one form was no fluke as he upped his speed to claim a podium result with third. The Brit, although ending his day 30 seconds behind Freeman, did repeatedly match the leading duo for pace throughout the day and could prove a danger man in France.
Italy’s Andrea Verona (GASGAS) raced his way to fourth, with Davide Guarneri (Fantic) completing the top five.
After a strong win on day one, Andrea Verona (GASGAS) faced much stiffer competition for victory on day two.
Much more in tune with the tests, Davide Guarneri (Fantic) pushed his championship rival hard. Swapping test wins, Verona just held on by two seconds to top the podium.
“It’s been a tough two days in Portugal, but to get two Enduro1 class wins and some good overall results in EnduroGP has been great – just what I’d hoped for ahead of the final round of the championship next weekend. Overall, day one was a good one for me. I made a few mistakes on the first two laps, but I managed to improve my speed throughout the day. I’m happy, it was fun to race in the sand. Day two was hard. I wasn’t feeling so strong after a tough opening day. But I kept pushing and finally on the final test of the day I was able to get the E1 class win. I needed to ride a little harder than I would normally, but I got the job done and I’m happy with the result. Now it’s onto France. Conditions will be very different, but I’m looking forward to the final round of the series.”
With the pace of the top two very high, Davide Soreca (Husqvarna) placed almost two minutes behind in third. However, it was a closely fought podium, with Matteo Cavallo (TM) just six seconds behind in fourth. Samuele Bernardini (Honda) was fifth to ensure an all-Italian Enduro1 top-five.
Capping off a great weekend at the office, Josep Garcia also claimed top honours in Enduro2. The Spaniard won all but one of the day’s nine special tests as he looked very much at home in the sandy terrain.
“The whole weekend has gone really well for me. My goal right from the beginning was to push as hard as I could and that’s what I did. I had a small crash on the first test on day one, but it didn’t slow me down too much. To take the win on Saturday by such a large margin felt really good. Day two was more of a fight – I had a crash in the first enduro test, but this time it lost me a few seconds although I was still fourth quickest. The fight with Brad (Freeman) went on all day – he was really fast today, and we were both pushing to the limit in every test. Finally, I was able to get the win, which is really good after such a tough day. I want to thank my team for their hard work this weekend as everything was perfect.”
The other test win went to Nathan Watson (Honda), with the Brit now looking settled into EnduroGP racing once again. Watson, although 33 seconds behind Garcia, was 44 seconds ahead of Beta’s Steve Holcombe in third.
Thomas Oldrati (Honda) enjoyed a solid day for fourth, with New Zealand’s Hamish MacDonald (Sherco) fifth.
With his battle for overall honours intense, Brad Freeman once again pulled clear of his Enduro 3 classmates to secure his 10th consecutive win of the season. With a commanding 38-point lead over Jaume Betriu (KTM) in second, Freeman looks set to secure the Enduro3 title with a day to spare next weekend in France.
Betriu was again the next best rider to Freeman in Enduro3 with another strong ride from the Spaniard. Marc Sola (Husqvarna) produced his best form of the season so far, to secure a spirited third. He edged out Sherco’s Daniel McCanney by less than three seconds for the final step of the podium. Jamie McCanney (Husqvarna) was fifth.
The Enduro Junior class saw championship leader Matteo Pavoni (TM) return to the top of the podium, securing an important victory over closest rival Lorenzo Macoritto (TM) heading into next week’s finale.
Day one winner Roni Kytonen (Honda) was unable to repeat his winning result and had to settle for third behind the two Italians. Leo Le Quere (Sherco) and Max Ahlin (Husqvarna) completed the top five.
Enduro Youth saw Sweden’s Albin Norrbin become the first world champion of 2021. Doing it in style, the Fantic rider claimed the title with a victory, to mark his eighth win of the season.
“I’m so happy to have won the world title. It’s been a great season, maybe even better than I expected it to be. Today I just tried not to think about it and go for the win again and it worked out!”
Kevin Cristino (Fantic) was again the closest rider to Norrbin with second, while Finland’s Samuli Puhakainen (TM) took third. Britain’s Harry Edmondson (Fantic) and Arvid Modin (Yamaha) were fourth and fifth respectively.
MCNEWS.COM.AU is a specialist on-line resource that provides motorcycle news for motorcyclists. MCNews covers all areas of interest for the motorcycling public including news, reviews and comprehensive racing coverage.