With the re-start of the Borilli FIM EnduroGP World Championship just around the corner, we caught up with current Enduro1 World Championship class leader Andrea Verona to ask if his recent FIM International Six Days of Enduro World Trophy team victory has sunk in, to find out if he’s only focused on trying to win the Enduro1 title, or if he also has one eye on securing a season best EnduroGP result at the final two rounds on Portugal and France…
Andrea, firstly congratulations on winning the Enduro1 class and the World Trophy with Italy at the recent ISDE. Now you’ve had some time to let everything sink in, how do you feel about your performance at the six days?
Andrea: “It was incredible! Winning is always something special, but to win at home in Italy makes it even better. I really enjoyed the race. It was super dry, and a little dusty, but it was a lot of fun. I felt like I rode well also, battling with Garcia and fighting for the World Trophy win. Everything went very well. It was a very special moment.”
In terms of ‘preparing’ you for the final EnduroGP competitions – bike riding time, fitness, confidence, etc – you must be feeling really good after the ISDE?
“For sure, I’m feeling really confident now. It was about 40 hours on the bike during the week. Also, six consecutive days has been good for my fitness. It wasn’t an easy race, so that was also a good things for me regards the world championship. Mentally, I also had to push really hard each day, which again is good for me. The ISDE was a great event for me ahead of the re-start of EnduroGP.”
Some riders don’t like to compete in ISDE when it’s in the middle of the EnduroGP championship, what are your thoughts on that?
“It’s always something that rider talk about. It’s something new to me, and it was a little strange in some ways. Of course, there is the risk of getting injured, but that risk I there every time you ride your bike. I really like the ISDE, to represent my country, and compete with the other guys. I never considered not competing because I was leading the Enduro1 World Championship. I only had two small crashes during the event, so I didn’t ride over the limit. The ISDE is all about being consistent, which I was able to do.”
In a few weeks it’s back to EnduroGP action – how are you feeling, what is you approach to the final two rounds of the series?
“I’m feeling good and looking forward to it. We have the final round of the Italian championship before the race in Portugal, so that will be a good preparation for me. My approach to the last two races is no different to the other races – I need to ride fast, ride smart, and keep pushing to try and win the E1 title.”
Obviously, your goal is to win the Enduro1 world title, does that mean going all-out to win each day, or will you have a more considered approach to the races in Portugal and France?
“100%, my goal is to win. In many ways the best way is to push for victories, riding at the same level like always. But I will certainly take a more considered approach into these last races. I guess I need to find a balance. Riding as fast as I can while not taking any risk is the goal.”
What has been the best and the worst moments of EnduroGP 2021 so far for you, and why?
“My worst moment was the first day in Sweden where I found it really difficult to find my rhythm. I really thought there was something wrong. I crashed too many times and I just couldn’t get myself going. But the best day of this season so far was the very next day. I managed to win the E1 class with a good final special test, and I also got second in EnduroGP, which is my best result so far this year. To move from a worst day to a best day was very positive for me. I was able to press the re-start button, which isn’t always easy. It was also an important moment for the championship.”
What are your thoughts about going to a new race in Portugal, a second race in Portugal?
“I’m happy to go to Portugal for a second time. The first race was really good, generally the races in Portugal are always good, so I hope this one will be the same. I’m a little sad that we’re not racing in Germany, but I like how the Portuguese make their special tests. I hope it will be a good one, I think it will.”
EnduroGP re-start will see you competing against Davide Guarneri once again, the rider that pushed you the hardest so far in 2021. Are you looking forward to re-starting your E1 battle with him?
“Yes, very much. We have had some great battles this year, and also rode together for Italy at the ISDE, which was great. I think we’ve pushed each other a lot so far this season, and I don’t expect that to change in Portugal and France. For sure, I’m going to need to ride at my best to stay ahead of hm during these final four days of racing.”
Now we’re at the business end of the championship, will you be pushing for the best possible EnduroGP class (overall) results or focusing 100% on doing all you can to secure the Enduro1 title?
“In some ways I’m a little sad that the season is almost over but also looking ahead I hope that we can move forwards from the Covid situation that has impacted the EnduroGP series these last seasons, and have a longer, more normal series in 2022. Enduro1 is my focus, but if I can it would be nice to do as well as I can in EnduroGP. But the E1 title is the goal.”
Finally, If you do win the Enduro1 title again, what will that mean to you – title defended, first title with GASGAS, the perfect end to a great season?
“I hope to do it, that’s the goal! There’s still a lot of racing to do, so we have to go race-by-race. The team has been great this year and I’ve really enjoyed racing for GASGAS. If I can win the Enduro1 World Championship, together with the ISDE win, it will have been an incredible year.”