Spain’s Josep Garcia (KTM) has proven to be the rider to beat at round three of the WPTGlobal FIM EnduroGP World Championship by claiming victory on the opening day of racing at the GP of Italy. Excelling in the hot, dry, and dusty conditions, the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider topped the podium from Australia’s Wil Ruprecht (TM Racing), with home favourite GASGAS Factory Racing’s Andrea Verona in third.
Team Sherco CH Racing’s Zach Pichon secured his fifth consecutive Enduro Junior win, while Fantic JET Racing’s Harry Edmondson took the top spot in Enduro Youth in Carpineti.
- Josep Garcia on winning form in Carpineti on day one
- Andrea Verona finishes as top-placed Italian on day one at GP of Italy
- Season-best result of fifth for Daniel Milner
After a lengthy six-week break, the WPTGlobal FIM Enduro World Championship roared back into life for round three’s GP of Italy in Carpineti. Hot, dry, and dusty conditions ensured a challenging day for all 140-plus competitors.
Garcia and Ruprecht go head-to-head for EnduroGP win
Fastest in Friday’s AKRAPOVIC Super Test, Garcia began today in a determined mood to remain at the head of the classification. However, Ruprecht had other ideas and came out swinging for the opening Super Test to draw level with the Spaniard. Josep responded on the following JUST1 Enduro Test to open up a gap, but Ruprecht topped the POLISPORT Extreme Test to edge his TM Racing into the lead.
Throughout lap two of three, the duo exchanged test wins until Garcia finally got his nose back in front after the second ACERBIS Cross Test. However, with less than two seconds between them it was all very much to play for on lap three. Stunning rides on the final JUST1 Enduro Test and POLISPORT Extreme Test saw Garcia extend his advantage out to a comfortable 17 seconds. And with no mistakes on the final ACERBIS Cross Test, Garcia ended his day as the clear EnduroGP winner over Ruprecht.
Hoping to get in the mix of the battle for victory at his home race, Verona wasn’t able to match the pace of the top two. Starting out this morning in sixth, he moved up to third midway through lap one and then controlled that position for the remainder of the day.
Behind the top three, the fight for the remainder of the top five was ever-changing. Honda Racing Redmoto World Enduro’s Nathan Watson faced a motivated Daniel Milner (Fantic) with little to separate them all day. Producing a top-three ride on the final JUST1 Enduro Test, ensured Watson did enough at just the right time to keep Milner at bay and claim fourth.
Verona and Garcia win Enduro1 and Enduro2, debut Enduro3 victory for Persson
For the fifth time this season, Andrea Verona powered his GASGAS to the Enduro1 class win. Switching to Enduro1 for round three paid off for Australian Daniel Milner as he produced his best form of the year to date with a runner-up result. Italy’s Thomas Oldrati (Honda) completed the top three.
With Garcia and Ruprecht fighting for top honours in EnduroGP, the duo also placed first and second in Enduro2. Watson secured a well-earned final step of the podium with third. France’s Hugo Blanjoue (KTM) put in a terrific ride to take fourth ahead of Beta’s Steve Holcombe.
It was all change in Enduro3 with Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Mikael Persson claiming a debut win. The Swede rode impressively to win by over 30 seconds from TM Racing’s Matteo Pavoni. Winning the final two ACERBIS Cross Tests outright, Pavoni – the 2021 Enduro Junior champion – will be eager to take the fight to Persson on day two. A great ride by France’s Leo Le Quere (Sherco) saw him finish in third.
Five wins from five starts for Pichon in Enduro Junior
France’s Zach Pichon (Sherco) continues to rule the roost in Enduro Junior. Pichon was near untouchable throughout day one as he raced his way to a commanding one-minute and seven-second winning margin over Roni Kytonen (Honda).
However, while Pichon held a comfortable lead, the battle for the remainder of the podium was tight between Kytonen, Jed Etchells (Fantic) and Luc Fargier (Beta). Winning the penultimate test, Fargier was gunning a debut podium result. However, a mistake on the final ACERBIS Cross Test saw his chance disappear and with Etchells setting the fastest time, he snatched third overall by less than two tenths of a second over Fargier.
In Enduro Youth, Fantic’s Harry Edmondson continued his winning form from the AKRAPOVIC Super Test to win on day one. With seven special test wins to his credit, Edmondson secured a 15-second margin of victory over teammate Kevin Cristino. Samuli Puhakainen (TM Racing) completed the top three.
“I’m chuffed with this result. I felt comfortable all day and never made any major mistakes which I think helped a lot for this win. I feel like there’s still a few areas to improve on for tomorrow, but I will give my best.”
“It’s been a good day. I threw everything I had at Josep, but he had the edge on me today. We were pushing hard and there was never much in it, but I couldn’t bridge the gap. The tests got pretty chewed up by the end of the day, so tomorrow will be interesting for sure.”
“I didn’t get off to a good start this morning and lost too much time on the first lap. I was playing catchup and let the leaders get too far ahead. Hopefully I can fix some of that tomorrow.”
Results: GP of Italy, Day 1