Nathan Watson makes it a double win at the GP of Portugal
• Andrea Verona retakes the lead in the EnduroGP championship • Steve Holcombe returns to the podium with third
• Jane Daniels remains unbeaten in the Women EnduroGP class
All smiles after his first EnduroGP victory of the season on Saturday, Nathan Watson wasted no time in returning to the top step of the podium by winning again on Sunday. Clearly favouring the hard and dry Portuguese terrain, the Honda rider hit his stride late on lap one by topping the opening ACERBIS Cross Test. Fastest in the following JUST1 Enduro Test, he closed the gap to early leader Steve Holcombe (Beta).
Holcombe, also back to top form, had managed to keep Watson at bay as they exited the second POLISPORT Extreme Test, but Watson again favoured the ACERBIS Cross Test. Clocking in the fastest time he put himself out front by four seconds as they began the final lap of three.
Striking again, he won the JUST1 Enduro Test to build a 12-second cushion over Verona who’d now moved up to second. Keeping the pace high, it proved once again to be Watson’s day and with two more solid tests, the Brit clinched victory to mark a career-first EnduroGP double win.
Behind him, Verona fought hard to keep pace while also facing a rejuvenated Holcombe. Holcombe started out the day strong with two test wins as Verona spent the morning steadily chipping away at his advantage. With a lap to go the Italian was up to second. Holding strong, Verona took his second runner-up result of the weekend to move back into the EnduroGP championship lead.
Enjoying a resurgence of form, Holcombe was happy with his efforts for third overall. Defending EnduroGP champion Brad Freeman (Beta) also enjoyed his best result in recent weeks too. Fourth today, while also taking a POLISPORT Extreme Test win, indicates Freeman is beginning to put his numerous injuries behind him.
Spain’s Marc Sans Soria (Husqvarna) put in a standout performance to finish fifth. The Spaniard was clearly enjoying the conditions, claiming the final POLISPORT Extreme Test win.
Making the Enduro1 class his own in 2022, Andrea Verona marched on to his eighth consecutive victory of the season in Portugal. The battle for the remainder of the podium was tight, with Samuele Bernardini (Honda) taking the runner-up result by less than three seconds over Thomas Oldrati (Honda). Matteo Cavallo (TM Racing) was only a further five seconds behind in fourth.
With his win in EnduroGP, Nathan Watson also made it a double in Enduro2 in Portugal. Holcombe finished as runner-up, while Czech’s Krystof Kouble enjoyed his first visit to the podium with third.
Brad Freeman was back on top of the Enduro3 podium on Sunday. His double win puts him back in the driving seat of the championship. Just three seconds behind Freeman, Sans Soria took second, while Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Mikael Persson completed the top three.
Daniels On Winning Form in Women EnduroGP
The Magnorange FIM Women Enduro World Championship saw Jane Daniels continue to rule the roost. The Brit was once again on flying form, racing to a convincing 25-second margin of victory. Rieju’s Mireia Badia took second, while Roise Rowett (KTM) completed the top three.
Day two in Portugal finally saw Team Sherco CH Racing’s Zachary Pichon’s unbeaten run of form come to an end. Determined to get the better of the Frenchman, Roni Kytonen (Honda) came out swinging this morning and with a strong showing managed to take the win. With Pichon second, Luc Fargier (Beta) was back on the podium in third.
Having come close numerous times, Fantic’s Harry Edmondson finally clinched his own double victory in Enduro Youth. The Brit put in a solid ride in Coimbra to take victory over teammate Kevin Cristino. Leo Joyon (Beta) completed the top three.
The WPTGlobal FIM EnduroGP World Championship takes a short break before returning to action with a double header rounds five and six in Slovakia and Hungary, beginning on July 29-31.