The tables turned on the second day of competition at round three of the Paulo Duarte FIM EnduroGP World Championship in Finland with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Josep Garcia emerging as victor.


Putting an end to Beta Factory Racing star Brad Freeman’s unbeaten run of form, the Spaniard rose to the occasion in some of the toughest conditions seen for some time in EnduroGP. Although denied a clean sweep of EnduroGP class wins in Finland, Freeman hung tough for second, with his Beta teammate Steve Holcombe taking third to remain on the EnduroGP podium at every race so far in 2023.

In the GALFER Junior Enduro World Championship Fantic’s Albin Norrbin secured his first victory of the season, while Jane Daniels (Fantic) was once again unbeatable in the Magnorange FIM Women’s Enduro World Championship.

  • Josep Garcia tops EnduroGP on day two in Heinola
  • Albin Norrbin emerges victorious in Junior Enduro
  • EnduroGP heads to Sweden for round four beginning Thursday June 1

Day two at the GP of Finland for round three of the Paulo Duarte FIM EnduroGP World Championship saw a new name, finally, top the results sheet. Having won every race so far in 2023, Beta Factory Racing’s Brad Freeman would have to play second best to Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Josep Garcia today. Overnight the Spaniard found that little bit extra needed to fight with the leading duo of Freeman and Steve Holcombe (Beta) on day two and duly won.

Showing solid pace in the closing stages of day one, Garcia knew the JUST1 Enduro Test was his weak point. And despite having just completed six hours of racing, he headed back out into the forest that evening to walk the special test again and find some gains.

That tactic paid off and by winning the opening ACERBIS Cross Test the Spaniard was up to speed with his rivals. Freeman attacked on the opening JUST1 Enduro Test to lead over Holcombe and Garcia, but with Garcia answering back with the fastest time on the first POLISPORT Extreme Test, Freeman’s advantage was not as big as he hoped for.

Lap two saw Garcia fastest again on the ACERBIS Cross Test and POLISPORT Extreme Test. But with a crash from Freeman on the JUST1 Enduro Test the tables had turned. Holcombe was now in control of the race lead as they began the third and final lap, with Garcia second and Freeman third.

Again, Garcia topped the JUST1 Enduro Test on lap three to see the lead change once more. But with the JUST1 Enduro Test to follow, the pressure was on. With conditions now at their toughest the Spaniard was incredibly fastest for the first time this weekend. And with enough in hand on the final POLISPORT Extreme Test, he played his cards just right to take a memorable win.

For Holcombe it looked like he also had the better of his teammate. However, despite having three seconds in hand entering the final test, it wasn’t to be. A brilliant effort from Freeman on the POLISPORT Extreme Test saw him snatch the runner-up result by just seven tenths of a second.

With the battle for victory taking centre stage in Heinola, it was GASGAS Factory Racing’s Andrea Verona who came through for fourth, finishing 14 seconds ahead of CH Racing Sherco’s Hamish MacDonald in fifth.

Garcia, Holcombe and Freeman do the double in Enduro1, Enduro2 and Enduro3

Mirroring yesterday’s results, Garcia, Holcombe, and Freeman again topped their respective Enduro1, Enduro2 and Enduro3 categories. Theo Espinasse (Beta) could be very pleased with his efforts in Finland with the Frenchman taking second in Enduro1. Class rookie Zach Pichon (Sherco) showed good form with third place.

In Enduro 2 it was Verona who this time took the runner-up result to Holcombe, with MacDonald completing the top three. Third yesterday, Sweden’s Mikael Persson (Husqvarna) went one better today in Enduro3 to finish as runner-up to a dominant Freeman. Sherco’s Antoine Magain put in a solid ride for third.

Competitive racing in the Women’s Enduro

The Magnorange FIM Women’s Enduro World Championship was once again all about Jane Daniels (Fantic) with the Brit making it four wins from four starts in 2023. However, her winning margin on day two was halved compared to day one, with RedMoto Honda’s Francesca Norcera putting in a fighting ride for second. The Italian also had a battle on her hands with Sweden’s Hedvig Malm (KTM) chasing her home for third place. Jessica Gardiner (Yamaha) and Rosie Rowett (Rieju) completed the top five.

In the GALFER Junior Enduro World Championship the battle for victory between the Fantic pairing of Jed Etchells and Albin Norrbin rumbled on into day two. Day one winner Etchells had a fight on his hands if he wished to make it a double. Norrbin was in a determined mode and the Swede was comfortable in the ‘home-like’ terrain. Fastest in the final four special tests, Norrbin reeled in early leader Etchells and secured his first victory of the season. With Etchells pushed back to second, Max Ahlin (KTM) rounded out the podium.

It seems that Italy’s Kevin Cristino (Fantic) has the measure of the Youth Enduro class now. Racing clear for his sixth straight win, Cristino will be aiming to keep this winning momentum rolling in Sweden from next Thursday. Day two saw Thibault Giraudon (Sherco) put in an improved ride to finish in second, while Leo Joyon (Beta) took third.

The Paulo Duarte FIM EnduroGP World Championship continues with round four in Skovde, Sweden on June 1-3.

Josep Garcia (KTM):

“It feels so good to win in these conditions in Finland. After yesterday I knew I needed to find some more speed in enduro test to close the gap to Brad and Steve. I walked it again last night and for sure it definitely helped. My times were more competitive and with my speed in the cross test I was fighting all day. I gave it my all on the final enduro test and was fastest for the first time this weekend in it to win the day!”

Brad Freeman (Beta):

“I’m a little disappointed with how I rode today. It was just an off day. I had the lead on the first lap, but on the second enduro test I pushed too hard and crashed. I managed to pull enough time back to get second at the end. “

Jane Daniels (Fantic):

“So far it’s been the perfect season, but I’m taking nothing for granted. These conditions favoured me and I really enjoyed the enduro test, it was my sort of going. I’m really happy with how everything went. My team, my bike, it’s been perfect.”