The final day of racing at round four of the Paulo Duarte FIM EnduroGP World Championship saw Beta Factory Racing’s Steve Holcombe claim a dramatic win. After leading early on, day one winner Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Josep Garcia crashed out of the race, which allowed Holcombe to overtake his teammate Brad Freeman on the final lap for victory. RedMoto Honda’s Nathan Watson thrived in the Swedish terrain for third.
Fantic’s Albin Norrbin enjoyed a perfect day at the office to win the GALFER FIM Junior Enduro World Championship class. Fantic’s Jane Daniels raced ahead to win the Magnorange FIM Women’s Enduro World Championship category.
- Steve Holcombe takes first EnduroGP class win of 2023
- Holcombe, Freeman, and Watson ensure all-British EnduroGP podium
- Day one winner Josep Garcia crashed out while leading
Day two at round four of the Paulo Duarte FIM EnduroGP World Championship in Skovde, Sweden was dramatic to say the least. The final day in a busy fortnight of racing in Scandinavia, for the riders it was far from easy. Beaten up special tests and another one hour and 30 minutes of timed racing for the frontrunners meant everyone will be glad of some rest following this exciting northern European tour.
First EnduroGP win of 2023 for Steve Holcombe
After his victory yesterday, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Josep Garcia was hungry to win again. However, starting his day with ninth on the opening POLISPORT Extreme Test left him with some work to do. Upfront and it was the familiar Beta Factory Racing duo of Brad Freeman and Steve Holcombe leading the way. Winning the back-to-back JUST1 Enduro Test and Cross Pro Enduro Test, Garcia managed to put himself into the lead over Freeman and Holcombe.
With the race back on, we were set for another exciting three-way fight for victory. On lap two Garcia again went quickest on both enduro tests to stretch a lead over Holcombe and Freeman. Sixteen seconds clear, the Spaniard was looking tough to beat. But on the final JUST1 Enduro Test his luck suddenly ran out.
Crashing out of the race with a collarbone injury Garcia’s day was over, putting Freeman back into the lead by 12 seconds, with Holcombe and Watson giving chase. Holcombe then topped the Cross Pro Enduro Test and with a crash from Freeman the lead changed hands once again. Now six seconds to the good, Holcombe would not be beaten, and he stayed clean to win EnduroGP for the first time this season.
Behind Holcombe and Freeman, RedMoto Honda’s Nathan Watson was also on a charge. With the exit of Garcia, he knew a podium result was up for grabs. Fighting off GASGAS Factory Racing’s Andrea Verona, Watson topped the final POLISPORT Extreme test to get the job done and make it a British 1-2-3 in EnduroGP.
Although missing out on a top three result, day two was a much improved one for Verona. Three seconds behind Watson, he ended his day in fourth. Another strong result from Beta Oxmoto’s Theo Espinasse saw him complete the top five.
Enduro1 win for Theo Espinasse
With Garcia crashing out, it opened the door for a new Enduro1 class winner to come through. Holding off CH Racing Sherco’s Zach Pichon, Theo Espinasse (Beta) took a well-deserved victory. Fast Eddy Racing’s Jamie McCanney took third.
With his EnduroGP victory, Beta’s Steve Holcombe extended his Enduro2 points lead with another win. Nathan Watson (Honda) and Andrea Verona (GASGAS) completed the podium. Beta’s Brad Freeman remains undefeated in Enduro3 with another class win. TM Racing’s Matteo Cavallo edged out Morgan Lesiardo (Sherco) by just half of a second for the runner-up result.
In the Magnorange FIM Women’s Enduro World Championship there was no change at the top of the leader board. Fantic’s Jane Daniels topped the first four special tests to cement an early lead. Unchallenged she won the day by over one minute. RedMoto Honda’s Francesca Nocera put in a fast final lap to finish in second place. Yamaha’s Jessica Gardiner took third thanks to the fastest time on the final POLISPORT Extreme Test.
Norrbin takes Junior Enduro win
While yesterday’s GALFER Junior Enduro World Championship was a close race, today Fantic’s Albin Norrbin made sure things went to script. The Swede kicked off his day as the rider to beat, setting the fastest times in the first seven special tests. Building up a very healthy lead, Norrbin backed it off a little on the final lap to ensure victory.
Fifth yesterday, Axel Semb (Husqvarna) showed he had some extra speed up his sleeve. Battling with day one winner Max Ahlin (KTM) and Jed Etchells (Fantic), Semb ended his day as the runner-up, with Ahlin holding Etchells off by six seconds for third. Sergio Navarro (Husqvarna) signed off his GP of Sweden with fifth.
The Youth Enduro class was hotly contested. Although Fantic’s Kevin Cristino still managed to take his eighth consecutive win, he had to work for it. Beta’s Leo Joyon was on flying form, pushing the Italian hard. With the pair swapping test wins throughout the day, Cristino hung on by half of a second to win. Sherco’s Thibault Giraudon finished over one minute and 39 seconds behind in third.
The Paulo Durate FIM EnduroGP World Championship now takes a short but well-earned break before returning to action for round five in Gelnica, Slovakia on June 30 – July 2.
“We have a very strong team overall, with excellent riders from whom we expect good things. We have worked hard to put them in the best conditions, and even with Jamie who has just arrived we are trying various solutions, although we will have to wait until the first race to understand the optimal set-up of the bike.”