The Paulo Duarte FIM EnduroGP World Championship picks up pace this weekend as it travels to Gelnica, Slovakia for round five of the season. After an exciting Scandinavian tour, it’s Beta Factory Racing’s Brad Freeman who stands at the top of the EnduroGP classification, with teammate Steve Holcombe close behind him in second. 

The GALFER FIM Junior Enduro World Championship battle continues with Fantic’s Jed Etchells holding the championship lead.

  • All systems go for EnduroGP in Slovakia
  • Brad Freeman looks to extend points lead in Gelnica
  • Battle for victory heightens in Junior Enduro

Muddy weekend in store in Slovakia?

Now firmly in the second half of this seven-round season, the Paulo Duarte FIM EnduroGP World Championship makes a stop in Gelnica, Slovakia this weekend for round five. A country steeped in enduro heritage, Slovakia is well-known for offering up challenging, traditional enduro terrain. With technical forestry trails and the potential for deep ruts and mud holes, an exciting weekend’s racing is in store.

Gelnica will host the MILWAUKEE Parc Ferme, where all the race teams and riders will base themselves from during the event. As normal, the AKRAPOVIC Super Test will get racing underway. Beta Factory Racing top the Super Test standings with Brad Freeman holding a 22-point lead over his teammate Steve Holcombe.

Getting down to the business end of the weekend, competitors face long and demanding days in the saddle on Saturday and Sunday. With a total of four special tests per each of the three scheduled laps, both the JUST1 and CrossPro Enduro Tests will prove decisive. The ACERBIS Cross Test and POLISPORT Extreme Test will complete each lap. With wet, stormy weather forecast, this could be a time to shine for the mud revellers.

Freeman aiming to strengthen EnduroGP lead

No stranger to deep mud, EnduroGP championship leader Brad Freeman will welcome any rain this weekend. Brad has proved sensational so far this year with five wins from eight starts. However, after a five-race win streak, the top step of the podium was out of his reach last time out in Sweden. Looking to resume normal service in Slovakia, only time will tell whether Brad will be at his best for round five following a heavy fall at a recent Italian Enduro Championship event. Will it be all-out race winning results from Brad, or a case of damage limitation for the Brit?

After proving himself as a model of consistency, Steve Holcombe finally got that race win he was chasing, on day two in Sweden. The Brit has steadily grown stronger with each round and now that he’s had a taste of victory, you can be sure he’ll want more.

Lying third overall in the championship chase is Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Josep Garcia. Despite claiming wins in Finland and Sweden, Garcia’s fitness remains in doubt heading into Slovakia, following his crash on day two at round four.

Verona looks to turn his fortunes around

GASGAS Factory Racing’s Andrea Verona sits just four points behind Garcia in fourth. It’s not been the best of title defences for the defending EnduroGP champion having admitted to struggling during the Scandinavian tour. Having had a couple of weeks to test and improve ahead of the Slovakian event, Verona will be gunning for a place on the top step of the podium.

Closing out the top five in EnduroGP is CH Racing Sherco’s Hamish MacDonald. Now 27 points behind Verona, the New Zealander has lost a little ground to the top four. RedMoto Honda Racing’s Nathan Watson enjoyed a strong ride in Sweden, reaching the podium on day two. Closing in on MacDonald, it looks like the battle for fifth is increasing.

In Enduro1, Josep Garcia has a 21-point lead over Theo Espinasse (Beta), despite a non-finish in Sweden. However, with his fitness still in doubt, both Theo and Zach Pichon (Sherco) will look to attack.

Steve Holcombe is out front in Enduro2 and starting to strengthen his lead over Andrea Verona in second. Hamish MacDonald sits third but must keep a watchful eye over Nathan Watson in fourth.

Undefeated so far in Enduro3, Brad Freeman is now a full round clear of his rivals, thanks to a 42-point lead. Things are much closer behind him with just two points separating TM Racing’s Matteo Cavallo and Mikael Persson (Husqvarna).

Four-way battle building in Junior Enduro

The GALFER FIM Junior Enduro World Championship sees Fantic’s Jed Etchells out front with a 16-point lead over Albin Norrbin (Fantic). Jeremy Sydow (Sherco) and Max Ahlin (KTM) are close behind in third and fourth, both eager for success. These four have provided some epic battles so far in 2023 and there’s no doubt that will likely continue in Slovakia.

Fantic’s Kevin Cristino is beginning to run away with things in Enduro Youth. The Italian has won each day so far in 2023, while fending off some heavy attacks along the way. Thibault Giraudon (Sherco) is second with Leo Joyon (Beta) in third.

The Paulo Duarte FIM EnduroGP World Championship continues this weekend with round five in Gelnica, Slovakia from June 30 – July 2.