The eagerly anticipated 2024 Paulo Duarte FIM EnduroGP World Championship roared into life over the weekend with round one in Fafe, Portugal. Spectators and enduro fans alike were treated to some incredible racing as the world’s best enduro riders got down to business. 

While Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Josep Garcia and Honda Racing RedMoto Enduro Team’s Steve Holcombe ultimately stole the majority of the limelight due to their EnduroGP class wins, there were plenty of talking points in Fafe. Here are a few exciting highlights that you may have missed…

All-weather riders

The weather in Fafe was a strong talking point throughout the ACERBIS GP of Portugal. Continually wet in the build-up to the weekend’s racing, riders were greeted with rain and fog on Saturday morning. Rain Sunday morning soon eased to give sunny skies and perfect conditions for the latter half of the day. Rain or shine, though, and the same group of riders rose to the top, showing that you have to be the best no matter what the weather brings.

Seeing double!

You could be forgiven for thinking you were seeing double in Fafe, with identical twin brothers Maxime and Clement Clauzier sharing the Enduro Youth podium on day one. We’re not too sure if this is another first in the Enduro World Championship’s history, but it was very cool to see.

Slippery when wet

The north of Portugal is well-known for its large regions of boulders and the POLISPORT Extreme Test was filled with them in Fafe. A true test of technical riding skills, especially when wet and slippery, the special test delivered some incredible action throughout the weekend.

Rachel Gutish

Day one in Fafe marked a historical moment for Enduro Women with Team KBS Sherco’s Rachel Gutish becoming the first American to stand on the top step of the podium in the category. In fact, she was the first person from the USA to win a race in EnduroGP since Taylor Robert in 2016.

RIEJU

RIEJU Factory Racing are quickly making a name for themselves in Enduro Women with both team riders finishing on the podium in Fafe. On day one Rosie Rowett, and Mireia Badia placed second and third, respectively, before Badia topped the podium on day two.

Enduro Open

In Enduro Open, Belgium’s Tim Louis (Sherco) proved the rider to beat in Fafe. Louis was on top form, winning both days over Britain’s Alfie Webb (GASGAS) and France’s Franck Luberriaga (Husqvarna).

Jed Etchells

Making his debut in the senior classes was 2023 Enduro Junior World Champion Jed Etchells. Despite starting from the rear of the field, the Fantic Racing Team rider put in a strong showing for fifth overall both days in Enduro2. Expect lots more to come from this fast Manxman!

Debut senior class with for Hamish MacDonald

Celebrations inside the CH Racing Sherco awning were in full flow on Sunday evening when Hamish MacDonald secured the Enduro3 class win. The victory marked the former Enduro Junior World Champion’s first win in the senior ranks. And with day one winner Brad Freeman (Beta) cutting short his day due to illness, Hamish also picked up the Enduro3 leader’s plate heading into this weekend’s round two.

After an explosive start to the Paulo Duarte FIM EnduroGP World Championship, the paddock travels to nearby Valpacos in Portugal for round two on April 12-14.