The second day of racing at round three of the Paulo Duarte FIM EnduroGP World Championship saw Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Josep Garcia claim victory. Securing a strong win in the EnduroGP class, the Spaniard now takes over the points lead and leader’s gold plate.

GASGAS Factory Racing’s Andrea Verona fought hard to finish as runner-up, while Beta Factory Racing’s Brad Freeman enjoyed his first overall podium result of the season with third. The GALFER FIM Junior Enduro World Championship saw Sweden’s Max Ahlin (KTM) secure his second victory of the weekend at the GP of Romania in Bacau.

  • Josep Garcia claims victory on day two at GP of Romania
  • Max Ahlin tops Enduro Junior for the second day running
  • Alberto Elgari secures a double win in Enduro Youth

The GP of Romania delivered another exciting day of racing for day two at round three of the Paulo Duarte FIM EnduroGP World Championship in Bacau. With four laps and 12 special tests to complete, riders were again pushed to their maximum.

Garcia enjoys winning ride in EnduroGP

Finishing day one as runner-up, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Josep Garcia was keen to make amends today. Hot out of the traps, the Spaniard won the opening ACERBIS Cross Test by two seconds over Beta Factory Racing’s Brad Freeman to establish an early lead. In the following POLISPORT Extreme Test, Honda Racing RedMoto Enduro Team’s Steve Holcombe topped the time sheets by seventh tenths of a second over Garcia. Freeman was also looking good in third.

Closing out lap one by winning the MAXXIS Enduro Test, Garcia was in control of the race lead. But the times were still incredibly tight, and his advantage was only two seconds over Holcombe.

Banking two more test wins on lap two, Garcia extended his lead out to a comfortable 12 seconds. Day one winner GASGAS Factory Racing’s Andrea Verona was beginning to find his pace and had now overtaken Holcombe for second. But with Garcia edging clear, the Italian had some work to do.

Winning both the third ACERBIS Cross Test and POLISPORT Extreme Test, Verona had reduced that gap to eight seconds. With the Italian gaining ground, Garcia needed to fight back. True to form, Garcia won the penultimate MAXXIS Enduro Test in style and began the fourth and final lap with a 17-second lead.

Despite some late last lap attacks by his rivals, Garcia remained firmly fixed at the front. Signing his day off by winning the final MAXXIS Enduro Test, he won the day by 22 seconds over Verona in second.

Returning to form, Freeman put together a solid day to hold on to third overall. The Beta rider will be happy with his performance having so far battled injury and illness in Portugal. Just three seconds behind Freeman, Nathan Watson (Beta) placed fourth.

After a strong opening lap, Holcombe slipped back to fifth. As a result, he lost control of the EnduroGP points lead. Both Garcia and Verona overhauled the Brit to move into first and second overall respectively. Garcia will now carry the leader’s gold plate into round four’s POLISPORT GP of Italy next month.

Adding to his day, Garcia duly won the Enduro1 class. Holcombe was second. CH Racing Sherco’s Zach Pichon was just three seconds behind in a very impressive third.

Although missing out on the EnduroGP victory, Verona still won Enduro2. Watson was once again second. Samuele Bernardini (Honda) completed the top three.

Brad Freeman made it two Enduro3 wins from two starts in Romania. The result sees him become the new points leader in class. TM MOTO’s Matteo Cavallo ended his day in second, with JET ZANARDO Husqvarna’s Morgan Lesiardo third.

Battle of the Swedes in Enduro Junior

In the GALFER FIM Junior Enduro World Championship, the GP of Romania proved a weekend to remember for Max Ahlin (KTM), with the Swede claiming his second victory of the weekend. His confidence high following his victory on day one, Ahlin was hungry for more success.

However, Fantic Racing Team’s Axel Semb also had winning intentions of his own. Semb came out strong and won the opening ACERBIS Cross Test. Ahlin answered back with a win on the MAXXIS Enduro Test, and at the end of lap one, he was nine seconds to the good over Semb.

During laps two and three, the pair were evenly matched. Ahlin remained out front, but only by six seconds. On lap four, Ahlin found another turn of speed to silence Semb. Winning all three remaining tests, he took victory by 13 seconds over Semb, his fellow countryman.

Kevin Cristino (Fantic) finished behind them in third, albeit 52 seconds adrift. KBS Team’s Matej Skuta enjoyed a great day for fourth, with Thibault Giraudon (Sherco) completing the top five.

The Enduro Youth category saw TM MOTO’s Alberto Elgari ride clear for his second victory of the weekend. The Italian was untouchable, winning by 57 seconds. Pietro Scardina (Fantic) secured his first podium result of the year with second, while Alex Puey (Beta) completed the top three.

The Paulo Duarte FIM EnduroGP World Championship continues with round four, the POLISPORT GP of Italy, on June 21-23.

Josep Garcia (KTM): “I’m super happy to win today. It’s put a smile on my face for sure. I only had one crash, but we are all on the limit so that’s kind of normal. With this win I am also leading the championship, so I will fight to keep that.”

Andrea Verona (GASGAS): “It’s been a solid day, but for sure not as good as yesterday. I started out a bit slow on lap one, but then got into a nice rhythm after that. A mistake on the Enduro Test on lap three made me lose the gap to Josep. But I’ve moved up to second overall in the championship, so that’s great too.”

Brad Freeman (Beta): “I’m happy to get my first EnduroGP podium of the season. The pace of the front two guys was pretty strong, but slowly I’m getting back up there. I’m still struggling a little, but definitely happy to get this result, and also another win in Enduro3.”

Max Ahlin (KTM): “I’m thrilled to get two wins in Enduro Junior this weekend. Axel is strong and my goal was to keep the fight with him today. I managed to do just that and won. It’s been a great weekend in Romania.”

Results: FIM EnduroGP World Championship – Round 3, Day 2

1. Josep Garcia (KTM) 1:11:15.02; 2. Andrea Verona (GASGAS) 1:11:37.61; 3. Brad Freeman (Beta) 1:12:15.85; 4. Nathan Watson (Beta) 1:12:19.03; 5. Steve Holcombe (Honda) 1:12:32.59; 6. Zach Pichon (Sherco) 1:12:36.19; 7. Jamie McCanney (Husqvarna) 1:13:03.72; 8. Matteo Cavallo (TM MOTO) 1:13:12.15; 9. Samuele Bernardini (Honda) 1:13:23.87; 10. Morgan Lesiardo (Husqvarna) 1:13:24.69…

Championship Standings (After round 3)
1. Josep Garcia (KTM) 109pts; 2. Andrea Verona (GASGAS) 99pts; 3. Steve Holcombe (Honda) 98pts; 4. Nathan Watson (Beta) 64pts; 5. Brad Freeman (Beta) 62pts; 6. Jamie McCanney (Husqvarna) 55pts; 7. Samuele Bernardini (Honda) 48pts; 8. Zach Pichon (Sherco) 44pts; 9. Matteo Cavallo (TM MOTO) 37pts; 10. Hamish MacDonald (Sherco) 30pts…