The Paulo Duarte FIM EnduroGP World Championship witnessed an epic weekend of racing at the GP of Romania for round three. Across all classes, the racing was tight in Bacau. Here are some hot topics everyone was talking about post-race…

A welcome return to Romania

Eleven years since the Paulo Duarte FIM EnduroGP World Championship last visited Romania, it was exciting to be back there for round three. Offering a superb mix of terrain and great hosting, the GP of Romania was a welcome addition to the calendar. Riders enjoyed the challenge of the traditional forest-based MAXXIS Enduro Test and the wide-open, full-gas ACERBIS Cross Test.

Matteo Cavallo – A surprise winner

The AKRAPOVIC Super Test delivered a new winner in 2024. After Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Josep Garcia won both times out in Portugal, this time we saw TM MOTO’s Matteo Cavallo take the top spot. The Italian was millimetre-perfect and clocked in a time that not even Garcia could better. With his win, Cavallo moved up to third in the AKRAPOVIC Super Test standings behind Garcia and GASGAS Factory Racing’s Andrea Verona.

Fantic Factory Racing

Take a walk through the paddock and it’s clear to see that Fantic Factory Racing have a strong presence. With riders in almost all classes, they are really pushing hard to reach the top of EnduroGP. However, it’s in the Enduro Junior and Enduro Youth categories where they often excel the most. As a manufacturer that provides a platform for young talent to showcase their skills on the world stage, it’s great to see their investments pay off. They currently lead the Enduro Junior category with Axel Semb. His teammate, and 2023 Enduro Youth champion, Kevin Cristino is third in points. Meanwhile, their academy rider Pietro Scardina carded his best result of the year in Enduro Youth in Romania with second.

The rise of Brad Freeman

Day two of the GP of Romania saw Beta Factory Racing’s Brad Freeman return to the podium. The nine-time world champion has endured a rough start to the season. From a hand injury to illness, the odds have been stacked against the Brit. In Romania, we began to see the best of him again. Although he lies 32 points behind the top three in the EnduroGP standings, an on-form Freeman is sure to play an exciting factor in the remainder of this championship fight.

Open Series

The Enduro Open riders were out in force in Romania, with a mixture of regular riders and new faces. Belgium’s Tim Louis (Sherco) maintained his lead in the Enduro Opens 2S class, but Czech Republic’s Jiri Hadek (Sherco) broke Louis’ win streak by claiming victory on Sunday.

Gold plate changes hands

Honda Racing RedMoto Enduro Team’s Steve Holcombe arrived at the GP of Romania with the EnduroGP gold plate. But throughout the course of the weekend it changed hands. Now it’s the turn of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Josep Garcia to run the leader’s plate at round four in Italy. Despite a strong ride from Holcombe in Bacau, he slipped from first to third in the overall standings. With GASGAS Factory Racing’s Andrea Verona up to second and entering his home round next time out, we could see the gold plate change hands once again!

Every split-second counts

At every round of the season so far, we are being treated to incredible battles for victory in the EnduroGP. Consistently, special tests are being won by tenths of a second. On Sunday’s second POLISPORT Extreme Test the top three riders were separated by just five tenths of a second. With the intensity so high, it seems that those who can best manage their mistakes are the ones who have the best chance of reaching the podium.

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